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Thread: Keeping Honey Bees ... Anyone Here Do It?

  1. #1
    14 pointer WoodsmanA's Avatar
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    Keeping Honey Bees ... Anyone Here Do It?

    Iíve decided to add a few bee hives to the homestead this year. Iíve always wanted to do it. Time is already spread thin around here so why not add more to the chores list, right?... This will be my first foray into beekeeping. Been researching off and on for a couple years. Have a friend and mentor whoís going to help me out initially this spring. Thinking about signing up for the ECBA beekeeping school next month in Haddam.

    Anyone here keep bees?
    Licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
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  2. #2
    12 Point
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    Well we tried Got the boxes from a guy that is BIG into it out on Rt. 395 Mass/CT line He sells them on craigslist. We had the dream when we moved into the hilltowns to have a fruit tree orchard, a Maple Sugaring operation, and keep bees. Let's say the only thing going now is the Maple Sugaring operation.

    Busted our butts getting the orchard going with apples, pears, and peaches. Got hit hard during a dry summer and lost more than half of it to fire blight.

    Our bees were working overtime!!! I would sit out with a cold beer and watch them go back and forth between our garden and the hive boxes. It was the coolest thing and our garden was growing out of control. We had zucchini plants that were 4 feet tall with huge flowers and gorgeous squash. Our yellow summer squash were just as good, and we had gorgeous pumpkins.

    I wake up one morning for work and walk out with my coffee and my hive boxes looked like a pile of kindling wood. Our local black bears must have smelled the nectar and busted the boxes to pieces to get to the sweet inside. I was so disappointed that I never got back into the Bee thing.

    If I did it again I would put the bees in an isolated area and surround them with an electric fence in an effort to keep the animals out.

    So now we Maple Sugar and grow a garden.....that's about it LOL

    If you can find that guy on CL that sells the boxes he will give you an unbelievable education on bee keeping. His boxes were around $40 per

    Good luck!!

  3. #3
    Good comment about the bears...Adam you definitely have got bears haha

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    10 Point Mountain man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlloyToy View Post
    I wake up one morning for work and walk out with my coffee and my hive boxes looked like a pile of kindling wood. Our local black bears must have smelled the nectar and busted the boxes to pieces to get to the sweet inside. I was so disappointed that I never got back into the Bee thing.

    If I did it again I would put the bees in an isolated area and surround them with an electric fence in an effort to keep the animals out.
    I would suggest strong fencing around. Such as chain link. The bees would have no issue with that. It wouldn't have to be all that much, probably just a 4'x4' square area. Black bear is probably not going through a good chain link fence.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by WoodsmanA View Post
    Iíve decided to add a few bee hives to the homestead this year. Iíve always wanted to do it. Time is already spread thin around here so why not add more to the chores list, right?... This will be my first foray into beekeeping. Been researching off and on for a couple years. Have a friend and mentor whoís going to help me out initially this spring. Thinking about signing up for the ECBA beekeeping school next month in Haddam.

    Anyone here keep bees?

    Adam, my grandfather had bees for about 10 years. If you would like to talk to him about it shoot me a pm and I can get you guys connected! He had fruit trees and a large garden on his farm! They seemed to work well for him. He even was able to manage to make some honey a few years!

  6. #6
    12 Point
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    I do not keep bees but I can tell ya what to do with all the honey.

    I made some REALLY great honey-orange meade a couple of years back.

    Last edited by alukban; 02-01-2018 at 11:34 AM.

  7. #7
    I've seen a house near us with a bee box up until this past fall. We do have black bears roaming around. Based on some tracks and scat I think we have one of mama's little ones from last year sticking around.

    Would love to put a bee box but it is pretty much 100% a bear will get at it. So.. I'll find other ways to burn the candle at both ends.


  8. #8
    Maybe you just extend your electric chicken fence to include the bee boxes

  9. #9
    14 pointer WoodsmanA's Avatar
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    That stinks Alloy... sounds like you got a lot satisfaction out of it before the bear incident. My bud whoís giving me advice and guidance through this ran 30 hives at one point. Every one of them was destroyed by bears a couple years ago. He was devastated. Thatís pretty much the only consistent theme Iím getting when talking to people - prepare for the bears! Matt, thatís what I was thinking initially - run a wire through conduit from the electric fence around my bird pens. Unfortunately, with the best spot I have for the bees that wonít be possible. I already have everything needed to build up another electric fence. Will just need a couple more copper rods to sink over by the bees. Then my thought is to take the 10 mile solar charger off the birds since thatís only 300 feet of total wire, switch it to the bees since thatís a powerful unit and in time get a less expensive unit for the bird pens. Weíll see. Right now Iím focused on learning as much as I can about the keeping process and Iíve been building a langstroth hive in the garage.

    unknown, sounds great. I love talking to old timers and picking their brains for knowledge. Appreciate it.

    Andrew, how was that mead?!
    Licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
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  10. #10
    12 Point
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    A neighbor had given me a gallon or so of free honey so I brewed up the mead and the whole neighborhood block got some in time for Christmas

    The orange mead recipe is simple and was amazing.

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