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want to host a beehive?

 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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hi there. I keep bees. since I've got enough hives at my own place, I'm looking for other spots close by to keep more hives. which is where you come in, supposing you're relatively close (within... 50 miles of Woodland, Wash.? within 20 miles would be great).

here's my standard deal: $50 covers my cost for materials to build a bait hive and permanent hive. I'll have a look around your place, talk with you about some bee stuff and decide on a spot to put one or more bait hives up. then, we'll all wait until I've got a swarm, either from a bait hive at your place or somewhere else, at which point I'll put them in a permanent hive. then we'll wait some more until they've really gotten going and can spare some honey, which will be at least 16 months, and likely 24 months. then, I'll harvest honey and wax and probably some fair amount of propolis. you get 10% of whatever I harvest from any hives at your place. if you're the tolerant sort, I'll likely jabber on and on about bees and hives &c, and you're welcome to participate in the harvest if you like.


is this a good deal? I think it is. it's a good deal for me because I'm trying to transition away from selling hives for a living and toward selling honey. I like building hives, but there are so many opportunities to cut various parts of me off that I would like to do it less. and breathing cedar dust isn't good for me. I do try to protect myself, but it's hard to get all the sawdust off of my clothes, and some always sneaks around the mask.

it's a good deal for you because you get honey without any work. you get pollination. you get entertainment. the price for pollination services is somewhere north of $100/hive, and that's only for a week or two. my hives will stay put. and while $50 up front may seem like a lot to pay for a little honey years down the line, the hives I'm using have the potential to yield an awful lot in a good year. your take could be ten pounds or more annually after the hive is established. good, raw, clean honey generally sells for over $5/lb, and I would guess the average in this region is around $8/lb depending on volume.


so, what do you think?
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Tel - nice proposal, a very good win-win situation.

What hive types would you install? Perone?

I'd be interested, but i think the distance is prohibitive! How do you harvest propolis, and do you process it after harvest? It is not something i ever looked into. How many hives do you have currently, and how many would you eventually like to aim for?

Mike
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We have a similar arrangement here and love it. The hive had been kept here by a local beekeeper before we bought the property and we asked him to stay. An older man who grew up raising bees...so lots of knowledge that he doesn't mind sharing. We love having the bees all over flowers here and I like to plant things for them. We speak for ALL of the honey every year. This year it was $8 a quart and there was eight quarts...I don't buy any other honey so don't know if that is a good price but we are happy to pay that for honey from our land. We keep thinking we need to start our own hives because he probably won't be able to do this much longer.
I wonder if your honey press setup could be portable if folks just wanted to buy all of the honey produced on their land? Our beekeeper takes the frames to his house to extract the honey and then we pick it up. That is the part that seems inefficient...all of that moving around.
 
tel jetson
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Judith Browning wrote:I wonder if your honey press setup could be portable if folks just wanted to buy all of the honey produced on their land?


I forgot to mention that I would be willing to sell the remainder of the honey to the host at a discount off the going retail price.

as for the portability of the press, it is, but I'm not sure it would be practical. there's a good chance I'll be harvesting fairly late at night, though I'm not entirely sure, yet. it could work out to press the honey right then and there, because there wouldn't be any risk of triggering robbing as bees won't fly in the dark.
 
tel jetson
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Michael Cox wrote:
What hive types would you install? Perone?


yeah, it would be Perone hives. I also use Warré hives, which I like a lot, but the larger hive seems more appropriate in this application.

Michael Cox wrote:I'd be interested, but i think the distance is prohibitive!


I would say you're correct on that.

Michael Cox wrote:How do you harvest propolis, and do you process it after harvest? It is not something i ever looked into.


mostly I remove it from top cloths. I'll be experimenting with some simple propolis screens to increase the harvest a little bit this year, but I try not to go overboard. my processing has so far been limited to tincturing.

Michael Cox wrote:How many hives do you have currently, and how many would you eventually like to aim for?


I've got eleven at the moment, and I'm not entirely sure how many I'm aiming for. I think fifty would be easily manageable, so I'll try to get to there and see how it goes. if it feels like I could do more, I will. I would like to get a friend involved soon, as well, and I would guess that between the two of us we could handle more than twice what either of us could do alone.
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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I should also mention that being in town shouldn't exclude anyone from hosting a hive. urban beekeeping has a lot of advantages, most obviously that folks tend to plant for year round blooms and keep them watered, so the summer nectar dearth is much less pronounced in cities and towns.
 
Dennis Lanigan
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Location: Philomath, OR
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Tel, I know this is out of your area but if you get desperate and Olympia, WA is not TOO far (82 miles, 1 hour on I-5) send me a message. I live on 40 acres that has bees already and the bees will likely be leaving soon (beekeeper is going out of business). We'd like more bees.

 
tel jetson
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Dennis, I sent you a pm. short version: it might work.
 
Gabe Haynes
Posts: 22
Location: Portland, OR
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Tel,
I live in NE Portland, and am definitely potentially interested in hive-hosting! Having little experience with bees, I have a dumb question: 1) Would it create safety hazard for my 2-year-old, who very much enjoys playing in the yard? We've got a pretty health population of bees already with the things we've got growing around the house and experience has indicated that he doesn't have an bee-sting allergy or anything, but I'd rather not have stings become a daily event.
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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Gabe Haynes wrote:Would it create safety hazard for my 2-year-old, who very much enjoys playing in the yard?


it would not. mostly because we would choose a spot and orientation for the hive so that the entrance doesn't face areas frequented by the kid. placing it at least two feet up off the ground on a hive stand also helps. you would also want to make sure the hive itself was either inaccessible to your kid or that there was an understanding that it should be left alone.

because stinging ends their lives, bees only sting to defend the hive. so if there's no reason for them to feel threatened there, they'll be content to go about their business. if a hive is opened frequently for inspections and swarm-suppression, et cetera, the bees can get a lot more defensive. fortunately, the hives I use need none of that and I only open them once each year for harvest so the bees don't turn nasty.

I have a chair right next to one of my hives that I sit in for a few minutes most days. it's close enough that my knees touch the hive. my face is probably 18 inches away from the entrance, and closer if I want to get a better look at something go on at the entrance. I've never been stung.
 
Gabe Haynes
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Location: Portland, OR
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Ah, fantastic! You also answered my other question, which was if I would have to do any regular maintenance...other than keeping the toddler away from it, which I can handle. Just today I was scoping out the less-traveled corners of our 6000-sq ft lot for potential homes for the hive and I think its doable. I'm definitely interested in hosting a hive- would you be interested in checking out our place and seeing if it's appropriate for a hive?
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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Gabe Haynes wrote:would you be interested in checking out our place and seeing if it's appropriate for a hive?


most certainly. why don't you send me an e-mail and we'll work out a time for me to stop by. tel (at) pikkufarm.org
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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