EZ Backyard Beekeeping

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by UncleMorgan, Jun 1, 2016.


  1. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Nothing in the first twenty pages of this section had anything on bee-keeping, so I thought I'd post a few thoughts here.

    First, a lot of hives have died apparently as a result of "new & improved" pesticides. Bees are in deep trouble. Deep as in 98% of the normal bee population in the US has already died, and there are no longer enough bees available to properly pollinate our commercial crops.

    That's a recipe for famine. It was Einstein that said that if bees went extinct, humans would follow them in less than four years.

    Even if Einstein was only 99% right, for 99% of the human population he would have been 100% right.

    Think about that.

    Yes, bees produce honey, and honey is nice to have. But the bottom-line reason that everyone who has the space or a place should have a bee hive or two is to restore the bee population.

    The value of honey is trivial in comparison to that. But profit can be motivating, so, for this thread, I have a nice "best of all worlds" video: an easy way to have bees and honey and money, too, without a whole lot of effort.

    But let's look first at some long-term numbers.

    One "average" beehive can produce about 100 lbs of honey a year, in addition to what the bees need to support themselves. (That's reasonably conservative. YMMWV, of course, plus or minus, MOL.)

    One quart of honey weighs about three pounds. So one backyard hive can provide about 33 quarts of honey a year.

    At $35.00 a quart, that's $1,155.00 a year, gross.

    Three hives would definitely be preferable, so let's call that $3,465.00 a year.

    ( I know Wal-Mart sells organic honey for $15.23 a quart, but hang in there with me 'TIL we get to the video.)

    If a person was paying 7% interest on ten acres bought with a $40,000.00 mortgage (running for 30 years) the payment would be $266.00 per month.

    Three hives could produce (approximately) $288.00 a month. So just running three hives for thirty years could earn you ten acres of otherwise essentially free land.

    So let's get to the part about selling honey at $35.00 a quart, without a whole lot of slave labor.

    See the videos at How To Easily Make A Beehive In A Jar DIY Project

    This is a good starting point if money is a fundamental necessity for getting started in bee-keeping.

    Otherwise, you can just set up a hive or two so you'll have bees to pollinate your garden, and those of your neighbors.

    Study up on the subject: YouTube and Google are your friends.

    The bees you save tomorrow may do the same for you and those you love.
     
  2. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    We had three bee trees that had been here for years, power company had right of ways sprayed to kill foliage, all three hives were dipped out. They were not on the right of way as far as 300 yards away.
     
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
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  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Excellent post @UncleMorgan .
    While this is something that both Sass's uncle and I want to do, we are still gathering up equipment needed. There is a bit more involved than a person might think if one goes with the supers ,separators and all the other gear. For folks interested I suggest they get in touch with their local county cooperative extension. Most all have good websites with links to articles on beekeeping in their AO. I've learned a lot about what is needed and the do's and don'ts for my area. Many of these sites will have links to local beekeeper groups or clubs as well. Our's meet in a room of the courthouse 2nd Thursday of the month for example. Many of these will offer beekeeping classes around the first of the year and are more than happy to help a newbie get started, a lot like a good Ham club does.
    While I'm not really concerned about selling honey for profit, if it works out that way, great. Our aim, like you mentioned, is to insure good pollination of our gardens and of the fruit trees and berry bushes we have here.
     
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  5. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    100_1083.JPG 100_1083.JPG 100_1082.JPG Here's pics of a topbar hive I built from pallets and other scrap wood in the spring of 15, couldn't afford any bees that year, and still couldn't this year either. Hopefully next year I'll have enough scratch to populate my hive with some bees, in the meantime my hive is sitting and waiting in a spot I dowsed as a good location for the hive, it's close to a spring and has good shade in the summer afternoons, but gets good sun in the winter. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    100_1084.JPG
     
  6. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Nice bee box!

    Buying a starter set of bees can be expensive, but you might be able to track down a wild hive and relocate it.

    One thing that I have found that will bring bees on the run is the smell of a nice honey mead. They seem to be able to home on on for miles away.

    Pour a bit into an old washcloth and lay it out in the shade. Then put a teaspoon of honey on some cardboard and lay it on the cloth.
    Then just track the little buggers back when they fly home with the loot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  7. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    LOL @UncleMorgan my grandfather used that method for locating wild hives. The trick is getting the queen ;)
     
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Ain't that the way, it always seems to come down to locating the female:whistle:
     
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  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

  10. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    I have one hive of bees.

    Pretty much a novice at bees, so no advice for new-bees. Pun intended.
     
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  11. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder

    After growing up around my uncle's Langstroth hives, I'm really liking our topbar. Our bees seem to approve as well. I've seen some TBH beeks add a super or two to really strong hives, looks like Frankenhive but works great. They put a queen excluder between the bars and the added box, leaving the main TBH box for the hive and taking whatever is stored in the added supers. Think we may try that this year.... much rain as we're getting now, should be a good year for blooms.
     
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  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++


    this shows how this flow hive works (explanation starts at about 2:00)
    I was kind of intrigued... I couldn't find where this was posted before
     
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  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

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  14. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    thanks @ghrit no need to dig .... just couldn't remember the name of it. Info over lode probably
     
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Your are of course, welcome. You should not suffer from the gaps in my memory, then you would KNOW overload. Where was I yesterday, and what was I doing? Worse, where's my coffee cup THIS time?
     
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  16. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    Got 2 swarms this year, now up to 3 hives. They sit beside each other, watching them and wondering how they know which hive to go in. Ha! Bees seem to have it all figured out better than we humans.

    We took off about 6 quarts of honey so far this year.
     
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  17. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Update on my TBH
     
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  18. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    Just got my first two hives last week. My neighbor and I are cooping them as I know very little and she has had experience with her grandfather. We can expect about 40 pounds per hive, according to her. I plan to put two gallons in long term storage and eat the rest. Here is the queen bee herself all suited out with the hives. She will do as a neighbor. The first week I met her she killed a wild hog on my place with a camo silenced AR and then cleaned it with me and her husband watching. He is a detective on a large city police force near by along with their long gun trainer. I lucked out on neighbors.
    Bee1.
     
  19. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    That hive stand, is to small, next thing you know there will be 6-10 hives, where ya gonna put 'em all?

    Next thing I know, I'll be trucking in blocks. I set mine on concrete blocks 2 high, keeps them out of reach of the skunks and off the ground to keep them dry. However, my bee suit is a lot less formal. I found a white hoodie at a thrift store, a no-see-em bug vail at Walmart, along with some kind of jeans a ball cap and I'm good to go. Wife did pretty much the same for her suit.

    Do I ever get stung? Well, yes, but usually because I get lazy or get in a hurry and neglect to put on all the gear. I've had some problems keeping the smoker fired up, seems to go out, doesn't seem to help much when ya can't keep it lit.
     
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  20. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    Bees - don't stand where I'm standing to take this shot. Right in the flight path, only I was actually back a ways and had zoomed the camera in for the picture.

    P1010025.JPG
     
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