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 Post subject: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 2:01 am 
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As I have mentioned elsewhere (the RATS topic) I'm thinking about keeping bees.

I've read up a great deal about it and visited a local beekeeper a couple of times.

I want to start small, that is 2 hives, to begin with.

2 so you can notice the difference in behavior and thus deduct faster that something might be wrong.

I'd like to start next year, so I'll be looking to buy my hives early next year. And since I'm new I'd like to make it easy for myself... I'll probably order the newest tech in beekeeping:
phpBB [video]


It's not the cheapest, specially if I want 2 hives. And since we can have harsh winters I also need a 2nd brood box for both those hives... (A hive is a bottem board with flight enterance, a brood box where the queen can lay eggs and the worker bees 'live' on top of that there's a honey super - the queen can't get in there so the storage of honey stays free of larvae)

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have, provided I already know the answer... It might help me look for things I didn't think of myself!

About the bees:
The Queen lives about 5 years, shortly after being born she flies out of the hive/nest to get pregnant. She only does that once in her life. But gets about 20 males putting sperm in her 'storage unit' (I call it that since it lasts her life time). Each male dies after mating with a queen.
There is only one queen in a beehive. She's the largest bee in the hive.
In winter time there's about 10 to 20 000 worker bees that keep the queen warm during winter, they live for about 6 months. Winter starts in august and the queen starts laying eggs somewhere in january.
During that time the population grows up to it's peek mid may - early june. The hive reaches a number of 50 to 60 000 bees. Most of them are workers, but during summer, their life span is only 6 weeks. A small number of the bees are males, they don't do much in the hive, appart for keeping it warm. The males can't sting. Outside of the hive they look for other queens high up in the air to pass on the genes of the hive. They all gather in the same place and the queen smells where she needs to be for a good time...

A worker bee stays in the hive for about the first 3 weeks of her life. They never sleep and always work. Cleaning out the hive, feeding the larvae, keeping the hive warm, guarding the enterance. After three weeks they get promoted and fly on and off with nectar, pollen and propolis. They do this till the wings stop working, they fly themselves to death.

And to thank them, we steal the honey!! :-)



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 7:30 am 
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Instead of "stealing the honey", you could call it the rent they have to pay for that nice cozy hive you gave them.

It sounds like beekeeping might be as addictive as birdkeeping!



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:33 am 
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tielfan wrote:
Instead of "stealing the honey", you could call it the rent they have to pay for that nice cozy hive you gave them.

It sounds like beekeeping might be as addictive as birdkeeping!


I hope it is and then again I hope it isn't... I'm going to start with 2 hive (If I start at all) and if it is as addictive as it seems I might end up with 10-20 hives ... (not all in the same place of course...



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:59 am 
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Good luck sounds good



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:06 pm 
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That's really interesting. You'll have to let us know how you get on!


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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:00 am 
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I will try to keep you updated, be it sporadic to begin with.

This wednesday I'm going on a walk in nature with a friend who is also interested. We'll discuss if we can start together. Split the costs to pay for a hive each and work on them together to learn from eachother. And it's always handy to have an extra pair of hands if something goes wrong. Or to have somebody to consult with if we see something out of the ordinary.

I'm really looking forward to it. Only my wife thinks I'm being a bit silly. Apparently I get laughed at. She works for the city and I applied there for some piece of land in an allotment they're going to do next year (for people who want to grow crops but don't have enough land to do so themselves) I thought it to be a good Idea to keep bees there. It seems not all people follow that view. (But I'm a big man, I can take it)



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:50 am 
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The only problem I see with keeping bees in the allotment is that some of the other people with space there might be afraid of the bees. Others might welcome them, since they'll help pollinate their crops!



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:33 pm 
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Fear for bees is irrational, it's not like I'm going to keep African killer bees (a species that is human made btw). But still, you have a point. I'll have to wait and see what the info-session brings in october.



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:21 am 
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Irrational or not, a lot of people are afraid of bees. So the bees might not be too welcome in a group allotment. While you wait for October, you might want to keep your eyes open for alternate places to keep bees in case this one doesn't work out.



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 Post subject: Re: Starting wiht beekeeping
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:32 pm 
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tielfan wrote:
Irrational or not, a lot of people are afraid of bees. So the bees might not be too welcome in a group allotment. While you wait for October, you might want to keep your eyes open for alternate places to keep bees in case this one doesn't work out.


I already have my ear to the ground... Another colleague of mine is a lumberjack and where he stores his wood would be a nice place. But it's further from my home. So it wouldn't be my first choice ;-)



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