Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Beekeeping picumentary, installing bees in your new hives...

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Zombie Axe:

It is one of the easiest sweetners to store, tastes great and has antibacterial properties.

Bees make honey, pollinate your garden to provide a larger bounty, and give us wax and other beneficial compounds that are great for those into the S&P mindset...

A few years back, our local county extension agent offered a "BEE SCHOOL". The idea was to get young people interested in becoming beekeepers. My wife and I jumped at the oppourtunity and as a fluke, applied to get free bees, and bee hives via a NC State Univeresity Grant. We got lucky and received 2 complete hives of bees. We had to purchase a smoker, bee suit and hive tools, but those were cheap.

The first year we got about 40lbs of honey, last year we got 80lbs and this year 40lbs. We keep it all for our stores and are looking @ getting another hive this spring. One of the hidden benefits is that vine producing crops such as cucumbers, zucchini, squash and tomatos EXPLODE with bountiful produce. Fruit trees produce more fruit, my apple do wonderful and the blueberries are a-plenty!!!

Anyways I though I'd share some of my pictures of beekeeping which I consider a 'homestead skill'.

Enjoy :)

2 3lb packages of Italian Honey Bees, ready to go to their new home...

Getting the queen cage out of the hive and getting ready to dump the bee's into the hive!

What bees look like when they first get into the hive. These are sprayed down with sugar water syrup so they don't fly easily until they clean it off of their bodies... They like sweet things so they are VERY happy right now...

Smoking the bee's helps to confuse them from buzzing around you and 'calms' them.

The bee hive with bee's installed inside and the 'package' left in front to let the others that hung onto the screen find their way into their new home. The hive was purchased but I made the crude but very strong tables for them to be elevated.

My first two hives... Soon they will go out and forage, find nectar, pollen, and water sources. These insects are awesome!!!

BTW my honey is ORGANIC and I use no manufactured pesticides. Only use natural techniques to keep my bee's healthy :) Unlike that Chineese crap that is full of pesticides...

If you can't do beekeeping yourself, be sure to buy LOCALLY as it is the best honey out there. My hives get a lot of their nectar from blackberry and blueberry bushes so I think it tastes UNIQUE!

Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for looking :)

John Q Public:
This is a definite +1. Great post.

I would love to do this. However, my subdivision's HOA would frown on me dropping a hive on my 1/4 acre.

I am going to check out a local keep keeping store tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have a basic hive setup in a week or two so I can be ready when swarm season starts.. Thanks for the pics and info Zombie Axe! +1

Zombie Axe:
Glad ya'll enjoyed it :) Thanks!!!

Will be taking some more pics when I work with them again in the spring. Gonna hafta get in them next month and be sure they got enough to get them through till flower time...

John Q IIRC there are beekeepers in NYC!!! I wouldn't wanna but them up to the edge of your property but I am sure you could find a place that would bee (ha ha) low profile...

Some of Brushy Mountain's English Hives (8 frames) are works of art... Not saying to violate your HOA but it wouldn't take up much room and you could make it stealth!

Also consider your local orchards, vinyards, commercial squash/cucumber growers, commercial blackberry fields, etc. They may actually allow you to keep bees on their property for free or even pay you to keep them on their property to ensure higher yields.

I wish I had the time, but a large scale farmer I went to school with is turning some of his fields into blackberry fields. Alot of folks are jumping in one this as there is a big demand for this in our area! Anyways, he offered me (2 hives per acre @ $40 a month rent) for 4 acres @ a total of $320 a month (during the season) if I would put that amount of hives on his property  :o Not a bad deal @ all, but unfortunately the time beekeeping season is, is also the time I work 12+ hour days in the spring/summer months! I have found that I can keep 3 to 4 hives with my current job and beekeeping is ENJOYABLE... with 8 more hives things would get to be a chore! The plus side is that I have a way to make some $ if I ever need to (bee keepers are in demand in my area as in ANY agricutural area) and I could ALSO harvest a lot of honey and sell it as well. So it has alot of options *IF* I were to ever need to go that route  :)

Sister Wolf:
Oh, this is SO COOL!  I've got to see if they offer classes like that near me. +1, man.  Great post.


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