I am so excited!
My next addition to the farm is coming in just a few weeks... BEES!!!
As a little girl I used to be my Grandpa's hive helper, those are some of my best memories. The sound, the smell, the patience, and there is nothin better than warm honey from the comb!
I'm getting a prized local strain from some really good friends. They're part of the oldest recorded strain kept in AR. Exceptionally healthy, hardy, and prolific. Only getting one hive to start with, which is all I could handle at this time. I have the basic knowledge, but so much to learn! I'm looking to take a course soon, the dates just haven't worked out for me. (I have a feeling I'm going to become the crazy old bee/chicken lady! :lol:)
I have the perfect location picked out for them... I think. First off, I live smack dab in the middle of over 1.25 million acres of National Forest, so no worries about pesticides. The location is in full sun with a dab of nice afternoon shade only in the summer. They will be facing south with a lovely long landing strip covered in short wildflowers. I have a pond about 30 yards away with nice rocks and mud for them to safely drink out of (will get a "bee bath" started next to them soon, especially for summer). This is all adjacent to scores of black locust trees! How could I go wrong, right? :lol:
My only concern about it is the winter wind... Our mtn is north facing and it can get BITTERLY cold up here. Often times we are the only ones that get snow in the area! Sooo, maybe a windbreak for the winter months. I can put up plywood directly behind the hives on the fence. I'll also have plenty of food ordered for them just in case they have a rough first year...
My chickens shouldn't be a problem, I've researched that... Heard that they are good for snacking on wax moths (pray I'm immune to them). How do they go about that?
Any of you keep? Any invaluable resources?
Any tips that have benefited your bees/keeping greatly?
I eventually would LOVE to have a hive. I love honey, but don't have the time or knowelege for such a thing at this time:) That is in like the 5 year plan though. Today we are just a little closer to being more self sufficient as we are going to pick up our milk cow today ( I am pretty excited!).
When I first brought up the honey Idea, I think my husband thought I was nuts, but now I think he see it as a good potential to save some money as I go through honey like CRAZY, plus we can sell the access-I have read 1 hive can do that for us ( he did buy me a bee keeping book with out me asking for it, so I will assume that is supporting the Idea LOL).
My grandparents were caretakers on a ranch in Washoe valley, Nv. through out the 80's an early 90'sand I fondly remember a couple hives somewhat near the house (bears) and honey bags hanging in the closet dripping in a bucket.. oh memories:)
get this book, its actually pretty good but easy to read.
Beekeeping For Dummies by Howland Blackiston | Barnes & Noble
A milk cow? Wow!
You are the woman!
What book did he get you? Did you like it? I've been printing off info from websites and have a few old time homesteading books that covers the basics. I just don't want to mess this up!
I'm excited to learn how to make bee products like candles, lotions, and regardless if its a myth or not I truly believe in honeys healing powers! Yeah, I'm a natural quack like that!
Hope you get to get yours soon!
I know the feeling about "plans"! We are on year 3 here at the "new farm" and have so much to do! I feel like we've only scratched the surface.
Stage 1 was reclaim the house, yard, barns, coops, and start our gardens... Well, we are still missing kitchen cabinet doors, some trim and paint but the house is live able! It was a train wreck, had to gut the entire thing!
Now on to stage 2. BEES! Greenhouse, pastures (rotations and new fencing this summer, fertilizer, and reseeding), additional well, mini cows, and feed plots/ginseng gardens and reclaiming 60 acres of woods... We shall see! LOL!!!
Good luck! Let me know about yours!
Thanks Joe! I'll check it out!
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Honey Bee Hobbyist by Norman Gary. It seems pretty informative, but I haven't read much else yet so I have nothing to compare to.
Haha yep, I know how all that farm stuff goes.. we had to do a BUNCH of stuff to our house as well. we have a kinda (14 y/o) new barn so all that has been needed has been lots of cleaning and converting the kennel room (front half of barn stables, back side kennels.) into our chicken area. Got a shelter built for the horses off the north side of our arena. We also are trying to fence as much of the property as we can before my husband deploys next month to make it easier for me to get the horses grazing out ( moving the fencer around is a pain in the A$$).
Yesterday was a looong day as we had quite a drive to pick up miss cow...and then we called on a holstien calf so we could milk share...yeah that turned into us buying 4 bottle calves. I was pleasantly surprised how well she did for her first time being hand milked. she is used to the dairy enviroment, and usually I guess it takes them a bit to adjust over to hand milking. She did step in my bucket and she tried to kick me a couple times so there are some kinks but other than that she stood really well (just had her tied to the fence.) and I think she will be a nice addition. And in the 12 or so horse she has been with us, she has started to take to "her" calf.. the other three we are working on getting them broke to buckets.
I may have bitten off more than I should have with the 3 extra calves considering I have a sorta new born myself and my husband is leaving for 6 months, But I am flipping determined to make it work! Plus I will be able to work the calves with pepper when they are a bit older..poor girl hasnt worked a cow since I moved to kansas:/
Gah, why is it that every time I attempt to spell HOURS,if I am not paying attention, it gets turned into horse? Haha.
Hi Flygap ... have you got your bees yet? I'd love to hear how you do. Hubby desperately wants bees, knows nothing about them, but wants them. I think perhaps I'll get the two books that are listed on this thread for him ;-)
But I'd love to hear how you do. We'll probably be getting them next year ... priority for this year (after all the horse stuff) is chickens.
Chickens are great, but watch out for chicken math. There's a great forum called backyard chickens you might want to check out. And they have a thread on bee-keeping also. If I remember right.
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Can I buy honey from you? :D
Living in the middle of the city unfortunately the only place we can get good 'fresh' honey is those really expensive 'all natural' or organic stores.
I'd love to have bees someday. I don't want to be stung... Though, I know it takes a lot for honeybees to sting. My grandpa used to have bees, but I think I'd rather watch from afar and buy from beekeepers - even though MAN eating some comb straight from the hive looks absolutely fantastic.
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