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Old 06-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #1
CentexRancher
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Default Does anyone here have bees? Just bought my first Nuc

After quite a bit of research, I purchased my first nuc the other day. So far i'm having a blast learning about bees and beekeeping. If anyone needs some bees in the Houston area, the guy I bought mine from was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would be happy to send his info over. If anyone here has bees and is willing to throw in some info, I'm all ears!

Steve the bee guy giving me a quick lesson on bees.

Nuc box ready to take to the field.

Set up the temporary nuc box. Gonna be putting them in their real box Monday.

Work partner.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:19 PM   #2
Kevin
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My first thought was “where is your gear!?!”

I don’t work my bees a lot so when I inspect they get frisky.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:26 PM   #3
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Spend some time on YouTube. There are some good guys on there. I like the Fat Beeman.
There is no end to what there is to learn.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:37 PM   #4
AggieDoc08
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YouTube is your friend. I'm working on my second season of having an apiary and it's been a lot of fun. The wife and kids also enjoy learning about them. Everyone I have ever met in the bee world has been more than happy to help and provide info and knowledge. I'm no expert, but if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM.

One thing my buddy and I have gotten into is swarm trapping to build our apiaries. Last year we caught over 30 swarms. We haven't been as aggressive with it this year, but we are still up to around 10 or so. Nothing like getting free bees!
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:49 PM   #5
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I also have gone the swarm trapping route, I've spent money on nucs previously and it's very depressing to buy them only make a mistake and have them die or just decide they don't like your box and vacate for parts unknown. Free bees are much easier to learn with!
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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I have 9 hives on my 10 acre property in Kaufman Co. I found a beekeeper a couple of months ago and just did it for the ag exemption. I will say...bees are pretty cool and beekeeping is a fascinating hobby. If nothing else itís neat to watch nature work.

My beekeeper was out a couple of weeks ago and I was able to get the first sample of the landís product.

It didnít suck!



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Old 06-15-2019, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
My first thought was ďwhere is your gear!?!Ē

I donít work my bees a lot so when I inspect they get frisky.
They are fairly calm. Obviously there is a chance to get stung, but they arent that bad. Id rather take a couple stings than work in a hot suit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
Spend some time on YouTube. There are some good guys on there. I like the Fat Beeman.
There is no end to what there is to learn.
Steve was a student of Don's and he uses his bees genetics. I wanted to give his bees a try so I bought one of his nuc's. We will see how they do, really hoping I can establish a few hives with these bees.
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:42 PM   #8
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I believe you can get ag exemption for having honey bees on your property
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:46 PM   #9
RascalArms
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I believe you can get ag exemption for having honey bees on your property
Post #6
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:17 PM   #10
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I also have gone the swarm trapping route, I've spent money on nucs previously and it's very depressing to buy them only make a mistake and have them die or just decide they don't like your box and vacate for parts unknown. Free bees are much easier to learn with!
I have one I am going to try and catch this upcoming week if you have any tips. Been watching alot of youtube videos on how to catch them. Hopefully I can pull it off.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:36 PM   #11
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I have 2 hives in my back yard in Houston. Agreed, they are fascinating little creatures. There is a ton of info on YouTube and if you ask 10 beekeepers a question, youíll get 10 different answers. Some people just do things differently. I havenít had any honey from my hives yet, but I canít wait until I do. No such thing as a dumb question, we all started at the same place.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:48 AM   #12
tex4k
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I have one I am going to try and catch this upcoming week if you have any tips. Been watching alot of youtube videos on how to catch them. Hopefully I can pull it off.
For swarm catching just take that empty nuc box, buy some "swarm commander", spray 1 or 2 squirts onto an empty frame you put in it, then put out in an area you know or at least has a good likelihood of having bees, then wait for a swarm to move in. One very important part always, always, always without fail wear your bee suit when dealing with feral bees, we do live and operate in the "Africanized bee zone" you never know when your going to come across a very aggressive bunch of bees.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:35 AM   #13
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^^^ lemongrass oil also works well, too
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RascalArms View Post
I have 9 hives on my 10 acre property in Kaufman Co. I found a beekeeper a couple of months ago and just did it for the ag exemption. I will say...bees are pretty cool and beekeeping is a fascinating hobby. If nothing else itís neat to watch nature work.

My beekeeper was out a couple of weeks ago and I was able to get the first sample of the landís product.

