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  • nater3nater3
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    Post count: 2038

    Anyone on here keep bees? Getting started this spring.

    ECFirearmsECFirearms
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    Post count: 1351

    Quote by: nater3

    Anyone on here keep bees? Getting started this spring.

    What is your goal? honey production or pollination?

    I took a hard look at the costs of keeping honey bees for pollination and decided to go with Hive-less solitary bees, like the mason and leafcutter bees. Costs much less, easier to keep, and pollinate 10x more than honey bees. Downside is no honey.

    “Second Amendment – Either you are helping pull the wagon, getting a free ride in the wagon, or trying to take away the wagon. Which one are you?” -- IAShooters

    WhipWhip
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    Post count: 2380

    I have considered doing bees on my little farm. There are other hives on my neighbors property about 1/2 mile away and was a little worried if that made a difference or not. I’m planting 21 acres of alfalfa this spring next to where I’m considering putting a hive but I don’t plan to allow it to bloom. The rest of my place is in pasture or grass hay.

    Whip

    llewellinsetterllewellinsetter
    Blocked
    Post count: 2514

    I have a few friends that raise a fair amount of bees. PM me if you like and I can get you their contact info as they always like to share with new people.

    Sarcasm entails a few things: one of them is intellect, another one is a sense of humor, and a third - not taking things too personally.

    Avatarjnrbronc
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    Post count: 234

    We used to keep bees about 10 years ago. A co-workers parents gave us all their equipment. We had started a small orchard and felt bees to pollinate the fruit trees would be a plus and the honey would be great. We bought three bee packages, soon had a dozen hives after capturing swarms, splitting colonies, etc. One winter we lost all the hives, stored the equipment in a shed. 2 years ago we had a feral colony move into our barn. Last summer we got some hive equipment out and tore into the barn to move them. It seems to have worked. A couple of weeks ago, on a warm day, they were out flying.

    Here’s a pic of the comb when we exposed the hive inside the barn:

    When we first started with bees, you could buy a queen with 2-3 lbs of workers for around $40. Last I checked, it would cost a person around $100. Keeping bees can be a lot of work and extracting honey with the manual drum we were given was a slow, tedious process. I felt it better to buy honey from a local beekeeper to support him, more cost effective than raising our own honey. But here we are with a hive again……

    Avatardeerhunter23
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    Quote by: ECFirearms

    Quote by: nater3

    Anyone on here keep bees? Getting started this spring.

    What is your goal? honey production or pollination?

    I took a hard look at the costs of keeping honey bees for pollination and decided to go with Hive-less solitary bees, like the mason and leafcutter bees. Costs much less, easier to keep, and pollinate 10x more than honey bees. Downside is no honey.

    What consist of pollinator bees? I’d like to keep bees for my apple orchard. I just didn’t want to get buried in a bunch of work trying to do it. I have a quarter acre of wild flowers for the bees also.

    Avatarjnrbronc
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    Post count: 234

    What consist of pollinator bees? I’d like to keep bees for my apple orchard. I just didn’t want to get buried in a bunch of work trying to do it. I have a quarter acre of wild flowers for the bees also.

    When we didn’t keep bees for 10 years, our apple orchard set fruit just fine. There are plenty of pollinators out there and you’d be surprised at the bees visiting even before the feral colony moved in.

    Avatarberettadouble
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    Post count: 530

    I keep bees, it is fun and challenging.

    Avatargellar
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    Post count: 283

    I have two hives. They are a lot of fun. After they are established they are not a lot of work. There are a few things you need to do to get them through the first winter and I would encourage you to seek out a local bee keeping organization or supplier. Bees will travel 2 miles from their hive, although it helps having things close to gather nectar from it is not necessary.

    ECFirearmsECFirearms
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    Post count: 1351

    jnrbronc
    What consist of pollinator bees? I’d like to keep bees for my apple orchard. I just didn’t want to get buried in a bunch of work trying to do it. I have a quarter acre of wild flowers for the bees also.

    Check out this website: https://www.crownbees.com/
    I have been buying solitary bees and supplies from them for 4 years. Once I get enough established I won’t need to buy any more and hope to sell any excess bees soon. Take a look at the starter kits. Bee Maintenance is around an hour in the spring and and hour in the fall. My fruit tree harvests and garden harvests have tripled since I introduced the solitary bees.
    if you want more info send me a PM

    “Second Amendment – Either you are helping pull the wagon, getting a free ride in the wagon, or trying to take away the wagon. Which one are you?” -- IAShooters

    Avatarmskursh
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    Post count: 1173

    Theisens in Davenport is having a thing on Thursday about beekeeping. Wife and kids and i are going to learn. We have only 2 acres but the 200 acres behind us is family and we have access to it and thought about putting bees in the field grass.

    Avatartracyiowa53
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    Post count: 444

    I’m currently taking a Bee Keeping class in Marion county. If you go online to IHPA – Iowa Honey Producers Association you can get more information and a listing of all the bee keeping groups in IA.

    AvatarLuckyLab
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    Post count: 289

    I’m in my 4th year with bees its a great hobby. Start small try and find a club or someone in your area. You tube also helped me a great deal good look

    AvatarHugeRod
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    Post count: 213

    If you get bees, make sure you register with the state. When applicators of pesticides spread, they are required to check for bees, if they are not registered they may spray when bees are out of the hive, and kill them. We ran into this on one of our farms a few years back, I knew the bees were there, so we followed the law anyway, even though the bee owner had not registered his hives.
    Rod

    Avatarwebspec_admin
    Keymaster
    Post count: 18880

    I got started with bee keeping when I was in 5th grade. Had a wild swarm in mom’s flower garden one summer and dad called a local bee keeper to catch them. Turned out he would be my high school shop teacher and drivers Ed instructor a few years latter. He left the bees in a hive and helped me get started. Back in the mid 70’s it wasn’t unusual to pull 200+ pounds of surplus honey from a hive. Biggest problem was watching for foul brood in the spring. Once migratory bee keepers help spread the mites to the Midwest it was all down hill. Increase use of insecticides didn’t help but I felt that was less of a problem than the mites. I had over 30 colonies at one time and sold packaged honey. I sold out a few years ago after loosing over 90% of my colonies one hard winter. Plus the fact my lower back was giving me problems. Lots of heavy lifting if you are maintaining your hives correctly.

    Whip referring to you statement of the bees being 1/2 mile away, that’s short distance for bees to fly. They will commonly fly 3 miles for a good nectar source. Have read studies of out to 5 miles in a drought year.

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