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First steps

 
Damian Jones
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Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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Hi,
We recently purchased a farm and are really excited. For my first year here I plan to start bee keeping. I've access to sheets of wood..some of it is plywood most is mdf. I think MDF will not work even if I painted...I would like to hear any thoughts. I will try the Langstroth hives. I'll start searching for some plans, but if anyone knows are a good place to start that would be helpful also. How far is a good distance from the house, etc? What is a suitable place for summer....what do I do with them in the winter (Last night it hit -55 w/c)

Thank you.
 
tel jetson
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I'm not a fan of either of those for beehives. every time I've used any plywood, I've had issues with mold. MDF would turn to mush in short order.

for building your own, Langstroth is among the most difficult options. it's also among the most difficult options for management of the bees. one large advantage of Langstroth hives is the ease of obtaining equipment because it's nearly ubiquitous, but that won't do you any good if you're building your own.

winter and summer placement should be the same. moving hives is a pain in the ass for bees and beekeeper. if you can manage, a spot with mid-afternoon shade in summer, but good sun exposure all day in the winter is great. shelter from prevailing wind is nice, especially in the winter. shelter from rain is nice.

distance from the house? against a southeast wall of the house is often a great place, especially if there's a nice eave to keep wet weather off. the bees won't bother you unless you orient their flight path across a path you use a lot. standing ten feet from a hive, it's usually difficult to tell it's there unless you're facing it. with only a few exceptions, if bees are out of the hive, they're foraging, so they don't hang around.

-55 Fahrenheit? not really a big deal. thick lumber might be in order, and some folks like to wrap hives up in tar-paper for the winter, but if the colony has enough honey going into winter, they'll cluster up and make it through winter just fine in a hive free of leaks. shelter from wind is more important at lower temperatures, and you'll want to be able to excavate them from any snowdrifts so they can get in and out for cleansing flights.
 
Cj Sloane
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Damian Jones wrote:How far is a good distance from the house, etc? What is a suitable place for summer....what do I do with them in the winter (Last night it hit -55 w/c)
Thank you.


the answer to most permaculture questions is "it depends."

I would start by scrolling threw all the topics in this (honey bee) thread. Lots of links and good books mentioned. Page 427 of the Permaculture Designers Manual has a good sub chapter on bee set-ups and an idealized bee farm. Paul has at least 1 video on bees.


I too am going to attempt my first hive but I have a little second hand experience because for 3 years someone kept a hive on my property.
 
Damian Jones
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Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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Since this is my first step into beeking, what hive would you suggest? I would like to build the hives myself but purchasing one is not out of the question.

Thanks

tel jetson wrote:I'm not a fan of either of those for beehives. every time I've used any plywood, I've had issues with mold. MDF would turn to mush in short order.

for building your own, Langstroth is among the most difficult options. it's also among the most difficult options for management of the bees. one large advantage of Langstroth hives is the ease of obtaining equipment because it's nearly ubiquitous, but that won't do you any good if you're building your own.

winter and summer placement should be the same. moving hives is a pain in the ass for bees and beekeeper. if you can manage, a spot with mid-afternoon shade in summer, but good sun exposure all day in the winter is great. shelter from prevailing wind is nice, especially in the winter. shelter from rain is nice.

distance from the house? against a southeast wall of the house is often a great place, especially if there's a nice eave to keep wet weather off. the bees won't bother you unless you orient their flight path across a path you use a lot. standing ten feet from a hive, it's usually difficult to tell it's there unless you're facing it. with only a few exceptions, if bees are out of the hive, they're foraging, so they don't hang around.

-55 Fahrenheit? not really a big deal. thick lumber might be in order, and some folks like to wrap hives up in tar-paper for the winter, but if the colony has enough honey going into winter, they'll cluster up and make it through winter just fine in a hive free of leaks. shelter from wind is more important at lower temperatures, and you'll want to be able to excavate them from any snowdrifts so they can get in and out for cleansing flights.
 
Nick Kitchener
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I've been doing a lot of reading recently on Perone hives. I like the concept because it involves leaving the bees alone and letting them get on with being bees.
You open the hive once a year only. not even that much in the first season. You build it out of untreated wood, there are plans on line, and the hive is easy to build.

It's basically a super sized top bar hive. It is definitely not portable.

There is a lot of talk about the inability to inspect the hive from a regulatory perspective so I guess you'll need to think about what the definition of a hive is and what the definition of beekeeping is depending on where you live.
 
David Livingston
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Dameon
Why dont you Check out Warre hives easy to build easy to manage and if you are only after honey for you And your family it should be enough.
You would need to get some real Wood though MDF And ply are not that good with bees due to moisture problems.
Cost me 40$ to build my hive.

David
 
Cj Sloane
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Making a Perone Hive pdf
 
Damian Jones
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Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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Cj Verde wrote:Making a Perone Hive pdf

Saved to my computer....good info....Thanks
 
Damian Jones
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Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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David Livingston wrote:Dameon
Why dont you Check out Warre hives easy to build easy to manage and if you are only after honey for you And your family it should be enough.
You would need to get some real Wood though MDF And ply are not that good with bees due to moisture problems.
Cost me 40$ to build my hive.

David


Thanks David, I will check them out.
 
Burra Maluca
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Damian - have you checked out this thread Beekeeping - where to start
 
Damian Jones
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Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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Burra Maluca wrote:Damian - have you checked out this thread Beekeeping - where to start


Good Thread...checking it out now.

Thanks
 
Damian Jones
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Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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Damian Jones wrote:
Cj Verde wrote:Making a Perone Hive pdf

Saved to my computer....good info....Thanks


I've checked the Warre and the Perone Hives. I think the Parone hive is more to my taste. I like the large area for the hive..I may put windows in there so I can peek at what is going on...or maybe just a little camera.




 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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