It didnít suck!
Thats awesome. Im not a huge honey fanatic, but cant wait until my hives are producing.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:50 AM   #15
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I currently have 25 hives, all feral bees. They are too aggressive to work without protection but they make good honey and loads of it.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:05 AM   #16
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Just rescued these Saturday


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Old 06-17-2019, 11:00 AM   #17
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Steve seems like a nice knowledgeable guy. I follow him on Facebook and see his posts on the many bee pages i'm on. As mentioned, Don the fat beeman, is great on youtube. I like Barnyard Bees and Mr. Ed from Louisiana for their wealth of knowledge as well. I'm a second year bee guy. Currently 11 hives with plans to grow.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
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My first thought was “where is your gear!?!”

I don’t work my bees a lot so when I inspect they get frisky.
Yep. I always go into my hives dressed for war. I've been popped too many times in the face to chance it...bees have good days and bad days just like people and you DEFINITELY don't want to see one of their bad days without at least a veil on.

I have 4 hives in San Antonio and couple out in the hill country. Been keeping bees for about 5 years now
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:23 PM   #19
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I have six hives in Montgomery county. I would say there is about a 3 year learning curve. as soon as you think you have a handle on things, you start loosing bees or hives.
wear gear. once your stung, that tells the other bees where to sting you. they release pheromones. a bee keeping neighbor took 20 stings the face and head by taking gear off too soon. if you have a hot hive, something is wrong in the hive....usually no queen. you never learn it all.....
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:31 PM   #20
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Awesome thread! We love honey in our household and appreciate yalls hard work!
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:49 PM   #21
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Thinking about getting a hive going in my backyard in the city. Is this something that is possible? How long before you get honey? How much would 1 hive produce? Figured I might as well start my initial research here .

Thanks
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:02 PM   #22
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Thinking about getting a hive going in my backyard in the city. Is this something that is possible? How long before you get honey? How much would 1 hive produce? Figured I might as well start my initial research here .

Thanks
You will have to check your cities ordinances. Lota of cities allow bees but not all.

Honey the second year.

I've pulled 6 gallons off of one hive so far this year and probably that much more when the flow is over. This is a question with no set answers. Too many variables. Two of my hives have produced nothing other than maintain themselves so far. That will change as soon as the miles of cotton around them starts to bloom.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:10 PM   #23
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Thinking about getting a hive going in my backyard in the city. Is this something that is possible? How long before you get honey? How much would 1 hive produce? Figured I might as well start my initial research here .

Thanks
I've had hives in my back yard for the last 3 years in San Antonio. I kept hives at my property for 2 years and with 75% loss rates I wanted to start raising colonies closer to home and relocating them out there.

Now I have more hives in my back yard than I do out at my property...mainly b/c long distance beekeeping is difficult at best. I've got 4 hives, and my dogs stay in my back yard nearly full time...they don't bother the bees and the bees don't bother them.

My back yard backs up to a green belt and the back section of my fence is chain link...I oriented the hives so they fly out toward the green belt and away from the house. It is very possible to back-yard beekeep, but you need to be very aware of hive orientation, neighbors and their children/animals, etc. I limit my inspections to days when neighbors are either not home or are inside. You need to keep a close eye on hives for swarming behavior b/c the last thing you want is for your hives to take up residence in one of your neighbors' house.

City bees tend to do really well given the increased amount of forage and it would be very common to expect a colony to produce a surplus of honey after a year of growing to full size. Depending on the strength of the honey flow and how prolific of producers your bees are I've gotten upwards of 80-100lbs off of a single hive in a year.

As far as research get the book Beekeeping for Dummies...its actually very well written and takes you through the process from soup-to-nuts. Also hook up with a local beekeeping group and attend any training classes they might have...nothing educates better than hands on experience.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:13 PM   #24
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I do not raise bees, but I have two hives of bees living in separate (large) live oak trees at opposite ends of my house. They have both been there several years.
While they don't pose much of a threat, about once a year 4 or 5 of them decide they don't like me mowing the yard and they pop me a few times.
I'd be more than happy to let any of you come trap them (or whatever) to take and raise elsewhere. The trees cannot be damaged, however.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:25 PM   #25
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I carefully read the by-laws of my subdivision before I brought my hives back there. It did state that you couldn't have more than 2 dogs per house, and there are a few neighbors that are well over that number. It never said anything about NOT having bees, so I pulled the trigger.

I listen to podcasts, Youtube (Mr. Ed is very calm, cool, and collected, as well as UoG Honey Bee Research Centre in Canada) and read all the books I can find on it. Ask to join local beekeeping groups on Facebook or shadow someone if you can to learn.

I've been stung twice on my face when not wearing my suit, and it hurts like a son of a gun. Half my face swole up, and made for an interesting morning trying to put in my contacts.

I would't buy any bees personally; I did one of my first rescues a few weeks ago, and got free, feral, well behaved bees.

