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Mon Sep 17, 2012, 04:34 PM

Does anyone keep bees in the suburbs?

My neighbor and I were out front admiring all the bees on our beds. We'd like to collaborate on a hive, I do have an unused side yard area.

Your thoughts and advice would be much appreciated.

8 replies, 1108 views

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Reply Does anyone keep bees in the suburbs? (Original post)
stopwastingmymoney Sep 2012 OP
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #1
stopwastingmymoney Sep 2012 #2
mopinko Sep 2012 #3
stopwastingmymoney Sep 2012 #4
mopinko Sep 2012 #5
HopeHoops Sep 2012 #6
Javaman Sep 2012 #7
stopwastingmymoney Sep 2012 #8

Response to stopwastingmymoney (Original post)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 07:38 PM

1. I think that Javaman was trying this

in town. Here is his first post, and he has others since this explaining his experiences and how he went about building the hive:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/11591190

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 08:24 PM

2. Thanks!

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Response to stopwastingmymoney (Original post)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 10:26 PM

3. i'm looking at bee hotels.

enticing mason bees, and other very efficient pollinators that don't have a hive structure. if you want the honey, go for it. if you just want the pollinators, providing habitat can be more efficient and less work/responsibility.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 10:07 AM

4. I think I do want the honey

Looks like my first task will be to find out what the city rules are

I liked your Facebook page, cool stuff, farming and dogs!

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Response to stopwastingmymoney (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 10:38 AM

5. thanks and good luck.

it just seems like a whole lot of work. i think we will do it when our fruit trees get going, tho.
we had great pollinators this year just by being the wettest place around. everything that bloomed was covered in bees.

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Response to stopwastingmymoney (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 07:18 PM

6. Definitely check with the municipality first. Some have weird rules.

 

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Response to stopwastingmymoney (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:56 AM

7. I keep bees...

This is my first year and so far, it's been interesting and very educational. LOL

If you choose to keep bees, you want to get your hive probably around January or February. But Order your bees and queen before the end of this year for an early April delivery. If you wait till Feb or March, you might be out of luck. There is a real demand now. And they sell out quick.

A good starter "garden" hive can be purchase at Brushy Mountain Bees. That's where I got mine. But be aware, your initial investment won't cover everything you will eventually need.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-Frame-English-Garden-Hive-BeeGinners-Kit/productinfo/252CG/

The garden hive comes with two "brood" chambers. A basic hive for the production of personal honey will also need to have two "supers". As well as additional frames and foundations.

You will also need to get a queen excluder.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-Frame-Metal-Excluder/productinfo/254QE/

You will need smoker fuel. I use twine and copy paper. Copy paper to get it started and twine for smoke.

Aside from that, a great book that will give you the ins and outs of starting a hive (but not good long term care) is Beekeeping for Dummies. It's probably the best book to get you started. Also, now would be a good time to join your local bee keeping association and start attending meetings (if they have them, if they don't, start your own. )

It's not a tough hobby and it's really rewarding (aside from the honey)

Regarding honey, depending on where you live you probably won't get a honey harvest in your first year. The bees need an average of 10 full frames of honey for themselves to survive winter.

Once the hive is up and running, you only really need to check it about once every two weeks.

Also, regarding safety. Make sure you aren't allergic to bee stings. I'm not but a good sting will still give you a nasty welt. Also get a prescription for an "Epi-pen", in case a friend gets stung and has an allergic reaction.

Also, probably the most important, check the city regulations regarding keeping bees in a suburban environment. I live in Austin, Texas and the regs here are pretty loose. I have to maintain a 6 foot fence near the opening of the hive so the bees case upward when leaving, instead of outward. And the hive has to be at least 25 feet from the nearest home. Aside from that, I can only keep two hives on my 1/8 acre sized property. Believe me, two hives will be enough. (I get my second one next year).

That's the very very very basics of it all, if you have any other questions, IM me.

Cheers and good luck!

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Response to Javaman (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 01:08 PM

8. Thank you for all the good info Javaman

I enjoyed your blog posted above too

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