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Beekeeping


spunko
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I know @sarahbell does it or had in the past,  but are there any other Dosbodders who've done it in the past?

I'm looking to start soon and have begun acquiring all the equipment. The concern being I don't want to get 200 quid in and realise it's not my scene.

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The Masked Tulip

I would love to do it. Have investigated it. The local bee keeping lot are very friendly and are keen for me to join them.

What my local bee keeping group do is allow you to get involved slowly. You can adopt a hive and look after it as if it is your own rather than going out and getting one yourself. That saves you both money and the worry you have of it not being for you. If you change your mind then you just stop adopting the hive and the local club takes it back over. Perhaps your local bee keepers do similar?

But I decided that I do not want the responsibility now. It is a commitment and I want to go do other things with my life. I know that you do not hold the hands of the bees but there is a commitment that needs to be made.

I spend a lot of time watching bee keeping videos. I was amazed last week by a new hive system in the US that greatly increases the amount of honey that you get.

I dream of keeping bees in a field of lavender and having lavender honey.

 

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You need to find a beekeeper who'll let you have a go.

I've got 6 hives that are going great guns at the moment.

Started in  2012.

7 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I would love to do it. Have investigated it. The local bee keeping lot are very friendly and are keen for me to join them.

What my local bee keeping group do is allow you to get involved slowly. You can adopt a hive and look after it as if it is your own rather than going out and getting one yourself. That saves you both money and the worry you have of it not being for you. If you change your mind then you just stop adopting the hive and the local club takes it back over. Perhaps your local bee keepers do similar?

But I decided that I do not want the responsibility now. It is a commitment and I want to go do other things with my life. I know that you do not hold the hands of the bees but there is a commitment that needs to be made.

I spend a lot of time watching bee keeping videos. I was amazed last week by a new hive system in the US that greatly increases the amount of honey that you get.

 

 

Time every week during the season. If you have holidays then your bees still need looking at every week.

 

What system?

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My OH started last year - bought 3-4 hives and 2 colonies from a shop near Toulouse. (We live in SW France - rural.)

He has no previous experience but he'd always fancied it. (Now retired.) And he's loving it so far.

The 2 original colonies have made it thru their 1st winter here and are now active. OH thinks he has now acquired a 3rd colony (naturally) as there is activity in a 3rd (empty/baited) hive he put out (for that purpose) but it's too early to be sure if they are installing themselves or just visiting.

Has cost a fortune I think - he's keeping a tally but hasn't shared it with me yet! But that's OK - we can afford it and he enjoys it. I don't get the fun - am just onboard with it re the value of bees in nature/eco reasons. (And as I don't have to participate!)

Some work involved in feeding/monitoring them over winter. And the honey extraction is more work.  I feel sorry for them re stealing their honeycomb, so if it was up to me I wouldn't bother with that!

You need a bee suit and some centrifuges if you want honey.

Everyone loves our honey - and of course we give it away. (Only one season and we still have loads left so we will be over-flowing this autumn.) 

I haven't even tasted it yet, as I tend to avoid sugar in all its forms and have not thought of a way to consume it so far. (Tho I don't dislike honey. And I imagine it's a bit better for us than refined sugar - in small amounts?)

OH puts his in his plain 'active' yog. Daughter makes deliicous marinades she says. Others say they give it to their kids in porridge or whatever.

Anything else you want to know/I can tell you?

OH has been stung a few times (in spite of his suit) while fiddling around hives, eg had a swollen up face not long ago. Not very attractive but no medical probs. Daughter visiting this weekend got stung on her arm for no reason - just unlucky. (She wasn't even near the hives.)

They are v small bees (buckfast?) and we have bumble bees around here plus wasps and sometimes hornets. 

OH is always worried re hornets as there are 2 types around our area - European (OK) and Asian (vicious).  The Asian ones kill the native hornets - so native hornets now officially protected i think. (Not allowed to kill them or remove their nests. But I reckon most ppl won't care/check which sort and just kill them anyway?)

