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#27660 - 06/09/20 11:26 AM Honeybees 2020.
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
We've talked about honeybees before, I'll tell you the more I read and talk to bee keepers, unless you know exactly what you're doing, you're doomed from the get go.

I can think of 5 local bee keepers that have lost every single hive.

I found a man that's a professional, looking for a place for his bees. I had him put them on the King's property, as far as I know he's planning on putting 24 hives on the place. He built that little "bear fence". Not sure, 8 hives might be all he could haul on his truck?

Yesterday was the first time I'd seen them, they were busy and seem to be "gentle". Which is good. Hopefully his bees do good for him, and I'll get to watch him work them one day. He has 200 hives.


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#27661 - 06/09/20 05:53 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10236
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Bear fence -- probably a necessity in that local.
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#27663 - 06/10/20 12:03 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
We do have a lot of bear in this area. Honestly, I thought his fence looks kind of wimpy for a bear fence. Some of those fence chargers are pretty hot, hopefully it'll work.

Just found out the other day, the DNR issued a guy a permit to kill a bear, just outside of town. The bear got into his chicken coop and ate a bunch of them, then it came back and got the rest. I know the man, he's out of the chicken business now, so I'm not sure if he'll kill it now or not? His permit is good for 30 days.

I guess it's been about 3 weeks ago now, a man wrecked his motorcycle trying to avoid hitting a bear in the road. I think he was airlifted and the last I heard he was "stable". I've not heard anything since. Bear are everywhere.

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#27665 - 06/11/20 10:26 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I checked the camera at the King's place today, at first I thought it was a big dog. It's less than 1,000 yards from the man's beehives. His bees are good to go, as of 3 pm today. The bees were very active, not sure what they're working on now? It's too late for locust bloom, but there is a good bit of clover in the area.


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#27702 - 07/12/20 01:30 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV



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#27703 - 07/12/20 03:22 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
Hal Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10236
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Last year I had trouble with my squash and melons not setting fruit. I think it was lack of bees. This year I see quite a few honey bees on the plants. We don't have anyone keeping bees nearby so I'm guessing it's a wild colony. I glad to see them.
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#27705 - 07/13/20 10:55 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I agree, bees are a good thing.

This bee box is one that I bought 5 years ago or so? I just bought a man's boxes and all of his bee equipment, veils and gloves, smokers and all. I baited it up with lemongrass oil, which is supposed to smell similar to a queen bee when she and the hive would swarm.

This box is in the front yard of the King's house, about a half mile from the bee hives in the pictures above. The plan is, if the man's bees would swarm, they'd find this box and move in. I'll be optimistic and place the odds on that at about 2 percent. Hopefully, I'm wrong!

I'll tell you this, if a swarm would happen to find this box, I'm going to give them back to the man that owns the purple colored hives. I know a little bit about honeybees, I'm also realistic enough to know that I'd never be able to keep a hive alive. No need to get into stuff over your head.

But I wanted to tell you how I got hooked up with the beekeeper with the purple hives. I guess purple paint was on sale? The folks that own the apiary where I buy honey, set me up with him. Bill that owns the big apiary and I were talking, and he told me about Michael. Michael works for Bill 40 hours per week and also owns 200 honeybee hives of his own. I'd say Michael is in his late 30's or so? Bill and his family own over 1,000 hives. So Michael should have some experience.

Think about it, if you can keep 200 bee hives healthy after working 40 hours a week, you're doing something right! Bees are livestock, if you neglect them, you're going to lose them.

Honeybees work a radius of about 2 miles. Michael told me the other day that his next batch of hives were on up the road 20 miles. Not sure if he's afraid to knock on doors or what? But if we ever get the chance, I'd be glad to introduce him to the landowners, that's my territory. We'll stop every 3 or 4 miles and get him a new spot. Just like on the King's property, he's got a little area fenced in, about 15 feet by 20 feet. I checked his bees the other day, it's just fun watching them do their thing.





Edited by redsnow (07/14/20 08:47 PM)

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#27763 - 08/23/20 12:22 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Checked on the bees the other day, they're working on these flowers now.



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#27764 - 08/23/20 01:11 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV



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#27766 - 08/27/20 11:24 AM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV



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#27768 - 08/28/20 03:02 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Well, I was running short on time the other morning, but I did get a positive ID on the yellow flowers in the picture above. It's Wingstem or the common name of yellow iron weed. Some of those weeds are 6 or 8 feet tall, and the bees are really working them now.

