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Old 01-12-2013, 10:04 PM
 
393 posts, read 792,335 times
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The more I read up on beekeeping the more daunting it seemed. I even signed up for a course offered by Oxford County which unfortunately was cancelled due to lack of interest : ( So I posted an ad on craigslist offering my property as a beeyard. I figured that I could learn about beekeeping without the investment. It was good for the beekeeper and good for my apple blossoms. He put up 3 hives. I learned that I don't want to get into beekeeping on my own but I am very happy with this arrangement because it's at no cost to me. I enjoy observing bee activity, my plants are happy, and I get a jar of honey out of it too. You do need a very sunny spot for the bees to be happy, preferably close to water (but not a swimming pool), far from pesticides (and that includes neighbors using pesticides), and if you're in the woods, an electric fence to keep out bears (ours is solar powered and provided by the beekeeper). I feel our beeyard offer ended up being a totally win-win situation for everyone involved.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Maine
36 posts, read 45,080 times
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Default bees

Its good you found out that you dont want to keep bees but to have someone that wants keep them on your property,Its good espically for the bees as they would be the ones to suffer, im about the same way however if the fried that has his bees in my yard quits ill keep them and learn more about how to keep them,,I am making the hive boxes for the bees on my land and letting him have his custom boxes back,,my boxes do not have handels because we dont move them ,,The honey trays are removed and replaced as needed,,I think the boxes i make are better because they are thicker at one full inch thick and may try a hive that is 2" thick to help insulate the bees from heat and cold ,,I am also drawing up plans for a permanent base for 4 hives with an enclosed base and screened bottom tray that slides in for summer
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Newport, ME
276 posts, read 743,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcberry View Post
The more I read up on beekeeping the more daunting it seemed. I even signed up for a course offered by Oxford County which unfortunately was cancelled due to lack of interest : ( So I posted an ad on craigslist offering my property as a beeyard. I figured that I could learn about beekeeping without the investment. It was good for the beekeeper and good for my apple blossoms. He put up 3 hives. I learned that I don't want to get into beekeeping on my own but I am very happy with this arrangement because it's at no cost to me. I enjoy observing bee activity, my plants are happy, and I get a jar of honey out of it too. You do need a very sunny spot for the bees to be happy, preferably close to water (but not a swimming pool), far from pesticides (and that includes neighbors using pesticides), and if you're in the woods, an electric fence to keep out bears (ours is solar powered and provided by the beekeeper). I feel our beeyard offer ended up being a totally win-win situation for everyone involved.
I actually thought of offering my space as well just to see if it would be successful and see if I could handle having them. There is only a small area of the yard that we don't access much but it is near the road so I am not sure how well they would fare there. Also I have never paid much attention to what flowers or if there is enough clover in the area (I would scatter some in the unmowed part we have to give them extra though). There is plenty of danelion, some daisies, a lilac bush, two small weigela bushes, and I think some sort of milkweed. There is a pond across the street, less than 500 feet (I think). I'll just keep doing my research for a bit. I think the $40 for the course through somerset beekeeps will give me a good idea of what goes on.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,502 posts, read 6,456,680 times
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Originally Posted by MAINEr View Post
I actually thought of offering my space as well just to see if it would be successful and see if I could handle having them. There is only a small area of the yard that we don't access much but it is near the road so I am not sure how well they would fare there. Also I have never paid much attention to what flowers or if there is enough clover in the area (I would scatter some in the unmowed part we have to give them extra though). There is plenty of danelion, some daisies, a lilac bush, two small weigela bushes, and I think some sort of milkweed. There is a pond across the street, less than 500 feet (I think). I'll just keep doing my research for a bit. I think the $40 for the course through somerset beekeeps will give me a good idea of what goes on.
Bees will travel quite a distance to forage, it isn't what is in your yard that counts as much as what is in the general area for a couple of miles or so. I've spent some time watching mine and some do hang about the general area, but many of them I see leaving the hives and heading for the other end of the field where they suddenly rise up over the treeline several hundred yards away. I don't know where they are going but they come back loaded with pollen.

I've discovered that when the sun is setting toward the west I can see the glint off their wings for quite a long way, and from their flight pattern I can tell that they are bees and not some other insect. I can spend hours standing near the hives, watching their comings and goings.

Keeping honeybees does involve a bit of work, but not near as much as other livestock. My wife and I sometimes joke that we have over 100,000 head of livestock, they're just very, very small.

I have a variety of plants in the general area, comprising about 10 acres of field- dandelions, Queen Anne's Lace, clover, goldenrod, etc. I've spotted some of them foraging there but the greater numbers seem to be going elsewhere. It will be interesting this Spring when the dandelions bloom. I used to get annoyed at the amount of dandelions growing here, increasing steadily over the last few years, but now they will be useful.
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