Asian hornets are a pest so can be destroyed with glee. The also kill bee colonies and can potentially kill a person. So pretty nasty. 

Haven't come across any round our house so far this year. (Phew.) Had some European ones in an old tree in our 1st year but they seem to have moved on.  They were inside the house a few times but dopey and didn't try to sting us.

eta

He did a 1-day voluntary course here before taking receipt of his bees and had to register with the French agricultural authority as a hobbyist bee-keeper. (Not allowed to sell the honey with that permit.) They gave him an official number etc!  (So quite regulated here!)   

 

 

 

Edited by whocares
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2 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

One reason for starting with one bee, and building up, is that it gives you more time to think of names for them.

Don't make the mistake of calling the first one "buzzy" though because everyone does that and you don't want to stereotype your bees. 

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The Masked Tulip
31 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

 

What system?

 

It is called flow hive - lots of videos on YouTube about it by both the inventors and from other bee keepers.

Here is a video by one chap who started using it.

 

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One percent
1 minute ago, Happy Renting said:

I don't have a garden for a hive. I live in a flat.

Can anyone recommend some suitable indoor bees.?

Just get the tattoo. Show you virtue signal  care 

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Happy Renting

Are the stripes on bees all the same, or does each bee have it's own stripes?

I was thinking of rigging up some sort of barcode reader at the hive entrance, so I could check the bees are all safely home without a roll-call.

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38 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

Are the stripes on bees all the same, or does each bee have it's own stripes?

I was thinking of rigging up some sort of barcode reader at the hive entrance, so I could check the bees are all safely home without a roll-call.

 

Bit Apist that.

 

3 hours ago, whocares said:

My OH started last year - bought 3-4 hives and 2 colonies from a shop near Toulouse. (We live in SW France - rural.)

He has no previous experience but he'd always fancied it. (Now retired.) And he's loving it so far.

The 2 original colonies have made it thru their 1st winter here and are now active. OH thinks he has now acquired a 3rd colony (naturally) as there is activity in a 3rd (empty/baited) hive he put out (for that purpose) but it's too early to be sure if they are installing themselves or just visiting.

Has cost a fortune I think - he's keeping a tally but hasn't shared it with me yet! But that's OK - we can afford it and he enjoys it. I don't get the fun - am just onboard with it re the value of bees in nature/eco reasons. (And as I don't have to participate!)

Some work involved in feeding/monitoring them over winter. And the honey extraction is more work.  I feel sorry for them re stealing their honeycomb, so if it was up to me I wouldn't bother with that!

You need a bee suit and some centrifuges if you want honey.

Everyone loves our honey - and of course we give it away. (Only one season and we still have loads left so we will be over-flowing this autumn.) 

I haven't even tasted it yet, as I tend to avoid sugar in all its forms and have not thought of a way to consume it so far. (Tho I don't dislike honey. And I imagine it's a bit better for us than refined sugar - in small amounts?)

OH puts his in his plain 'active' yog. Daughter makes deliicous marinades she says. Others say they give it to their kids in porridge or whatever.

Anything else you want to know/I can tell you?

OH has been stung a few times (in spite of his suit) while fiddling around hives, eg had a swollen up face not long ago. Not very attractive but no medical probs. Daughter visiting this weekend got stung on her arm for no reason - just unlucky. (She wasn't even near the hives.)

They are v small bees (buckfast?) and we have bumble bees around here plus wasps and sometimes hornets. 

OH is always worried re hornets as there are 2 types around our area - European (OK) and Asian (vicious).  The Asian ones kill the native hornets - so native hornets now officially protected i think. (Not allowed to kill them or remove their nests. But I reckon most ppl won't care/check which sort and just kill them anyway?)

Asian hornets are a pest so can be destroyed with glee. The also kill bee colonies and can potentially kill a person. So pretty nasty. 

