Beekeeping

Keeping pigs or any other animals

Beekeeping

Postby Gordon » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:17 am

Anyone know anything about beekeeping ?

I am thinking of getting a hive and stuff and having a go but a starter kit is around the £400 mark so it could be an expensive mistake.
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Postby beardedwonder5 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:43 am

I'm a beekeeper. Consider this: the people who bought lots of honey, because of sugar rationing and its legacy, have mostly died off. Consider this: supermarket shelves slow lots of varieties of honey, mostly from overseas. And lots of these foreign honeys are cheap.

It's an interesting and fascinating hobby. But if you keep accurate records of ALL your expences, you'll find that you're ether "losing money" or making a pittance, and not costing your time.

(Under UK conditions the honey you take off a hive is not "profit". You have to feed sugar syrup in its place. Sugar= £. Money from honey sales must have cost of sugar knocked off.)

(AND HERE'S THE BIG ONE: DISEASE. There are some devatating bee diseases around. The can be partially controlled. But it's expensive and time-consuming.)

But it's a fascinating hobby.
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Postby Gordon » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:01 pm

I'm not looking to make money from beekeeping, I think ot would be facinating to do, and like making our own sausages etc the reward is in the satisfaction of making our own stuff, by expensive mistake I ment if it was difficult or a long learning curve to get to the point where you have the knowledge to maintain the bees welfare consistenly or would I wind up with �400 worth of 'wooden box'
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Postby wheels » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:13 pm

Gordon

...but you could always put a lightbulb in the box and make biltong!

Seriously though, I would love to be able to do this. A cousin of mine kept bees for most of his life - I just wish I'd spent the time to learn from him before he died.

There seems to be more interest in beekeeping of late. The last person in our village to keep bees stopped a few years ago, but I've heard recently of a couple of people who are starting.

Get in touch with your local association, they may offer training courses.

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Postby Gordon » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:24 pm

I had a look at that site, and a few others, it seems in this neck of the woods the courses stop ( and start for that matter ) in April.

Chris, my wife, is behind the idea so it would be nice to do something with her blessing for a change :D
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Postby johnfb » Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:15 pm

My brother keeps bees in his home in County Donegal. He has 8 hives and gets a good bit of honey from them. He could sell it and make a fortune from the amount of people that ask him for some, but the last two summers have been bad and he got almost nothing from them. still he loves it and it seems to be an interesting hobby.
I would love to do it but all my time seems to be taken up with sausage and bacon stuff.
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Postby saucisson » Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:54 pm

Gordon wrote: or would I wind up with �400 worth of 'wooden box'


Possibly not even that, bee and beehive theft is ranking up there with lead off Church roofs at the moment... :cry:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8001061.stm
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Postby eddy current » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:19 pm

Have a brouse through this forum, lots of information and help.

http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/

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Postby Gordon » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:57 am

Thanks, there seems to be some great stuff there
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Postby porker » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:44 pm

Unless you really want to have a so called modern hive ? I would start here ...

http://www.biobees.com/forum/index.php? ... 0e3169632f


Cheers

:)
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Postby beardedwonder5 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:47 pm

Follow porker's advice - and it will 1) cost you a lot less than £400, and 2) give you an entry to the craft. It would be hard to move from five conventional hives to the recommended top-bar hives - but relatively simple to move from five top bar hives, made from pallet wood, to conventonal brood boxes. (Brood box = what you might call a beehive.)

It sounds bossy, but read thoroughly the site he mentions.
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Postby Snags » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:48 pm

In Australia(Melbourne)
Had a swarm fly into my compost bin
Went and built a hive and bought the smoker and mask.
It was great fun.
I had herbs constantly flowering so the honey in the lid would taste of thyme or oregano depending on the season.
In suburban conditions in Australia you have honey going all year and never have to give them sugar,Queens needs to be changed yearly though due to never resting.
My friend has just got into it up here in Queensland.
He is expanding constantly sell it off his farm and it makes real good money.

Bees are dieing all over the world form a mite,Austraslia is the only place it hasnt got to yet,it is in New Zealand and New Guinea so its not too far away.
But expect honey prices to skyrocket if they dont find a solution.
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Postby culinairezaken » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:19 am

Hi folks,

i have an additional question: how much time does it take and in which time of year mostly?

They are searching for volonteers for the beehives at my fiancees work.
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Postby beardedwonder5 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:38 am

Assume a hive in a permanent position with bees and a healthy queen in it. Approx. 1 hour per week late March to early Oct. I'm not building in travel time.

A professional beekeeper would spend much less time - but wouldn't be deflected by the wonderment factor.
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Postby Gordon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:52 pm

The real time goes into reading and looking all over the web for stuff.

I managed to get a hive and a colony late last year and have been guided through the process ( although I suspect just the begining of the process ) by an old hand at beekeeeping.
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