complete noob needs some adivce

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

ghostman11 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
first of all sorry for not doing enough research and trawling thru the forum and google first, unfortunately i only have 36 hours in wich to compile a report for a planning meeting so i need some answers pretty quick if thats ok. i know its bad form to do it this way but things have kind of been sprung on me last min.

so to explain the situation.....
we run a small holding and our 3-5 year planning meeting is in a day or so. what we normaly do is plan in a small conservation project every 2 -3 years to run along side the small holding business, previously we have done things like a wildlife pond of about 1/2 acre, we leave at least 1 1/2 acres totaly untouched for 3-4 years on a rotation basis as we have a large population of various owl species in the area so we try and help the local mice and voles wich helps the owls! we also have a good population of 3 diff bat species in one the outbuildings. along with various bird box's etc etc etc...

now whats this got to do with bee's?????
well after a few too many beers in the pub the other night discussing what sort of project would be next. someone had the bright idea of BEES!!!!!
instead of the headgerow project i was going to put forward!
so i duely fired up the holy google and entered the mystical words into the oracle. BIG BIG mistake! it took all of 35 seconds to realise the first problem would be to learn the acient and incomprehensiable language beekeepers use.
i have no idea what a nuc is!
so this is where i need help. i will indeed do the research before we get bees (the likely start date would be march next year) but i dont have time to get the info i need to do the report for the meeting, and without this i wont be able to get the budget to do the project.

anyway if i give you all the info on our situation that i have at the mo i would be grateful for any input and advice.

we have about 2 acre's that i can put aside for the project, although i dont want to cover that in hives i can plough the lot and plant whatever the bees would like. how many hives could we possibaly fit on 2 acres???

2. i also need alot of advice on safety equipment, as i have a couple of issues...... i am EXSTREMELY allergic to bee stings, last time i was stung was about 4 years ago and to cut a long storey short i spent 4 days on a ventalator in intensive care!!! i have always been allergic so i dont spose it will go away. so i would like advice on the best kit to get to narrow down the chance of stings as we live 1 1/12 hours away from a hospital and about 40 mins from ambulance response. although i do have a eppi pen they dont do them strong enough and each time i have been stung i have required large dose of adrenaline straigtht thru the chest wall :(.

3. we are not looking to make money out of honey etc as this project would mainly to be help out the bees and do our bit to stop there decline. although any money we could make would be a help in ploughing back into the project. so the question is what would the best type of bee to keep be?

4. BTW what is a nuc??????


5 what type of hive/s be best and can we mix them as i like the idea of trying a few diff types out?

6. anyone live near west devon :D ;)

7 is this a crazy idea???

8. what is the best time of year to start??

9. would a couple of sheep bother the bees?? (i would prefer a couple of sheep to cut the grass round the hives as it saves me a job.

thanks alot in advance and again i am sorry i havnt done proper research yet but first i need to get the ok on the project :D
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
Simple answer, with your medical and geographical situation, keep chooks instead!
To be bluntly honest, you'd be potty to risk your life on "helping bees", there's a great many people already doing so, so it really isn't sensible or essential!
 

barratt_sab 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
275
Reaction score
0
Location
Herts / Essex border
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
12
Newcomer to the art too.

If you keep bees, you will get stung every now and again, no matter what kit you use. One day, you'll walk away from the hives, miss a bee in your suit and it'll get you. Two days ago, one hitched a lift in our tool box for 400 yards before emerging.

If I thought I'd have to get adrenaline injected through my chest wall every time I got stung, I think I'd push quite hard for the hedge project.
 

shonto 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
143
Reaction score
0
Location
Luton Beds
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
first of all sorry for not doing enough research and trawling thru the forum and google first, unfortunately i only have 36 hours in wich to compile a report for a planning meeting so i need some answers pretty quick if thats ok. i know its bad form to do it this way but things have kind of been sprung on me last min.

so to explain the situation.....
we run a small holding and our 3-5 year planning meeting is in a day or so. what we normaly do is plan in a small conservation project every 2 -3 years to run along side the small holding business, previously we have done things like a wildlife pond of about 1/2 acre, we leave at least 1 1/2 acres totaly untouched for 3-4 years on a rotation basis as we have a large population of various owl species in the area so we try and help the local mice and voles wich helps the owls! we also have a good population of 3 diff bat species in one the outbuildings. along with various bird box's etc etc etc...



now whats this got to do with bee's?????
well after a few too many beers in the pub the other night discussing what sort of project would be next. someone had the bright idea of BEES!!!!!
instead of the headgerow project i was going to put forward!
so i duely fired up the holy google and entered the mystical words into the oracle. BIG BIG mistake! it took all of 35 seconds to realise the first problem would be to learn the acient and incomprehensiable language beekeepers use.
i have no idea what a nuc is!
so this is where i need help. i will indeed do the research before we get bees (the likely start date would be march next year) but i dont have time to get the info i need to do the report for the meeting, and without this i wont be able to get the budget to do the project.

anyway if i give you all the info on our situation that i have at the mo i would be grateful for any input and advice.

we have about 2 acre's that i can put aside for the project, although i dont want to cover that in hives i can plough the lot and plant whatever the bees would like. how many hives could we possibaly fit on 2 acres???