Haven't come across any round our house so far this year. (Phew.) Had some European ones in an old tree in our 1st year but they seem to have moved on.  They were inside the house a few times but dopey and didn't try to sting us.

eta

He did a 1-day voluntary course here before taking receipt of his bees and had to register with the French agricultural authority as a hobbyist bee-keeper. (Not allowed to sell the honey with that permit.) They gave him an official number etc!  (So quite regulated here!)   

 

 

 

 

Have you considered using it to try making some Mead?.

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58 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

I don't have a garden for a hive. I live in a flat.

Can anyone recommend some suitable indoor bees.?

Wasps are free

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The Masked Tulip

Part of being a bee-keeper is to tell all your friends that you have more honey this year than you know what to do with. Then you do not offer any free honey to anyone you know.

 

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ashestoashes
1 hour ago, Happy Renting said:

I don't have a garden for a hive. I live in a flat.

Can anyone recommend some suitable indoor bees.?

get the burd first, then I'll tell you about the bees

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The Masked Tulip
16 minutes ago, stokiescum said:

Wasps are free

 

Had a moment this morning. Pulled on a fleece. A few moments later I heard a bizarre sound around the rear of my left year as if someone was tuning a radio through channels rapidly. A very artificial whine. 

I looked over my shoulder wondering WTF it was and momentarily wondered if I was having some medical episode. It stopped. I walked into another room and then felt a gust of air near the left side of my head. As I did so an angry wasp landed on the window inches in front of me.

 

 

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Just now, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Had a moment this morning. Pulled on a fleece. A few moments later I heard a bizarre sound around the rear of my left year as if someone was tuning a radio through channels rapidly. A very artificial whine. 

I looked over my shoulder wondering WTF it was and momentarily wondered if I was having some medical episode. It stopped. I walked into another room and then felt a gust of air near the left side of my head. As I did so an angry wasp landed on the window inches in front of me.

 

 

Yes it will be free wasps for all season soon

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3 hours ago, Happy Renting said:

One reason for starting with one bee, and building up, is that it gives you more time to think of names for them.

Bee. A bee. Bee A. Bee B. Etc, etc...

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27 minutes ago, stokiescum said:

You can make mead but no idea how

Honey, water and yeast. Time. 
I chopped an orange into one lot and it was nicer than the stuff without. 

 

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1 hour ago, Kilham said:

 

Bit Apist that.

 

 

Have you considered using it to try making some Mead?.

No - we have loads of (cheap) wine next to the many pots of honey!

Tried drinking mead once - at a medieval banquet in the late 70s. A bit sickly sweet as I recall?  Doubt many guests we have here would like it and I am trying to drink less myself. (While OH isn't much of a drinker.)  Plus homemade booze tends to be bad for the health as one feels the need to drink all of it if you make too much? 

While living in Malaysia, our 'helper' (live in cleaner) offered to make us some authentic "rice wine" which they all do in the longhouses. Think they use it to get drunk at gawai. (Their rice harvest celebration - biggest party of the year prior to becoming Christians.) They have moved onto the hard liquor as well since not being cut off from the modern world anymore!

We were curious, so we agreed and gave her enough money for the rice and sugar. (Not sure what else was needed.) She cooked it up in her quarters and then presented us with a huge number of large (2l?) cola bottles, with fizzy white liquid inside. (Like very potent ginger beer?) Rough and strong! Couldn't drink it all ourselves and friends were more into nice beer/posh wine. So we had to give it away as it looked in danger of exploding in our pantry.

Our 'helper' didn't drink at all, so she was not interest in it for herself.  (So no idea why she thought we needed so much!)

She was a quiet Christian convert (most longhouses were converted to Christianity by protestant missionaries) and was extremely wary of alcohol in general - had a fear of ppl getting drunk, probably having grown up seeing some bad behaviour as as result of booze? (Maybe was even a victim of someone drunk - who knows.)

