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Permies Poll: Do you keep honey bees?

 
master gardener
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Happy Spring Permies!


(Source)

I have noticed that the earliest blooms have come out and my thoughts have drifted to our pollinators. I have some future thoughts towards getting a couple of hives but I wonder what ya'll have. Do you keep bees? Do you enjoy it? What are your thoughts?





Please feel free to share stories, reasonings, and maybe pictures of your hives if you have them below!
 
Timothy Norton
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I currently do not keep bees. I have thought about it and live very close to a business that specializes in beekeeping and teaches classes frequently.

I think once I have my different gardens established, that will be the next project.


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master pollinator
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I clicked yes because I have a hive. And it has fifteen frames, five of which already have cells started on them. It's open for habitation, I'm just waiting for a swarm to find it. And bees are starting to swarm, so...

j
 
Jim Garlits
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Don't make the mistake I did when I first got this crazy idea in my head and bought a setup from the interwebs.

There are beekeeping clubs and groups everywhere. Near you. They meet. They do beekeeping stuff. They talk about beekeeping stuff. Some people have multiple hives spread out over considerable distances. One person could have dozens of hives. Hundreds of hives. And buckets and buckets of honey in reserve. And used equipment. And frames. And brood boxes. They have everything that you'll need to get started.

If you go to a few of their meetings and sound enthusiastic, and ask a hundred noob questions, they'll take pity on you and give you stuff. And sell you stuff really cheap. And come and check out your hive and show you how to do things.

They're really REALLY great people. With decades of experience.

One guy might sell you a suit and smoker for a few bucks. Another one will send you home with a brood box and five frames. Another may even give you a nuc.

Google it.

Meet beekeepers. Let them take you under their wings. Take it from there.


j

Timothy Norton wrote:I currently do not keep bees. I have thought about it and live very close to a business that specializes in beekeeping and teaches classes frequently.

I think once I have my different gardens established, that will be the next project.


(Source)

 
master steward
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I have a couple of hives.   I check them 3 or 4 times a year. I really don’t consider myself a bee keeper.
 
gardener
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I do. Am a newbee... and am doing it with the Layens system. No chemicals or sugar water involved. The best honey ever!

I have a thread I have been doing about it to share my experiences....
Long story short... I am expanding slowly and am setup to start selling honey this year. This method makes keeping bees The Easiest thing I have on the homestead.


https://permies.com/t/179108/Layens-hive-story
 
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I'd love to keep bees (I love honey and it would be nice to have our own source of sweetness), but suspect I never will. A couple of reasons - my husband is very against the idea, he's very nervous about being stung. I used to be less nervous, but when I went to see someone's bees and see what it all might involve, I did get stung. I looked like a character from Star trek for a couple of weeks! I read you can get a more severe reaction the second time you are stung, and carrying an epi-pen for evermore did not appeal.
We're also not an ideal climate for honey bees, being so windy and wet. I decided to make do with our local bees for pollination. We have lots of happy bumble bees from March through to November, as well as tiny black native bees, and I hope to improve the variety of bee friendly plants we have anyhow. There are some rarer British bees that don't live far away, that maybe may move in if the habitat is right.
 
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I  have bees but they died. I have tried to set up swarm boxes to get a wild hive but I am having no luck.
 
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Last vote in apple poll was on April 6, 2024
 
Jim Garlits
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Sorry that happened to you. I guess it is quite common with all of the threats bees face these days. See my post a bit further up the thread. You can get a nuc from the established beekeepers in your area. If someone is splitting hives they may sell you one really cheap or just give it to you. Most beekeepers are keen on getting more people into the game and may go out of their way to help. But for now, I'm with you... waiting for a swarm to find my setup. The established frames in my brood box should help because it already smells like bees and will most likely attract a swarm. Fingers crossed.

If not, I already have a guy who is willing to gift me a nuc. Either way, I'll bee in buzzness soon.  ;)

j

T Blankinship wrote:I  have bees but they died. I have tried to set up swarm boxes to get a wild hive but I am having no luck.

 
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