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Beekeeping

kelcher

Well-Known Member
Anyone here keeping bees?

I am thinking about trying it. Anyone have any experience keeping bees in the woods? A lot of the reading I have done says that you should keep them in the open where they can get a lot of sun, but that is not really the best option for me.

What kind of success rates have you had over wintering your bees? Just trying to understand if I should try this in the woods or if it will be a huge failure and a waste of time and money.
 

Spysar

Active Member
I keep bees, and I'm in the woods. It's not the kind of thing you put out and then take honey. There's a lot to it. If your ready for a really cool hobby, and willing to do the research and work, go for it. I love having bees.
 

kelcher

Well-Known Member
So your bees have been healthy and active in the shady woods? Any issues with moisture that you don't think you would have to deal with in an open sunny area? Are your bees productive enough that you can take some of their honey?
 

tslc

PMA Member
When Iowa had wild bees most of them lived in the woods. The only reason they suggest putting them in full light is so they will start the day a little earlier and end it a little latter.
 

cybball

PMA Member
I have 5 hives. Going to try to put a new one on my timber food plot this year. I have to get the plot cleared first though so it may be mid summer before they are there. I hear give beetles can be bad in shady timber but I haven’t tried it yet.


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kelcher

Well-Known Member
In your experiences is there a particular strain of bees that might do better in a shady, timber area or are they all similar?
 

cybball

PMA Member
In your experiences is there a particular strain of bees that might do better in a shady, timber area or are they all similar?

I have all Carniolan. Pretty easy to deal with and overwinter well. As for being in timber, not sure yet, but that’s what I’ll have.


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Spysar

Active Member
Mine are in my yard, where my house is. I live in the woods in upstate NY. Yes it's a struggle to keep them alive. If you do everything right , there is no problem keeping them alive. My winter here is pretty cold and snowy. Of coarse I get honey, why else do it, LOL. I got 100lbs last year off 2 young hives. Where are you putting them with no sun??? You can't just drop a hive in the woods and leave it , and come back and gather honey. There's work to it. You should have it easy because you don't have bears.....Mite's are the thing that takes hives out. Learn how to control the verroa destructor and you'll have success.
 

Spysar

Active Member
Start by getting the hive boxes you need. If your going to do it this year, you better hurry. Once you have the hive, you need bees. Either a package, which is loose 3lbs of bees, and a queen. Or a Nuc, which is a mini started hive with frames of brood , honey, pollen, bees and a laying queen. I'd start looking for the bees now, and at least put a deposit. Spring bee nucs and packages sell out quick around here.
 

Broot

Member
We had problems with skunk and opossum eating our bees. A leg trap in front of the entrance will slow them down.

We ended up building a small pine shack big enough to house two hives about 5 ft apart and some tools. Helps keep the hives warmer in the winter, and predators have a harder time getting bees, having a higher and longer entrance.

Built right, the bee shack could serve as a ground blind during the winter, too ;)
 

kelcher

Well-Known Member
Any suggestions for where to buy reasonably priced bee keeping supplies? Good knowledgeable service?
 

Spysar

Active Member
Go on the forum Beesource and find out all you need to know. Around here(upstate NY) the supplier is Betterbee. They mail order stuff, but not the bees . Good info on their site.
 

cybball

PMA Member
Any suggestions for where to buy reasonably priced bee keeping supplies? Good knowledgeable service?

Where are you located? There are some good local places. I also order things I need from several online spots. I would recommend taking a class or learning through a mentor. If you know someone with bees, go see theirs and have them walk you through it.


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Broot

Member
We have always gone through Dadant. My grandfather always went through Dadant, as well. Good people there, good supplies, and good bees.
 

kelcher

Well-Known Member
Located in the Cedar Rapids / Waterloo area. I was looking at classes nearby, but for some reason they chose not to have them this year. I have looked online at some beekeeping supplies sites, but I didn't find any in this area. Not an issue ordering online, but if there is a good source locally I would be interested in working with them.
 

kelcher

Well-Known Member
That was one of the places that I was looking at, but was wondering if there was anyone closer that had quality bees.
 
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