2. i also need alot of advice on safety equipment, as i have a couple of issues...... i am EXSTREMELY allergic to bee stings, last time i was stung was about 4 years ago and to cut a long storey short i spent 4 days on a ventalator in intensive care!!! i have always been allergic so i dont spose it will go away. so i would like advice on the best kit to get to narrow down the chance of stings as we live 1 1/12 hours away from a hospital and about 40 mins from ambulance response. although i do have a eppi pen they dont do them strong enough and each time i have been stung i have required large dose of adrenaline straigtht thru the chest wall :(.

3. we are not looking to make money out of honey etc as this project would mainly to be help out the bees and do our bit to stop there decline. although any money we could make would be a help in ploughing back into the project. so the question is what would the best type of bee to keep be?

4. BTW what is a nuc??????


5 what type of hive/s be best and can we mix them as i like the idea of trying a few diff types out?

6. anyone live near west devon :D ;)

7 is this a crazy idea???

8. what is the best time of year to start??

9. would a couple of sheep bother the bees?? (i would prefer a couple of sheep to cut the grass round the hives as it saves me a job.

thanks alot in advance and again i am sorry i havnt done proper research yet but first i need to get the ok on the project :D
Hi ghostman

1. hundreds


2. with an allergy like yours, i would not think it a sensable idea to go near a hive. Beekeepers always get stung, sooner or later. bee-smillie

3. thats a can of worms and open to much discusion er argument. :smilielol5

4. a starter amount of bees, not a full hive, usually about 5 frames.

5. i would suggest trying poly hives from what i have heard, due to costs and overwintering .

6 not me

7. no not at all. unless you are allergic to bees. bee-smillie

8. spring /early summer i think.

9.no i dont think so, if you are woried, fence off the hives.

good luck

shonto
 
Last edited:

ghostman11 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
Newcomer to the art too.

If you keep bees, you will get stung every now and again, no matter what kit you use. One day, you'll walk away from the hives, miss a bee in your suit and it'll get you. Two days ago, one hitched a lift in our tool box for 400 yards before emerging.

If I thought I'd have to get adrenaline injected through my chest wall every time I got stung, I think I'd push quite hard for the hedge project.

i hve thought long and hard about the question of stings and to be honest i spend all day every day (almost) working outside in long grass and paddocks etc and i only been stung 4 times in 10 years, for me being stung is a risk every time i step out the house so i figure if i take all the precautions i can and use the right kit of good quality then the increase in risk should be minimal. i hadnt considered bees clinging onto the suite tho, but we do have an outside wet room so i guess i would just have to make sure i jumped under the shower in my suite when i had finished messing with the bees :D
i would realy hate the safety aspect stopping the project. and trimming hedges is boreing!!!
 

RoofTops 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
I live in Kingsbridge, South Devon and would be happy to meet up and show you my bees and have a chat, but as Brosville has already said, with your reaction to stings you should consider forgetting the whole thing as it is quite impossible to keep bees without getting stung sooner or later. Even the best kit will not keep the bee out if you forget to do up a zip or the veil is torn on a branch - or as happened this week, a bee came back into the house attached to a bit of clothing and promptly took up residence in my wife's shoe. Result - one stung foot the next morning.

Other random thoughts, glad you are not planning to make any money as you probably won't at least for the first few years until you've paid back the cost of getting started and all the kit.

A "nuc" is a nucleus of bees and is essentially half a hive used as a starter kit.

The bees need square miles not a couple of acres, but on a single spot you might get away with up to 20 hives but it depends on where you live. If you are in the middle of Exmoor or Dartmoor then it will be different to if you were in a sheltered valley at sea level.

Finally, don't do this to "help the bees". Honey bees don't need it as there are enough beekeepers in the UK and the media hype about them all in terminal decline is rubbish. There are problems in the US but they are mostly self-inflicted by bad agricutural and beekeeping practices. This is not to say there are not threats in this country but they are not threats you can counter by keeping bees, they are in the environment.

If you want a readable intro to beekeeping try Alan Campion's Bees at the Bottom of the Garden. But with your reaction to stings this may have to be as close to beekeeping as you can get.
 
Last edited:

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,830
Reaction score
239
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
As per posts # 2 & 3.

Good intentions but a crazy idea. You may not be there to see it come to fruition.

Keep the hedge project way above this idea. In fact, simply cross off the bee project.

Admit you did have too many beers, it was a crazy idea and accept it is a non-starter.

