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Old 11-05-2009, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,974,316 times
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I apologise if there has been a similar thread recently but I was wondering whether some posters on this Forum have experience of small size Bee-Keeping as a means to encourage local pollination of local vegetation and flora.

I recently read a fascinating issue of "The New Internationalist" a magazine I suscribe to which emphasised exactly how crucial Bees are to our survival as humans and have decided to see if I can start my own little Bee-Keeping pollination in my little garden ( and will try to encourage my friends, neighbours and relatives to do so too) .

I have bought a little Bumble-Bee Nester from a Green Shop but want to do more. I already also have a solitary Bee nester but was wondering if anyone has any experience with Bees on a small scale. I am told that to encourage Bees to settle in my garden I need to find some nesting material from an old mice nest but have really no idea how to find one having never seen a mouse in my garden....


Any help much appreciated. I had not realised exactly quite how much we depend on Bees though of course I knew about Colony Collapse symdrome. It seems as though unless we do ALL try to encourage Bees to settle in our gardens no matter how small we might end up in serious trouble with our food-chain.

Where have all the Bees gone? | September 2009 - Issue 425 | New Internationalist

Anyone interested in this issue, I would seriously recommend getting the issue above, it was quite an eye-opener.

Bees pollinate a THIRD of the food we eat and they are dying out for various reasons such as pollution and possibly cell-phone masts making them disorientated . I don't think we have much of a choice trying to help them so we can help ourselves...
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:46 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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There was a thread about Honey Bees over in the Great Debates forum (not sure why it was there) a couple weeks ago.

I know there were several members who said they either were presently keeping bees, or had in the past. Hopefully you can make contact with some of them!

The end of honey we know it



I've got a huge yard, and would love to put a hive out in the back corner. Unfortunately, my back fence shares a property line with an elementary school, and I'm not sure that would be either allowed or a good idea.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:24 AM
 
2,255 posts, read 4,884,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
I apologise if there has been a similar thread recently but I was wondering whether some posters on this Forum have experience of small size Bee-Keeping as a means to encourage local pollination of local vegetation and flora.
Here's also another link to a small thread in the science & technology forum. Username , "forestbeekeeper" commented down there, maybe he'll pop in here again as he does from time to time.

have-you-been-rooting-honey-bee
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,635 posts, read 49,287,779 times
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Go! Go! Go bees go!



Sure I think if a gardener wants to have those bumble bee nest boxes then you should. I think they look cool.

Should be real easy to make.

I know little about bumble bees though.

Having issues enough keeping my honey bees going
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:37 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,974,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Go! Go! Go bees go!



Sure I think if a gardener wants to have those bumble bee nest boxes then you should. I think they look cool.

Should be real easy to make.

I know little about bumble bees though.

Having issues enough keeping my honey bees going
I've always been fascinated by Bees ( and Bumble Bees) so I am hoping to get into this.

I was astonished to find out in that article that in the US the more lucrative side of Bee-Keeping is not Honey but pollination serviceswith bee-hives being hired to pollinate orchards etc... and transported 100s, sometimes 1000s of miles. It really was a fascinating issue.

Apparently "urban" Bee-Keeping is starting to take off with people having Bee-Hives in places like Vancouver city etc...
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,635 posts, read 49,287,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
I've always been fascinated by Bees ( and Bumble Bees) so I am hoping to get into this.

I was astonished to find out in that article that in the US the more lucrative side of Bee-Keeping is not Honey but pollination serviceswith bee-hives being hired to pollinate orchards etc... and transported 100s, sometimes 1000s of miles. It really was a fascinating issue.

Apparently "urban" Bee-Keeping is starting to take off with people having Bee-Hives in places like Vancouver city etc...
Yes one of our local 'breeders' has 1500 hives that he trucks between Georgia and Maine. His primary source of income is the rental fees. He handles honey because he must, but he refuses to retail honey.

He would rather land-fill the honey. Handling honey just to extract it and dump it into drums costs him more in manpower than it makes him.

He also makes and markets hives, queens and colonies. He offers weekend classes on beekeeping, and offers to sell his honey to fellow beekeepers, in bulk.

Farmers Markets want to have beekeepers as vendors. But 'baby-sitting a parking-lot' as it is often called selling honey does not earn you minimum wage. So to hire someone [that you can trust] to baby-sit a parking-lot is costly. If you hire a kid, you have issues of them not showing up.

And just so there is one more monkey-wrench in the gears Farmers Markets here each have 'no-buy' rules. Either you are not allowed to have bought anything you are marketing, or else they will have a strict percentage [like say 10%, so you are allowed to have no more than 10% of your 'farm produce' to be things that you bought, everything else must be produce that you produced].
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 51,238,770 times
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I planted my tiny garden with bee friendly plants last spring and was rewarded with lots of honey and bumble bees as well as several humming birds feasting on the nectar. This garden replaced my tomatoe, squash, pepper garden that was devastated by a black leaf fungus that I could not control. Much more satisfied with the bee friendly space.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,974,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
I planted my tiny garden with bee friendly plants last spring and was rewarded with lots of honey and bumble bees as well as several humming birds feasting on the nectar. This garden replaced my tomatoe, squash, pepper garden that was devastated by a black leaf fungus that I could not control. Much more satisfied with the bee friendly space.
Our garden is pretty much all "Wildlife" friendly, I just love to see all the insects, we even have some Newts and a family of Frogs in our tiny pond, and some Hedgehogs . And of course lots of Birds and Ladybugs too. Our lawn is a disgrace, we simply cannot grow a lawn ( too shaded and too much rain I think) despite our best efforts especially as we refuse to use any chemicals so I am wondering whether we should simply plant some wild grasses or even a chamomile lawn .

Our garden is the size of a pocket handkerchief but we do still manage to get a lot of various critters in it which is great. Of course we don't get quite the wildlife that you are blessed with in the US , our most bizarre one was a Golden Pheasant ( golden pheasant - Google Images ) landing in the garden out of nowhere. We used to get foxes but the urban foxes are having a really hard time nowadays with out very efficient and hard to get into wheelie trash bins.
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