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Any Beekeepers out there

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2007-03-14          140434


I've been hearing that some disease has killed a majority of bees here in Michigan as well as some other states. Some fear that with such low bee numbers, some flower bearing fruit trees, flowers and garden plants may not get germinated. Likewise, I'm wondering if flowering farm plants like beans, pickles, etc. will be affected. Some are calling for a large number of amature hobbyists to start beekeeping to bring a revival to the population.

Are any of you guys beekeepers. Would like to know more about it!

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Any Beekeepers out there

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-03-14          140435


Our family have had bees and produced honey as far back as anyone can remember.

The last number of years has seen an increase in mortality from various sources including the Viroa mite, wax worms and something known as collapsing hive disease. They believe it is caused by a gentic mutation caused by pesticides, likey new ones. The bees don't die per se, they just stop coming back to the hive. Without enough bees the whole hive eventually dies off.

If you're not nervous about the bees they're really easy to keep aside from any problems you might encounter.

Best of luck. ....

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Any Beekeepers out there

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-03-14          140436


Just wondering, I am not aware of any hives within a few miles of my home that are "kept". Sure there are some wild ones. The area around where I live has a few house, a lot of trees but not flower fruit trees (pines mostly) and crops being planted with a mile would be hay (coastal bermuda), soybeans, corn and watermelons.

Would that be suitable for raising bees? Thanks, kt

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Any Beekeepers out there

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-03-14          140437


I don't know if this is true every where, but in Iowa you must report your intentions to spray certian pestacides by airplane to any known bee keepers within a certian radius of your field you intend to spray. Not a lot of keepere right here in solid row crop land, but a few miles away near the rivers where alfalfa, clover, etc. are common crops I think there a quite a few. I don't know if honey is still acommodity with a price support level controlled by USDA, but probably 20 years or so ago the largest warehouse of government owned surplus honey in the USA was located in Vinton, Iowa, about 25 miles from me. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Any Beekeepers out there

View my Photos
Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-03-15          140452


Nearly anything that flowers produces pollen, and any pollen can (and is) used by bees to make honey.

The problem is taste. The flavour of the honey is determined (like anything else) by what it is derived from. I'm sure most people are familiar with some of the most popular, buckwheat, clover, and of course Florida is famous for it's orange blossom honey. Peaches, apple and cherry are other regional biggies.

A hive needs to be within 7 miles of a good source of flowers and the closer the better. In our case there are lots of wildflowers, apple trees and couple of commercial nursery farms within a few miles of us.

I watched a show on Discovery or one of those channels about a group of commercial honey producers who had their hives mounted in tractor trailers and moved around the country as different crops came into flower. Tough way to make a living.

Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Any Beekeepers out there

View my Photos
kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-03-15          140456


The honey I have seen raised here has been dark and that is based upon memory of 20 or so years ago. Best I remember the tast is stronger than the clover honey which is what we normally buy. Did not realize the orange blossom honey. Will have to look that up. Might do some local asking on this. A few years ago there was a farmer who had many hives but a new road came through about where he had them set up. Have no idea what happened to them. Where do you get the supplies to begin? kt
....

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Any Beekeepers out there

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-03-15          140457


Kenneth, just enter "beekeeping supplies" in your favourite flavour of search engine.

I don't have any clue about down there, but there must be stuff available, I recall reading about a beekeepers association in SC so there must be a few around.

As for the Orange Blossom stuff, top shelf stuff indeed, if you know anybody going down I-95 south of about Jax it's available in almost all the roadside places.

I'll be down there next week'ish myself, but I'm not sure I'll be out to the coast on the waty back or I'd gladly drop some of to you.

Best of luck.



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Any Beekeepers out there

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-03-16          140459


You guys are making me hungry, so sometime today I will make my semi annual pilgrimage to an Amish general store where I get my Red Wings, home made jams, jellys, apple butter, and clover honey, (my favorite). All their jams, jellies, and home canned pork, beef, like Mom made when you were a kid is in pint mason jars with a home printed label on the jar. You can buy a pint jar of honey or a gallon jug, just a neat place. Frank. ....

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Any Beekeepers out there

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2007-03-16          140462


I was toying with the idea of putting in a small bee spot in the corner of my farm. It being rowcrop farmland will probably not work out. The pesticides will kill them and there isn't that much clover, etc. in the area. It borders on two wooded areas while my pear trees would also help. I was going to do it more for toying around rather than harvesting honey. I go to a local orchard that has a country store with baked goods, honey,etc. ....

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Any Beekeepers out there

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2007-03-19          140551


Just FYI (not nit-picking), bees make honey from nectar not from pollen :) ....

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Any Beekeepers out there

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modyinnh
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 13 East Central VT
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2007-04-04          141025


New member here. That is correct, sir. Pollen is their protein source. I kept bees for about 5 years in New Hampshire before a bear wiped me out. My electric fence quit working and hadn't realized it. The bear figured it out thought. Although I never started up again it was fun and not all that labor intensive. ....

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