Not sure if we have any active beekeepers here on the forum, but I wanted to tell you how the young man has his bee hives setup. His hives are sitting on top of 10-inch cinder blocks, with treated 2" x 6"'s between the blocks.

Some of the videos that I've watched show people with their bee boxes sitting on the ground. Bee boxes are expensive, way too expensive to let them sit on wet ground. The man is protecting his investment.

Talking to a friend the other day, his 12 bee hives and all of his equipment in the pictures above, I'll guess is worth around $3,000. With a total of 200 hives, he's spent some money.

Above we talked about his bear fence, had my dog with me the other day. She's a 65 pound dog and got zapped, according to her reaction, I'd say the fence is pretty HOT. I read the tag on front of the fence charger, it is one of the "weed burner" types, good for 25 miles of fence.

Going up the road the other day, I did see a mommy bear and 2 small cubs run across the road. I stopped but wasn't able to get a picture of them. Small cubs from this spring, maybe 20 pounds or so. All 3 of them were on the pavement for a second.

I searched the other day and found a link online, the beekeepers calendar. Information on which plants honeybees work, at different times of the year. But they're in the yellow iron weed now. Honey production is about finished for this year. I need to call the young man, and I'll ask just how many pounds of honey they've produced. I think they've done good for him. Also found him another property where he's planning on putting additional hives this coming spring.

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#27777 - 09/05/20 11:36 AM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Annette from the apiary where I buy honey delivered comb honey the other day. Comb honey is a seasonal item, I can only buy it for 3 or 4 months during summer, so I ordered 5 dozen boxes. My cost was over $300. I have it priced at $7.75, and that's cheap.

I asked Annette about this "yellow iron weed", she said the bees do get nectar and pollen from it, and that's the end of production. She said they'd started taking the "supers" off of their hives. A super is the top box on the hive.

She told me that Michael's bee hives on the King's property had done very well. Other than seeing where he'd mowed off the weeds inside his bear fence and the grass smashed down, you'd never know he was even on the property. So, I guess within the next week or 2, he'll pick up his hives and I'm not sure, they'll truck them to California or down south.

These folks make their living from honey, and they are organized.


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#27797 - 09/20/20 12:34 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
I checked on the man's bees the other day, you'll see that he's removed the "super" from each hive. We had our first frost yesterday and another one this morning, honey production is done for the year, in this area. As far as I know, his bees will be trucked to a warmer climate. I assume that one night before long he'll seal up the hives and get them ready for shipment.

If you read the fine print on the bottom of the state tag, is says that the hive has been inspected and found to be free from "American foul brood disease" Honeybees are livestock.




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#27833 - 10/09/20 11:33 AM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Michael the bee man removed his hives the other day or night? Here you can see how he had them setting on blocks and 2 X 6's.

As far as I know, the bees will be trucked to warmer weather, so they can start making honey again. I've got his phone number, but I know this is a busy time of year, I'll wait a couple of weeks and ask him just how they did do.

I talked to a local beekeeper the other day, Phillip, I'm not sure how many years he's been messing with bees? I forget the details, but at one point this summer he had 10 active hives, he said that he'd lost 7 of them. Here we are, middle of October and it'll be a chore for him to keep the other 3 alive until April or May. I wish him the best. Phillip said his bees made 15 gallons of honey. Retail price by the gallon, you're looking at $600. Double that price if it'd be in smaller containers.

I'll edit again. Retail price for gallons of honey is $40 per gallon. So, a total of $600.




Edited by redsnow (10/09/20 02:50 PM)

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#27857 - 10/23/20 11:26 AM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Not a very good picture, but bees are working these red-top thistles now.


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#28144 - 05/10/21 02:23 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Well, the honeybee man put his hives on the King's property one day last week. 25 hives this season.

Hopefully, I'll get to help or watch him work them one day this spring/summer.

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#28801 - 10/14/23 05:12 PM Re: Honeybees 2020. [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3020
Loc: WV
Here at work last evening, the honey man delivered. Three little boxes, I paid him $423. That was for a case of pints, a case of the 12oz bear bottles and 45 4-inch squares of comb honey. The comb honey is "seasonal", so I like to stock up before the end of season.

I don't see the man very often, but we always talk about bees.

I was just curious and asked how the bees had done this summer. He said that it was an "exceptional" season. Told me his hives produced between 80 and 100 pounds each.

Checked online, a gallon of honey weighs 12 pounds. Give or take.

To kind of put that into perspective, he has over 30 hives on our property. So that would be well over 4, 55 gallon drums full of raw honey!

I can get a feel for standing beside 4 barrels. That's a pile of honey.

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