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To bee or not to bee

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  • ComfortablyNumb
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 3037
    • Northeast Washington
    • KBQ C-60
      PK360
      Thermoworks Smoke
      Thermoworks Thermopop
      Thermoworks Dot

    To bee or not to bee

    My new farm has nine acres of apples and eleven of alfalfa, a bee equivalent of a backyard BBQ! I want to add bees to the mix, however Mrs Numb is more apprehensive. She is excited about getting them, however thinks we should wait a year to get other obligations buttoned up. Since a new hive may not produce honey the first year, and I am up in years, I believe now is the time to start with just one or two hives and see how it goes. We compled the classroom training for being certified apprentice beekeepers on Saturday and have four hands on field days to complete, the first being adding a package of bees to a new hive. So what do you suggest, bees now, later, or have my head examined?
    53
    Get bees this year
    94.34%
    50
    Get bees next year
    3.77%
    2
    Bees? Are you on drugs??
    1.89%
    1
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 11811
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #2
    Start slow and see how it goes.

    Comment

  • FireMan
    Charter Member
    • Jul 2015
    • 7142
    • Bottom of Winnebago

    #3
    Well that’s it for the poll. I voted & it’s not rigged & it’s 100 percent for the bees. So, what’s yer next question?

    PS. I have two friends who raise bees & it’s quite involved. It will be a fair amount of work. The earlier you start the better.
    Last edited by FireMan; February 24th, 2019, 09:35 PM.

    Comment


    • FireMan
      FireMan commented
      Editing a comment
      Wait a minute, that wasn’t in the poll! 🕶

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      My older brother has had multiple hives, fer numerous years; always a treat to lie down next to one, watch em come, go, an signal to each other, from like literally 12: away from their entry. (Hint: let them git used to ya..., afore ya git so up close, an personal...)

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      ComfortablyNumb

      If ya want / need help payin fer a hive, jus PM me yer Paypal email addy...

      I'll gladly pitch in on this project.
  • Mr. Bones
    Birthday Hat Master
    • Sep 2016
    • 8404
    • Kansas Territory
    • Grills / Smokers
      *********************************************

      Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
      Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
      Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
      Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
      Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
      Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
      Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
      Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
      Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
      Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
      Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

      Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
      Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
      Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

      Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
      Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
      Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
      Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
      Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
      Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
      (Lime Green)
      Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
      Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



      Thermometers:
      *********************************************
      Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
      Maverick ET-732, (Black)
      Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
      ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
      Blue ThermaPen Mk4
      Orange Thermapen Mk4
      Pink Thermapen Mk4
      ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
      ThermoWorks Smoke
      ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
      4 Pro Series cable extensions
      Smoke Gateway

      Accessories:
      *********************************************
      2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
      BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
      Warming shelf
      MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
      Backyard Grill marinade injector
      Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
      Bear Paws
      Meat Rakes
      BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)



      Cookware:
      Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
      G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
      '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
      60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
      50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
      Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
      Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

      Cutlery, etc.:
      Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
      Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
      Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
      Multiple steels, from all over the planet
      Crock sticks
      Diamond stones, various
      Lansky Sharpening System

      Tableware
      Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
      Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
      Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

    #4
    Let It Bee...

    Not rulin out havin yer head examined, though...

    Ain't got nuthin to do with no bees, I reckon...

    Comment

    • MBMorgan
      Club Member
      • Sep 2015
      • 5926
      • Colorado
      • > Weber Genesis EP-330
        > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
        > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
        > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
        > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
        to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
        > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
        > Thermoworks Smoke
        > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
        > Thermoworks Thermapen
        > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
        > Anova sous vide circulator
        > Searzall torch
        > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

        > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
        > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
        > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

      #5
      Go for it ...

      Comment

    • Oak Smoke
      Club Member
      • Aug 2018
      • 312
      • Central Texas

      #6
      I'm sure your crops will thank you. When the clover in my back pasture blooms they are every where. The rest in the time they are trying to empty my hummingbird feeders.

      Comment


      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        That's why I want them, and to turn the hay field into bee forage.
    • Bumby
      Club Member
      • Oct 2017
      • 267
      • NYC

      #7
      If you get them, let me know. I have a dream of placing a bee hive on the roof of my building.

      Comment


      • Bumby
        Bumby commented
        Editing a comment
        You mean finding a small farm on which to retire and becoming a bee keeper? Sadly, I'm not ready to retire. I literally mean placing bees on the roof of a four unit building in NYC and becoming part of the "urban farmer" movement...probably a horrible idea!

      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        See if you can find ‘Beekeeping For Dummies’ at your library, it is quite common and the book gives several good pointers on rooftop beekeeping. I’ve been binge watching bee documentaries and a couple showed rooftop hives, one a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower, the other a couple of places in Vancouver,,BC. Both are on Amazon Prime, ‘Honey Hunters’ and ‘Saving the Life of Bees’

      • Bumby
        Bumby commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks ComfortablyNumb. I'm probably a year off but with what I see happening to bees, thought I would try to help.
    • Red Man
      Club Member
      • May 2018
      • 808
      • Western Washington

      #8
      Go for it!

