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Any beekeepers here

 
Posts: 229
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
12
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Im seriously considering getting my license, sometime in the future, anyone here at all interested in this? I know nothing about bees but like honey and I like that they help pollinate things.

Any tips/facts would be appreciated
 
author & gardener
Posts: 964
Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
425
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Jason, I would highly recommend Keeping Bees with A Smile by Fedor Lazutin and Leo Sharashkin. It's probably the best book on natural beekeeping that there is. Dr. Leo was a guest here on Permies several months back. You can read the summary of the book and see book reviews at this Permies thread.
 
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I had several hives in my Florida backyard for years. one thing I found out is all wild bees in Florida have a certain amount of africanized DNA  and can become very aggressive. on one occasion when I was gathering a large wild bee hive at night one zipper on the suit was not zipped all the way and got a whole bunch of sting that very nearly landed me run hospital. I was lucky that a Walgreens was only 2 miles away and a handful of antihistamine pills helped fend off anaphylactic shock.
a couple things, get the best quality bee suit you can get, I have humble bee brand suite and jacket. the round hood is very good with the oval one you have to wear ball cap to keep the mesh far enough away from your face to prevent being stung. Florida bees can sting right through sheepskin gloves, ask me how I know, get a good quality stainless steel smoker right off the bat and find a place where you can gather pine needles and fill a big garbage bag, a little pry bar set from harbor freight is just as good as the expensive ones bee places sell online.
there are lots of bee clubs in Florida and a whole bunch of helpful knowledgeable people.  
building your own bee hive boxes is easy and cheap especially if you do some dumpster diving on construction sites where they are using wood or have found a source for local cypress or other lumber. cutting the sticks for the frames can be a bit tricky without a bunch of wood working tools and they are cheap and easy to get the frame sticks precut online.  medium size frames are probably the best and most common size. get good quality excluder screens or whatever they are called to keep brood frames and honey frames separate
its not a lot of fun trying too get brood and larrvae out of honey and wax.
getting free wild bees is pretty darn easy in Florida , just build a few small NUc boxes or a hive catching boxes and put a drop or 2 lemongrass oil, one on the opening and one inside, don't use too much.
or if you hear of someone saying bees have infested a place in their house or yard you can go rob those hives and also there are lots of pest control people in Florida and a lot of them get calls to remove wild honey bees maybe make some calls to some of them saying you will come get the bees when they pull them out. bring lots of rubber bands to strap the chunks of honey comb and brood comb to empty frames.
I never did this but it is suggested do some research and find a good queen source and replace wild queens with domesticated ones.
that's probably enough to get you started
 
pioneer
Posts: 157
Location: South East Kansas
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Check around your area for other beekeepers and clubs. It would be a good way to get information and supplies.  
 
bruce Fine
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just wondering--do you need a license or permit to keep bees in Marion county?
when I moved I contacted the state about what I would have to do to take my bees across state line and that's where you need a license and hives have be inspected by FDOA. and turns out Georgia has built a bee firewall and its very difficult, expensive and nearly impossible for a hobbiest bee keeper to transport bees out of Florida.
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 229
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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bruce Fine wrote:just wondering--do you need a license or permit to keep bees in Marion county?
when I moved I contacted the state about what I would have to do to take my bees across state line and that's where you need a license and hives have be inspected by FDOA. and turns out Georgia has built a bee firewall and its very difficult, expensive and nearly impossible for a hobbiest bee keeper to transport bees out of Florida.



https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa264
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 2087
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Here's a link to an online beginner beekeeping class.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 2213
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I wouldn't call myself a "beekeeper".  More like a bee enthusiast.  I just moved so don't have active hives right now, but I will be moving some of my old hives and building new ones this winter.  I won't be buying bees anymore.  I'm just putting out hives and hoping someone moves in.  I have different types, Warre, Perone, and I have the "Keeping Bees With A Smile" book, so I'll be building a hive or two of that type this winter.  Hives I have had in the past, I didn't "manage".  I just let the bees live on my land and take a small amount of honey in the spring.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2814
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I recommend joining the Treatment Free Beekeepers facebook group. It is probably the most permaculture aligned group out there, with huge international membership. It also has a fantabulous admin team. :P
 
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