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  • #14126
    Profile photo of Ghost Prime
    Ghost Prime
    Survivalist
    member6

    This spring, I lucked into taking over some beehives left by a keeper. I read a lot and quickly learned the basics. It is something I always wanted to to so I jumped in with both feet.  I have to say it is a lot of work, at least at first, getting the hives organized so they don’t swarm and so they will produce the most honey.  Being impatient, I cheated a little and took out one rack from the hive that was full of honey. It tasted great!

    I can see this being a valuable asset when the SHTF as it can be food as well as used for barter. It also will help gardens so to me it will be part of my plan.

    There is a lot of info online, enough of it free to help get started. There are also many clubs you can join to learn from experienced keepers as there are a lot of details to attend if you want to maximize the productivity, minimize diseases, and keep the hives from swarming which reduces the bee population severely.

    All in all, it is fun and can be a great way to engage children in becoming self-sufficient.  BTW, I have never been stung as I wear a hood, gloves, and long sleeve shirt.  You will see many videos where keepers wwear no hood, wear short sleeve shirts & shorts, but only infrequently get stung. Still, for me and I suspect most children, having the protection makes it less stressful.

    Have fun and enjoy God’s abundance! Bees are incredibly complex colony insects with specialized jobs and amazing communication behavior.  For me, it is really fascinating to read about their behavior then tend the hives and see it in action.  Again, I see it as a great way to educate children on nature, self-sufficiency, and God’s incredible creation we call nature.

    Enjoy!

    For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!

    #14145
    Profile photo of Novus Ordo
    Novus Ordo
    Hunter
    rprepper

    Ghost Prime – thanks for the post.  I was just reading up on this and wishing that I had a couple hives of my own and definitely plan on having some when I get my acreage purchased.  Matter of fact I know of a few of them on a 12 acre plot down the road.  I never see anyone over there so I might go check them out and see if they may be abandoned also.  I’m sure they will help with my garden even as small as it is.

    It’s awesome to see that you’ve been successful with just reading up on it.  Please share a couple of the links or clubs that you found most useful.

    Also, you’re helping keep the bee population healthy to keep pollinating the 90+ species of plants (mostly food plants) that they do now without the pesticides that seem to be killing them off.  One article said bees are responsible for pollination of almost 25% of the food production worldwide so we can’t afford to lose them.

     

    Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
    - Thomas Paine

    #14270
    Profile photo of Ghost Prime
    Ghost Prime
    Survivalist
    member6

    I read that bees are responsible for tens of billions of benefit to farmers annually.  Pretty amazing for creatures whose individual life span is only a matter of a few weeks.

    Let me go through my list of links as I have a lot. A few I found are very helpful as they have videos where the keeper talks about what he is doing. Also, I found one with a download with tons of info.  FYI, I studied entomology at the U of Houston so I have always enjoyed and been in awe of insects. Bees are one of the most amazing as they have so many behavioral traits that are simply incredible. One of the most well known is how they communicate to the hive when the “hunters” find a big stand of flowers.  They do a dance in the hive that tells the other worker bees the exact heading from the hive that the bees need to navigate to find the flowers. More than that, the dance also tells how far the flowers are!  Now anyone who, after reading that, can still claim that evolution is responsible for this and every other “coincidence” of nature rather then giving credit to God where it belongs, is just plain ignorant.

     

    Then there is the part about what happens to a hive when a swarm leaves the hive with the one queen bee that every swarm has. Well, another huge “coincidence” (not!) is that some of the bees begin to make a very special substance called “Royal Jelly”, which is only made for this very occasion. They then build special cells to hold future queens which are larger than all other cells. Once they do that, they feed to royal jelly to a few larvae in those special cells who miraculously become queen bees! Now go ahead and tell me that was a “coincidence”.  There is NO way but it happens every time a queen leaves the hive.

    So let me look through my links and I will send a few that I fell will be beneficial.  Honestly, there is a lot to learn as diseases can be a problem, as can recovering from winter.  We are currently in Ohio which had a sever winter this year with temps of -10 and wind chill of -30.  Bees survived though I read in forums that many hives were depleted which then takes time to recover in spring. As a keeper, one of our jobs is to help the bees as much as possible so there are some food supplements you can place in the hive to help them through spring until blooming starts.

    Sorry for being so verbose, but I love the topic of bees plus I am honored to do whatever I can to assist a Marine.  So “bee” on the lookout for more info (ha ha). I will send some links shortly.

    Respectfully,

    Mike

    For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!

    #14292
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    I keep the bees and the bees keep me.

    “Friar Tuck”

     

    #14299
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    I really hope I can get into beekeeping but it all depends what kind of pesticide your neighbors are spraying.

    The wild bee populations are dying worldwide because of our lack of care for our environment.

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #14309
    Profile photo of Ghost Prime
    Ghost Prime
    Survivalist
    member6

    Jay, yes bees have been  under stress for many years, largely from pesticides. One good thing that might occur when the SHTF is that pesticides will, for the most part, be unavailable. That may help the hives tremendously.

    Here are the links as I intended them to be. Again, sorry for what happened on the first attempt.

    Meanwhile, here are some links that may help anyone looking into beekeeping.

    http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/beekeeping_class/   : My favorite link!</p>

    http://www.worldofbeekeeping.com/your-interview/ Ok site\

    http://www.bee-beekeeping.com/Beekeeping_For_Beginners_Guide.htm

    Pretty good site. Just be aware they do sell stuff.

    For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!

    #14345
    Profile photo of Ghost Prime
    Ghost Prime
    Survivalist
    member6

    Wow, sorry for that post. I had no idea it came out like that. Wow, my apologies to Selco and all for the technically poor post.

    For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!

    #26290
    Profile photo of Ghost Prime
    Ghost Prime
    Survivalist
    member6

    With winter coming, anyone tending bees needs to assess the colonies to identify if they need to be fed. There are pastes you can make that last a long time but allow the bees to feed without leaving the hive. That is important in the north where temperatures drop very low. This requires the bees to huddle together for warmth, plus there are no flowers from which to gather nectar or pollen.

    Many bee hives have large die offs during winter months so a steady diet in addition to some stored honey will give them a better chance of surviving the winters. Note that you must leave some honey in the hives when you harvest, for the bees need it to eat during winter. Having a healthy hive when the spring arrives will give your colonies a huge head start as they are not so focused on rearing young as they are in harvesting, so feeding not only keeps them alive but impacts the health of the hive so they are ready when the flowers first emerge.

    For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!

    #26878
    Profile photo of Novus Ordo
    Novus Ordo
    Hunter
    rprepper

    Thanks again GP! Haven’t procured the hives yet (in between jobs), but hope to soon so appreciate the added info. Although, not sure that SoCal gets that cold.

    Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
    - Thomas Paine

    #26943
    Profile photo of Ghost Prime
    Ghost Prime
    Survivalist
    member6

    N.O., you are welcome. I understand the between jobs routine as I have been there for most of the past 18 months. Guess Ovomit stopped counting me as being unemployed, but that topic is for another time.
    Yeah, So Cal doesn’t have the fun winters as OH. It may be that bees can harvest all year long there which would be terrific. When I get back to TX, I will see how they do in the south as winters are very mild where we will be.
    When you are able to get a hive or more, do let me know as it would be interesting to compare notes on our observations. Meanwhile watch your 6. It’s a nasty world out there.

    For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!

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