No such thing as a dumb question, they certainly are fascinating little insects.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:31 PM   #26
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To the OP FYI, set up an empty hive box with a little attractant near your bees, don't know why but swarms seem to e attracted to established bees, I've caught 2 swarms so far this year just doing this, #2 moved in just a few days ago.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:01 PM   #27
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To the OP FYI, set up an empty hive box with a little attractant near your bees, don't know why but swarms seem to e attracted to established bees, I've caught 2 swarms so far this year just doing this, #2 moved in just a few days ago.
Say I take this temporary nuc box (place lemongrass oil inside) that I bought my bees in and put it a few feet away from my new boxes with my new hive. Would this draw bees out of the hive im trying to establish?
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:09 PM   #28
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Say I take this temporary nuc box (place lemongrass oil inside) that I bought my bees in and put it a few feet away from my new boxes with my new hive. Would this draw bees out of the hive im trying to establish?
Shouldn't! I have 5 boxes per 8' stand with one empty, baited box, new bees just appear like magic in the empty boxes, and the other boxes don't lose bees either!
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:22 PM   #29
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Say I take this temporary nuc box (place lemongrass oil inside) that I bought my bees in and put it a few feet away from my new boxes with my new hive. Would this draw bees out of the hive im trying to establish?
I know a few guys that keep bees, so yes there is a possibility of the local bees going to that box. According to the guys I talked to.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:05 PM   #30
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I just bought 5 hives a couple months or so ago. Using them to get ag exemption. Pretty interesting so far. I bought established hives and have already had to add an additional box. Hoping to get a little honey this yr, but plan on leaving most of it for the bees over winter for food.

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Old 06-17-2019, 08:30 PM   #31
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For you guys with more than 1 hive, what do you do with all the honey? Someone mentioned 80-100 pounds out of one hive... and having 8-10 hives That's a lot of honey!

If you sell it how much do you get and how do you find a buyer?
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:36 PM   #32
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I believe you can get ag exemption for having honey bees on your property
5 out of 7 years use though, its not immediate.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:05 AM   #33
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Quote:
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I believe you can get ag exemption for having honey bees on your property
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdwinklr View Post
5 out of 7 years use though, its not immediate.
Itís only immediate if you can show proof of history of agricultural use on the land for 5 out of the preceding 7 years.

This is what I did. There are guidelines and the land we purchased had been under previous hay production agricultural exemption for several years so we were approved for the beekeeping ag exemption immediately....within weeks after applying.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:37 AM   #34
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For you guys with more than 1 hive, what do you do with all the honey? Someone mentioned 80-100 pounds out of one hive... and having 8-10 hives That's a lot of honey!

If you sell it how much do you get and how do you find a buyer?
I sell to family and friends...and believe me when people find out you're a beekeeper and have honey for sale you'll get all sorts of new friends. I haven't had to market...just word of mouth keeps me with more customers than I have supply for. I charge $10/lb but I sell mine in glass mason jars (a little more expensive but nicer packaging).

Name:  20190611_100609-02.jpg
Views: 555
Size:  42.4 KB

Also, for those who are thinking about selling their honey, look up the labeling requirements. There is specific verbiage that must be on the label if you're going to sell: http://counties.agrilife.org/jasper/...y-in-texas.pdf

Specifically:
Quote:
Include on the label the name of the product, a net weight statement, the beekeeper’s name and address, and the statement: Bottled or packaged in a facility not inspected by the Texas Department of State Health Services
You can see that statement printed on the very bottom of my labels. This applies to anyone who produces less than 2500lbs/year (applies to most hobbyist beeks) with hives located in Texas.

Last edited by JonBoy; 06-21-2019 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:14 PM   #35
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I assume most everyone who is making honey is using a queen excluder, am I right? Im not in it to make money from honey, however, I would like to produce a bit for family and friends.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:42 PM   #36
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Can one of you guys who know a little about bees start a Everything Bee thread?

I plan to get started next spring. I'd start now but no one near me is selling bees this late.
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:45 PM   #37
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Quote:
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I sell to family and friends...and believe me when people find out you're a beekeeper and have honey for sale you'll get all sorts of new friends. I haven't had to market...just word of mouth keeps me with more customers than I have supply for. I charge $10/lb but I sell mine in glass mason jars (a little more expensive but nicer packaging).

Attachment 961257

Also, for those who are thinking about selling their honey, look up the labeling requirements. There is specific verbiage that must be on the label if you're going to sell: http://counties.agrilife.org/jasper/...y-in-texas.pdf

Specifically:


You can see that statement printed on the very bottom of my labels. This applies to anyone who produces less than 2500lbs/year (applies to most hobbyist beeks) with hives located in Texas.
That's good info
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:09 PM   #38
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Our place north of Abilene is covered with them. Had to foam the eaves to keep them out. Still all over the place. Probably be a good place t set some up.