I visited her longhouse once for a wedding - as she wanted a lift so I was guilt-tripped into going/taking her there. (Had to take the kids too as it was the school hols.) It was scary!  Hard drink was being taken before we arrived at noon. The men were getting amorous and in danger of falling over/off the platform. (Village longhouse is on stilts/high up off the ground. Toilets are below. Up/down is via a sort of pole ladder which was not my cup of tea!)

Eventually a rifle with ammo was brought out and used to shoot into the air - that was the last straw for me.  So I left as soon as I politely could. But still had to fend off the gift of a baby macaque monkey (in a cage) on the way out, saying "goodbye" and "thank you" etc. 

Just about managed to not take it, despite my 3 small kids begging me to ... as it was being offered to them rather than to me ... and my helper not 'helping' me by saying "Don't worry, I can look after it  - and we can tie it to a post outside".  (Was wondering if I shd take it and release it but it was a baby so hmm.) 

I had already refused to let our helper bring a pet village dog to live at our house (un-fenced garden) as they tend to roam about and do/bite as they please.  A baby monkey on a chain would have been many times worse. (And also very cruel?)   

 

Edited by whocares
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22 minutes ago, whocares said:

No - we have loads of (cheap) wine next to the many pots of honey!

Tried drinking mead once - at a medieval banquet in the late 70s. A bit sickly sweet as I recall?  Doubt many guests we have here would like it and I am trying to drink less myself. (While OH isn't much of a drinker.)  Plus homemade booze tends to be bad for the health as one feels the need to drink all of it if you make too much? 

While living in Malaysia, our 'helper' (live in cleaner) offered to make us some authentic "rice wine" which they all do in the longhouses. Think they use it to get drunk at gawai. (Their rice harvest celebration - biggest party of the year prior to becoming Christians.) They have moved onto the hard liquor as well since not being cut off from the modern world anymore!

We were curious, so we agreed and gave her enough money for the rice and sugar. (Not sure what else was needed.) She cooked it up in her quarters and then presented us with a huge number of large (2l?) cola bottles, with fizzy white liquid inside. (Like very potent ginger beer?) Rough and strong! Couldn't drink it all ourselves and friends were more into nice beer/posh wine. So we had to give it away as it looked in danger of exploding in our pantry.

Our 'helper' didn't drink at all, so she was not interest in it for herself.  (So no idea why she thought we needed so much!)

She was a quiet Christian convert (most longhouses were converted to Christianity by protestant missionaries) and was extremely wary of alcohol in general - had a fear of ppl getting drunk, probably having grown up seeing some bad behaviour as as result of booze? (Maybe was even a victim of someone drunk - who knows.)

I visited her longhouse once for a wedding - as she wanted a lift so I was guilt-tripped into going/taking her there. (Had to take the kids too as it was the school hols.) It was scary!  Hard drink was being taken before we arrived at noon. The men were getting amorous and in danger of falling over/off the platform. (Village longhouse is on stilts/high up off the ground. Toilets are below. Up/down is via a sort of pole ladder which was not my cup of tea!)

Eventually a rifle with ammo was brought out and used to shoot into the air - that was the last straw for me.  So I left as soon as I politely could. But still had to fend off the gift of a baby macaque monkey (in a cage) on the way out, saying "goodbye" and "thank you" etc. 

Just about managed to not take it, despite my 3 small kids begging me to ... as it was being offered to them rather than to me ... and my helper not 'helping' me by saying "Don't worry, I can look after it  - and we can tie it to a post outside".  (Was wondering if I shd take it and release it but it was a baby so hmm.) 

I had already refused to let our helper bring a pet village dog to live at our house (un-fenced garden) as they tend to roam about and do/bite as they please.  A baby monkey on a chain would have been many times worse. (And also very cruel?)   

 

That would have been a great wind up for Facebook a monkey on a chain see if they can get an urangrtang

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