Regards, RAB
 

annem 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Sutton,Surrey, uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
You will be stung at some time. I've been stung through a suit several times though it tends to be when I'm lifting heavy supers against my tummy! Before I got my full suit I was stung through jeans.
You could go for the de-sensitisation route but there is a waiting list and it takes months.
Your best bet if you are serious about having bees is to get a beekeeper to set up an out-apary in your 2 acres. Borage is meant to be a good plant but see what else is being grown around you -OSR?
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
I also think given your condition to bee stings best not to do it.

why not look into making nesting sites for Mason Bees on a large scale and Bumble Bees
 
Last edited:

ghostman11 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
actualy our main source of income is rare breed chickens!! the hives wouldnt be close to the house and i can always get someone else to look after the hives, (there are 5 of us who run the farm). the idea for bees is appeals because its a bit different! thanks for the advice tho.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Messages
2,985
Reaction score
2
Location
Exmoor
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
None of my own
Entirely agree with above comments re your alergy - you'd be stark raving bonkers to have anyuthing to do with them, and your moniker may become self-fullfilling!

9. would a couple of sheep bother the bees?? (i would prefer a couple of sheep to cut the grass round the hives as it saves me a job.
But re sheep - they dont bother hives, but they do like to scratch up against them when their fleece gets itchy. Similarly, lambs just think they're fun things to bounce around. Within a day your hive would be on the ground with a lot of perlexed bees around it (if they bothered hanging around)

Mine are in a sheep field an I've got a small wooden three baa fence around to protect - works well
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
If you're sufficiently suicidal to look at the viability of this further, I'd suggest looking at top bar hives or Warre hives, which can be home built very cheaply - populate them with swarms from the local swarm-catcher and look to manage them as naturally as possible, then you have little capital outlay involved (my 4 colonies and all equipment have so far set me back a total of around £150.....), BUT I am yawningly un-allergic to bee stings (so far!):coolgleamA:
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
i hve thought long and hard about the question of stings and to be honest i spend all day every day (almost) working outside in long grass and paddocks etc and i only been stung 4 times in 10 years, for me being stung is a risk every time i step out the house so i figure if i take all the precautions i can and use the right kit of good quality then the increase in risk should be minimal. i hadnt considered bees clinging onto the suite tho, but we do have an outside wet room so i guess i would just have to make sure i jumped under the shower in my suite when i had finished messing with the bees :D
i would realy hate the safety aspect stopping the project. and trimming hedges is boreing!!!
I understand but its one thing walking through a meadow and on occasion getting stung to opening a hive with 50,000 bees inside and having to do a full inspection and the bees on that day a bit grumpy and not happy with you.

Yes I think pass on the project to someone else sound like a good idea.
 

ghostman11 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
thanks for all the replys! although it looks like if we did go ahead i would have to stay out the way :(, rooftops i would love to meet up and see your bees!
as for desensitising i tried that route 15 years ago without much success so its probaly best i let others look after them, but i would still like to keep some hives on the land, as for masionary bees we are rebuilding an old barn so i guess i could also include a few holes for them :D
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
thanks for all the replys! although it looks like if we did go ahead i would have to stay out the way :(, rooftops i would love to meet up and see your bees!
as for desensitising i tried that route 15 years ago without much success so its probaly best i let others look after them, but i would still like to keep some hives on the land, as for masionary bees we are rebuilding an old barn so i guess i could also include a few holes for them :D
Best not to drill the holes in the barn it probably has plenty now best to hang blocks of 4" timbers with holes in of the barn walls and a mud source near by.
 

ghostman11 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
Monsieur Abeille thats a great pic of your hives!!
i didnt think of fencing around them thats a good idea. i see the point about 50,000 bees as opposed to the exposure i have now.

@rooftops......... we live on the edge of dartmoor in a fairly secluded spot. plenty of pasture and mooreland around here. and apart from 1 neighbour the only other people are about 1 1/2 miles away.
 

ghostman11 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
Best not to drill the holes in the barn it probably has plenty now best to hang blocks of 4" timbers with holes in of the barn walls and a mud source near by.

that would be easy!!! what size holes? we are using 4x2" timber for some frame work on the barn so plenty of offcuts! and no shortage of mud!!!
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,834
Reaction score
1,115
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I started keeping bees this year. Two top bar hives with very docile bees. I am not allergic to stings and have been stung 23 times.

Twice the same hand on the soft part of the skin: three wasp stings ... swelled up for three days. When it went down, the bees decided I had not been stung enough and stung me four times on the same hand...


I have found that bees love to climb inside your trousers/shirt/veil and have been stung 4 times like that.. And found bees in the car after two miles away from the apiary... presumably on my clothes.

Allergic? You are trying to commit suicide? Don't bother. Even the best natured of bees get riled...and they could be on a delicate part of your anatomy..:-(
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
5/16 or 8mm drilled up to 4" deep just short of right through the timber you can fix the 4x2 together to make one big block. A simple roof to stop water sitting and soaking the nest. Like honey bees they like a bit of morning sun and approx 3-4 feet of the ground. They do like a local mud supply to seal the hole.
 

drstitson 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
7,658
Reaction score
0
Location
surrey, lincolnshire etc.
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
14
advice

ok - so your small holding is actually quite big and a viable business with several workers. so yes you could have an apiary run by someone else for you.

re the allergy - since you work in the countryside occasional stings are likely anyway - have you considered Venom Desensitisation Immunotherapy given your previous life threatening reaction?????
 

Latest posts

Top