Gary
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:46 PM   #39
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Can one of you guys who know a little about bees start a Everything Bee thread?

I plan to get started next spring. I'd start now but no one near me is selling bees this late.
I couldn't tell you much only have a couple of hives (actually 4) and working on my 3rd year. YouTube is your friend, Barnyard bees, Don the fat beeman, are solid go to' sand there is a metric ****ton of other folks puttin' stuff on there.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:33 AM   #40
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For those who have had bees for even a short time, what would you do different? Pitfalls?

What kind of frame hive is good to start with? I don't want to buy one only to find out I need to upgrade or something.

I'm just looking for the very basics to get started. Stuff that may be obvious to you guys but I'm probably totally ignorant about.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:25 AM   #41
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Another question. Maybe it was addressed earlier in the thread and I missed it, but is there an issue with the hogs messing with the hives? What about cows? Coons? Any critters that are an issue to watch out for?
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:31 AM   #42
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My first thought was ďwhere is your gear!?!Ē

I donít work my bees a lot so when I inspect they get frisky.
Dad had a friend that took off his shirt to help us rob the bees. I am in full gear and freaking out watching him work.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:59 PM   #43
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Another question. Maybe it was addressed earlier in the thread and I missed it, but is there an issue with the hogs messing with the hives? What about cows? Coons? Any critters that are an issue to watch out for?
I was worried about hogs messing with hives when I installed my first hives out on my property in the hill country. After asking some seasoned beeks they told me that hogs steer clear of bees...their noses are too sensitive and they don't want to risk the stings. Cant say the same for horses or cows though. Skunks on the other hand will stage up on a hive at night and pick off bees. We've seen an uptick in the number of skunks that visit our yard trying to get to our hives

Last edited by JonBoy; 06-24-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:07 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
For those who have had bees for even a short time, what would you do different? Pitfalls?

What kind of frame hive is good to start with? I don't want to buy one only to find out I need to upgrade or something.

I'm just looking for the very basics to get started. Stuff that may be obvious to you guys but I'm probably totally ignorant about.
Lots of options

The cookie cutter standard Langstroth setup is 10-frame boxes (wide enough to accommodate 10 frames) where the hive is 2-deeps for the brood chamber and medium honey supers on top of that.

Langstroth equipment is like Legos...it's whatever you want to make of it. 10-frame equipment is more common than 8-frame equipment. You can run all deeps (less boxes and more time between swapping/stacking supers) or all mediums (less weight and easier on your back) or a mix and match of both.

You can also get other types of hives like a Top Bar (my personal favorite). They are more natural to how bees live in nature and inspections are MUCH easier for guys like me with bad backs. Downside is you can't really harvest honey out of them without also destroying the wax comb...and it takes 10lbs of honey to make 1 lb of wax so if you're looking to maximize your honey yield you may want to stick with Langstroths.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:08 PM   #45
WyoBull
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I can't help you any but to say I have an aunt and uncle that have been major league bee farmers for 50 years and 4 of their boys took over the business. Years ago my uncle told me when he moved some of his bees out to the central valley of California to pollinate it took 18 semi loads to get them there. There is a real science to having bees.
Every time they come through I ask them to bring me a flat of quart jars of honey. There is nothing like the real deal when it comes to eating honey. Good luck to you!
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:05 PM   #46
Gummi Bear
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Twerpy got a scholarship with the local beekeeping club (Metro Beekeepers) and weíve been going to classes and keeping bees as a family.

Itís been lots of fun, and a big learning experience. All of us are really enjoying it.

Just one hive right now, planning to catch swarms in ths spring for expansion.

Iíll probably buy a hive or two from a club member at some point as well.



I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...

Henry David Thoreau
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:37 PM   #47
RiverRat1
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Would this be good to start with? Or is there something better?

https://www.amazon.com/Honey-Keeper-...H5WHY129AB0YQF
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:07 PM   #48
RiverRat1
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Do you guys use honey bee lure to catch bees? Does it work?
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:21 PM   #49
CentexRancher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
Would this be good to start with? Or is there something better?

https://www.amazon.com/Honey-Keeper-...H5WHY129AB0YQF

I ordered mine from Mann Lake. Already painted and ready to go, just had to set it in the field and install my nuc.

https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all...-kits/10-frame
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:01 PM   #50
tex4k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
Do you guys use honey bee lure to catch bees? Does it work?
I use swarm commander, it absolutely works just don't overdo it. Refresh every 2-3 weeks. Lot of folks use lemongrass oil, I've never have so I can't say one way or the other.
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