      Comment

      • texastweeter
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 2722
        • Republic of Texas

        #9
        Good friend of mine is the head of the East Texas Beekeepers Association. If you get into it, he might be able to give you some advice. Dad, KenC52 is taking to him to have a hive or two out at the farm.

        Comment


        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          I might be in touch. Right now I'm taking training with the Inland Empire Bee Association (IEBA) in Spokane.
      • treesmacker
        Club Member
        • May 2018
        • 785
        • Grants Pass OR
          • Rec Tec Trailblazer RT-340
          • O-Grill 600 Portable Grill with O-Dock
          • Cuisinart 360 Griddle
          • Ooni Fyra (coming soon)

        #10
        We can't have enough bees!

        Comment

        • NapMaster
          Club Member
          • Jan 2019
          • 587
          • Denham Springs, LA
          • WebberSummitGold6burnerLP, ShotGunSmoker

            Avid Armor Vacuum Sealer

          #11
          My buddy has about 600 hives. Hard, bone-crushing work. He always had about 20 hives or so but in retirement he went crazy. His honey is the best. Very dark. In my coffee every morning.

          Lastly, you have to learn the bee dance. Just don't do it in public.

          Comment


          • ComfortablyNumb
            ComfortablyNumb commented
            Editing a comment
            That is one of my wife's fears...the 600 hives. She's knows I won't dance, anywhere or anytime!

          • NapMaster
            NapMaster commented
            Editing a comment
            ComfortablyNumb If you learn the bee dance you can give them directions to the nectar. Just make sure you are not seen or they might throw a net on you.
        • RichieB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2018
          • 1097
          • Western Mass

          #12
          Don't know as I'm no expert. I do know bee population is decreased with a parisite. Bees are key to the eco system. So if you are able to help this or next year its good thing.
          ​​​​​

          Comment

          • Donw
            Club Member
            • Jul 2017
            • 2560

            #13
            I voted yes but with some caveats. Do you have a good source lined up for your nuc and will you get them in time to be well established by mid-summer? Suppliers I know have been taking orders for a few months now for Spring deliveries and you may be at the end of the line. Mites have done a number lately and many beekeepers lost a lot of hives this past, year so from what I’ve read, demand is higher this year than normal.

            Comment


            • ComfortablyNumb
              ComfortablyNumb commented
              Editing a comment
              I do. One of the IEBA instructors sells bees and equipment. He's holding packages for students, so I could get some from him on the day we do the field training of adding bees to a hive. Also the local feed store is taking orders until March 27 for April bees.
          • HawkerXP
            Club Member
            • Jul 2016
            • 4683
            • Northern Virginia
            • 3 Weber kettles, and a PBC
              Thermopop
              Dot w two probes
              Slo n Sear
              Cold beer

            #14
            🐝What’s the buzz tell me whatz a happening........🐝

            Comment


            • HawkerXP
              HawkerXP commented
              Editing a comment
              It is a serous business, have a friend in Ga that worked for a bee business (Savannah Bee Co.) and her first hive failed.

            • Buck Flicks
              Buck Flicks commented
              Editing a comment
              Why should you want to know?
              Don't you mind about the future?
              Don't you try to think ahead?
              Save tomorrow for tomorrow;
              Think about today instead.
          • IowaGirl
            Club Member
            • Dec 2018
            • 531
            • Northeast Iowa, USA

            #15
            I've been a backyard beekeeper for about 10 years with varying amounts of success. Some years are good, others are depressing. I have 3-4 colonies, depending on the year. This past fall I went into the winter with 3 strong colonies, but I suspect they will not make it through the unusually hard winter we've been having.

            The first few years are the hardest, because beekeeping has a steep learning curve. If you can take advantage of a local beekeeping club, I strongly recommend building connections with other more experienced beeks. A mentor will really help smooth that learning curve and give you a fighting chance to have more success and less failure in your beginning years.

            You really need to have at least 2 hives, and preferably 3 to be a viable hobby beekeeper. There are too many disease and pest issues to deal with anymore. One hive will not give you any flexibility to respond to problems, unless you have a local mentor who can quickly provide queens and replacement bees if needed. Even with 3 hives, expect to lose half or more of your colonies every year. High colony mortality is a fact of life that a modern-day beekeeper has to accept and deal with.

            Really think hard about what type of lang hive is best for you before you buy equipment. (I'm assuming your class is steering you toward Lang hives.) I know commercial beeks have the mentality that steers them toward 10 frame Langs, but lifting a 10 frame medium or deep super is difficult at best, and may be impossible if a person has any physical limitations. I'd suggest 8 frame equipment with deeps or mediums for the brood chamber and all medium supers.

            There will be the inevitable dearth times when you should feed your bees to tide them over until the next nectar flow. Apple trees only bloom for a week or so. Likewise alfalfa will hive specific bloom times. That's especially true if it is a pure stand rather than a mixed pasture blend and if the alfalfa is cut frequently for hay or green chop. Some regions also have a drought season in the hottest part of the summer when there is no nectar flow. You'll need to learn the rhythm of the nectar flows -- your bees will tell you if you learn their habits -- and be ready to help your bees out as they need it.

            Comment


            • ComfortablyNumb
              ComfortablyNumb commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for your informative post.

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          Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

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