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Bee hive question

 
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Hi! Has anyone here ever gotten a bee hive just to let the bees live and pollinate, without taking any honey?  Do you still need to open or otherwise service the hive, or can you just let them do their thing?  Thank you in advance 😃 Brooke
 
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Good question! I want pollinators more than honey, I look forward to the answers you get :D
 
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Brooke,

I am not sure if this thread will answer your question though it might be helpful:

https://permies.com/t/240/43864/type-hive-Sheer-Total-Utter#1258504

When we had our homestead we had bees for maybe twelve or maybe even fourteen years.  Dear hubby and his dad had honey bees before we married.

I only remember taking honey one time after we bought the honey extractor.

Dear hubby has wanted to get hives since we moved here in 2013.  Since we are in the southern US we worry about Africanized bees.

Unless a person knows where to get an inexpensive hive and can capture a swarm getting into beekeeping can be expensive.

I hope you will get some good replies that will answer your question.

Have you considered getting into raising mason bees?

https://permies.com/t/136888/Mason-Bees-worth-investment

https://permies.com/t/30403/Kinds-Mason-Bees-effects-management

https://permies.com/t/34520/mason-bees

My strategy has been to plant lots of flowers in my vegetable garden to attract pollinators and discourage pests.
 
Brooke Dryden
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Hi and thank you for your replies!  I will read the threads you shared, thank you!  I have lots of flowers and lots of bees every summer, and I think a lot of the bees are the solitary kind.  My son and I also just found a mason bee worm? in some firewood, and we put her in a new log, I looked her up on the insect app and it said she's some kind of mason bee.  My son named her Elizabeth.  Anyway, the main reason I'd like to have a hive is to help bees and also to listen to their noises like in the book that Paul reviewed, Song of Increase.  We live at 8000' in Colorado, so I grow whatever happily grows here.  Attaching pics that I took this summer of our flowers and bees.  I think most of our bees are solitary.  
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I have kept bees for over 50 yeras.
You can have a hive of european bees and not touch them, have a couple of supers on top for them to store more honey..
BUT, hives weather, diseases may appear and the hive will swarm most years.
PERHAPS find someone local who is happy to maintain a hive of their own at your place, maybe a few more.
OR see if you have native bees.
Sometimes native bees are not as active or may not live in the cooler area where you are.
What area are you in?
I maybe able to find somebody who can help you.
 
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Honey bees have been around much longer than humans have been keeping them so it's certainly possible. I know someone who found a very large colony that had been neglected at least 17 years. Since the previous property owner died. The problem though, is there are several pests running amuck in beehives in recent years. Varroa mites & hive beetles mostly. I take a rather hands off approach but still open & check them once in a while just to make sure they have everything under control. I think the stronger the bees are to start with & the further away from other bees they are the better their chances would be.
 
Brooke Dryden
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Thank you John! We are in Granby CO
 
Brooke Dryden
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Thank you so much Mike!
 
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