Beekeeping / life balance

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Eyeman 

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I've met a few people who have been put off beekeeping by the perceived impact the hobby can have on their time and lifestyle.
For those who are just starting out or thinking of starting I wanted to reassure you that beekeeping can comfortably co-exist with a 'normal' life.
Despite what is often said on this forum, most things we do with our bees is open to flexibility, and I have found that I spend less time with my bees now (over-wintering 13 colonies) compared to when I first started out with 2 hives.
It would be interesting to hear from other others (? Someone alternates between managing bees in Spain & Sweden) who manage to fit beekeeping around a busy lifestyle rather than the other way round.
For an opener:
I'm in full time employment (at present) & attend 3 international conferences a year.
Am available only on alternate weekends to manage the bees as we live in 2 places.
Manage 10+ holidays a year, 6+ abroad (short W/E breaks in summer and long hols in the non-swarming seasons etc)
Inspect roughly every 10 days during the swarming season which I usually manage to do.
All queens clipped
Don't get worried if the feeding/ winter preps don't go according to plan as all supers come off and fondant goes on when necessary.
etc,etc

So I think beekeeping can easily fit around other things if you so wish.
Alec
 

gavin 

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I sometimes wonder if the important balance to get right is not the beekeeping/life one but the beekeeping/life/beekeeping forum one!

G.
 
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Skyhook 

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My wife has queried how I can possibly expand, when having one hive takes up so much of my time. I've explained that this is because I enjoy it so much, I drag out every task to the nth degree, and make up others, so I dont have to stop playing and go in for my tea. I have no doubt that I can look after 5 hives in the time that I lavish/fritter on one.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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Not quite as busy as you Alec (10+ holidays! My missus would like you your number), but full time and can get out there most weekends and summer evenings. Taken up more time than I had expected, but very manageable.

The one caveat, while beekeeping can be manageable, it is a commitment, and I suspect there are going to be many of my fellow new beeks who fall by the wayside as the novelty wears off.
 

rae 

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The only real restriction is not going away for more than a week in April/May. Apart from that it is a few hours at the week end in the bee keeping season. Apart from putting planks in front of the hives to block the light, we've done nothing with them for about 3 months.
 

drstitson 

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bees and holidays

"The only real restriction is not going away for more than a week in April/May"

and that won't be an issue if you use the queen trap being offered by Rooftops.
 

peteinwilts 

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if they have a suppport network around them in the form of beek friends\club members, then beekeeping around a 'normal' life is a doddle.

I have a number of hives, a dog, a parrot, birds of prey, pigs, horses, children, marine fish and corals and shortly, cattle and still have a 'normal' (?!?:willy_nilly:) life.

For the different animals, I have a support network that can help out if going on holiday, away with work or sickness. As a part of the support network, I am also around for those that support me.

If there is a real 'will' to keep bees, said person will always find a way. Those that find reasons why they should not keep bees should not be pushed into it.
People often like the idea of keeping bees (as beekeeping is so vogue at the moment), but their subconcious will find excuses not to.
 

Dishmop 

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I've met a few people who have been put off beekeeping by the perceived impact the hobby can have on their time and lifestyle.
Oh the stresses and strains of modern lifestyle problems!!!!!

You seem to be managing quite well with your bees,

They cant really be that interested then....
 

oliver90owner 

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Dr S

that won't be an issue

Leaving the kit on for over a week is surely not desirable?

Queen traps trap drones as well.

Peteinwilts,

Who actually looks after that lot while you are away? Is it several different people, or do you have other 'multi-tasking' people around, like you, who can manage the whole caboodle?

Regards, RAB
 

CB008 

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I am new this year and have 2 hives. It actually takes very, very little time really to look after them but they are in my garden which makes it easier. Much to my surpise, I found myself becoming obessed and so spent many hours watching the bees coming and going, defending their hive etc which is not necessary but my choice. I also found club meetings, meeting and chatting to other beeks, internet research and reading really interesting so that to me has been "entertainment". I was also surpised to meet 3 other new beeks in my village, as well as 2 of long standing so there is no issue with asking people to take charge when I am away.
 

Dishmop 

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but they are in my garden which makes it easier. Much to my surpise, I found myself becoming obessed and so spent many hours watching the bees coming and going, defending their hive etc which is not necessary but my choice.
To do this properly you need a nice comfy chair and a table for the wine..:seeya:
 

Heather 

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My husband has learned to adapt :p- now we only holiday between September and March- and he has bought a smaller boat that he can handle alone for days out in the UK!! He fishes!
He is a one in a million understanding chap:hurray:

I would rather be home with my bees anyway than along side some lardy demanding fish and chips and loads-a -beer when in another country.:leaving:
 

peteinwilts 

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Peteinwilts,

Who actually looks after that lot while you are away? Is it several different people, or do you have other 'multi-tasking' people around, like you, who can manage the whole caboodle?

Regards, RAB
I work in an office or visiting customers at home or abroard, so the family, the bees and the other animals as the way I enjoy free time and IS the way we relax.
I have a few other people to help out when needed...

My sister in law is the biggest help, who is in halfs with the pigs, but also has horses and a dog. She lives in the same street as us!

My neighbour, Somerford Steve offers help, but to date have not needed his help. I also have a number of falconry friends who offer with the birds, and my brother who lives in a neighbouring village is there to do anything when others can't make it.

I am in the fortunate position of having a lot more people offering to help than help that is needed.
 

Somerford 

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I work in an office or visiting customers at home or abroard, so the family, the bees and the other animals as the way I enjoy free time and IS the way we relax.
I have a few other people to help out when needed...

My sister in law is the biggest help, who is in halfs with the pigs, but also has horses and a dog. She lives in the same street as us!

My neighbour, Somerford Steve offers help, but to date have not needed his help. I also have a number of falconry friends who offer with the birds, and my brother who lives in a neighbouring village is there to do anything when others can't make it.

I am in the fortunate position of having a lot more people offering to help than help that is needed.
It is good that Pete has so many willing hands....as I work 7am-6pm most days if I was looking after them the whole caboodle would have to be shipped to Pete's back garden whence it would take on a scene of total chaos...with the bees stinging his dog and the neighbours, the pigs breaking through his new fence in search of more forage, the parrot squawking at the melee, the birds of prey swooping on my cats, and the fish ....as for the horses ! Well.
The offer is always there Pete !

:auto:

Stephen
 

psafloyd 

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The only real restriction is not going away for more than a week in April/May. Apart from that it is a few hours at the week end in the bee keeping season. Apart from putting planks in front of the hives to block the light, we've done nothing with them for about 3 months.
I generally go away for 2 to 2.5 weeks at the end of June, early July and then late in September. I'm hoping that remains compatible or else my missus will complain.

However, if all goes to plan (since when can you plan?) I hope this will prove to be OK. Failing that, I hope to find a friendly local beek to pop in once when I'm away and I would reciprocate.
 

Eyeman 

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You seem to be managing quite well with your bees,

They cant really be that interested then....
I should have called this thread beekeeping/lifestyle/partner balance. As Heather pointed out an understanding partner does make for a more enjoyable hobby.
I agree with all who say that beekeeping is very captivating- I have hives in the garden and enjoy nothing more than watching them come & go. It's just that with a small amount of forward planning it's possible to enjoy a life outside beekeeping and keep ones non-beekeeping partner content at the same time.
Alec
 

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