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-   -   Any bee keepers? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/any-bee-keepers-376495/)

Kmcogar 12-27-2012 01:18 AM

Any bee keepers?
 
Made my first mead. 5 gallons of sweetness still conditioning. Honey was pretty expensive though. Any homebrewers out there farm their own honey? If so, any pointers? Equipment? Ya know....all that info that one may need to start my very own bee how operation.

Cheers

WVMJ 12-27-2012 01:51 AM

I started a couple hives this year for my Wineyard so we would get more berries and apples. I suggest right now you find your local beekeepers group (http://www.mdbeekeepers.org/), they will probably be starting beginner beekeeping classes very soon and ordering packages of bees and queens which will start to arrive about midMarch so you dont have time to sit around thinking about it, go out and get started, you have hives to paint to be ready in 3 months.

I think these people are pretty close to you guys and would have local queens for sale and packages (http://www.rockhillhoneybeefarms-inc.com/). My honey tastes much better than any other honey we have tried and our first 2 batches of mead from it are going to be our best yet!!!

WVMJ

frazier 12-27-2012 01:52 AM

Interesting - I may be starting a hive this spring.

I'd start with a trip to the bookstore (real or virtual) and read one or more of the many "Intro to Beekeeping" type books. Also, there are forums much like this one, devoted to beekeeping.

Good luck!

WVMJ 12-27-2012 02:11 AM

www.beesource.com is one of the biggest bee forums. Read all you can, but your local clubs will have the local knowhow and who to talk to for bee equipment and packages. There are a lot of nuts out there with their own ideas to save the bees, kind of like on here where everyone knows how to make mead 100 different ways and there are all the best :)

I would also strongly suggest using all medium boxes, that way all your parts are interchangable. There are 3 commonly used sizes that are mixed together traditionally and its a pain the arse when swapping frames between hives.

WVMJ

garlicbee 12-27-2012 08:42 PM

Started a few yrs back, strongly recommend joining a club, usually cheap and they often have an extractor u can borrow (these are expensive)
Be prepared to spend 1000 to get set up, used wooden equipment is not recommended for disease reasons
It's best to start with two hives so u can get an idea of normal. Here u can get 100lbs of honey per hive though less in the first year
Good time of year to start looking as nucs may need to be ordered soon if the winter is hard they might be in short supply
Beekeeping for dummies is a good book to get u started

Kmcogar 12-27-2012 09:07 PM

Thanks all. This is really good information. I'm gonna contact my local bee keepers ASAP!

centworthy 12-27-2012 11:11 PM

Not sure where you live but my husband and I make semi annual trips to Milwaukee and we have bought directly from Kallas honey farm( well more like a warehouse in an industrial park). However they get all their honey, when possible, from WI beekeepers and they have many great varieties (cranberry, blueberry, alfalfa to name a few). They are very distinct in color and taste. The bonus is we can get it $10 a gallon cheaper than in our local brew store. Definitely worth the trip if you're driving distance from Milwaukee

Kmcogar 12-28-2012 12:59 PM

My local deli sells honey for $14 a pound. It's way too expensive!

RebelliousVanilla 12-28-2012 04:08 PM

My local "liquid hobby" shop sells local honey for 5 dollars/1.5lb.

Kmcogar 12-28-2012 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RebelliousVanilla
My local "liquid hobby" shop sells local honey for 5 dollars/1.5lb.

Sounds like a hell of a deal. I'm working on finding a better deal until I can get my own harvesting on its way


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