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Beekeeping.... ? Resource suggestions welcome!

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  • Beekeeping.... ? Resource suggestions welcome!

    As a newly Stay at Home Mom (yay!) I'd love to do some more "farm-y" things... and beekeeping sounds fun.

    However I know pretty much ZERO about the subject. There are lots of books on Amazon but I was wondering if any of you have experience in the beekeeping area and might have some resource suggestions?

    In my limited research I've already come across conflicting information regarding hive placement. So I'd love suggestions as to REPUTABLE resources, books, websites, etc.

    I don't think that the bees and horses will be an issue--I have 40 acres of OURS to work with plus my In-Law's adjacent 400 that I can use however I want.... but that is a whole other codependent story.

    Thanks guys. Your wisdom is great.

  • #2
    I love honeybees. Had a hive in a prior life....when I lived in the suburbs with a large backyard. Mail-ordered the hive equipment and the bees. I don't have any particular advice but have fun!


    • #3
      Contact your extension agent or check out your extension website. My state extension is about to offer a course on beekeeping and the state is really trying to get folks interested.

      That might be a good place to start.

      I've been tinkering with the idea - this place had some old hives and there was a hive in a tree - they're all gone now. Anyway - been tinkering with it but wasn't sure if I wanted one more thing to take care of.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling


      • #4
        And in many areas there are beekeepers guilds .. their members are very helpful to newcomers.


        • #5
          Google beekeepers in your county...you should get some resources to follow up on. Our experience in the past few years has been wonderful ... we have 5 hives here in Maryland; in addition to fabulous honey, we have seen our fruit and nut trees, as well as our garden, become beyond abundant. The bees are easy to keep, fascinating to learn about and watch, and provide such value in any agricultural setting.


          • #6
            There is usually a beekeeping association that you can find locally, they often have newsletter and monthly meetings and love to promote beekeeping to new folks. If you want to buy the equipment check out http://www.dadant.com/
            Last edited by ReSomething; Jan. 18, 2012, 08:49 PM. Reason: put in link
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible


            • #7
              I haven't tried beekeeping yet but my neighbors have. I think the most important thing is research, research, research. They did not research and almost killed off a whole colony because they didn't feed them when the plants were not blooming. It never occured to them that bees have to eat all year. They got their colony from their Pastor who is a bee guy. He is now nursing the colony back to health and gave them a new one with feeding instructions. I dont know how things are going but since they only feed all their other animals when they feel like it I wouldn't be surprised if this colony dies too.


              • #8
                brushy mountain. probably the easiest mail order folks for beginning bee keepers. very helpful if you call them.

                read "the queen and I"


                • #9
                  Ditto on contacting your Extension office. Many offer certified beekeeping courses or will have a group of beekeepers in the area that can mentor you.
                  "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                  Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by flashwhitelock View Post
                    brushy mountain. probably the easiest mail order folks for beginning bee keepers. very helpful if you call them.

                    read "the queen and I"
                    Second Brushy Mountain. My SO loffs them.
                    R.I.P. Eagles Hill. 4/6/00-12/10/11.


                    • #11
                      Bees are great -- and in many places, each county has a beekepers' association. So I'd google that and/or your county extension and you will learn heaps. And you will have the nicest yard/garden of anyone on your street!
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                      We Are Flying Solo


                      • #12
                        I just read "The Beekeeper's Lament, How One Man and Half a Billion Bees Help Feed America". It was a fascinating review of keeping bees in various parts of the US, particularly from a challenges and good beekeeping practices standpoint. While the book followed a large-scale beekeeper over the years, it did mention best resources, books and associations. It went into great depth on the diseases and predators affecting bees these days.

                        You might want to start there as it's a good "this is what it's really like" account. If I remember correctly, it was published last year and the information is very current.

                        Good luck!
                        "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford


                        • #13
                          This thread reminds me of an interesting bee movie Ulee's Gold: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120402/


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks all!

                            I've ordered some books thru the library (including some suggested here) and cannot wait to figure out if beekeeping is right for me!!

                            any other stories or suggestions welcome.