bees are calling me

Chic Rustler

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for some reason I'm stuck on the idea of getting bees. it's borderline obsessive. how does one get started? how does it all work? is it worth the investment? seems there's quite a market for bee products. honey brings about $15 a pint around here and people always want was and candles. can the profits overcome the costs of starting up?
 

goatgurl

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@Chic Rustler the best bee advice I can give you is to go over to our sister site Backyard Herds and check things out. they have a very active bunch of beeple and will be happy to answer any questions you have.
 

NH Homesteader

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Is it worth the investment.... Financially, usually not. It's fairly expensive to get started and really easy to lose hive. You have to worry about mites, weather (more so here than there) and wild swarms taking over your hive.

Is it worth it, in a non-financial sense, yes! At least to me. Having bees to pollinate and having fresh honey is priceless. We lost our hives and haven't re-started yet (every year we end up needing something else that bumps bees off the list, but hopefully next year we'll get them again!)

I was interested in making beeswax candles but it seems that you don't really get enough wax to make it cost-effective to do so as any more than a hobby.

I can ask my husband for more detailed information if you have specific questions. He is the bee guy, knows a lot more than I do!
 

frustratedearthmother

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I'd love to have bees - but only if they can take care of themselves! I can't put anything else on my list of critters that need to be taken care of. DH made some noise about it once...but I'm not holding my breath. I can buy local honey at the feed store for less than $10. I'm supporting local beekeeps and getting a good product for a good price. Win, win, win!
 

milkmansdaughter

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We're also looking at starting with bees. Apparently my husband has always wanted to have them (who knew??) So one of this year's projects have been focusing on adding year long food (flowers, clover, alfalfa, etc) for them growing in the yard. Long term, for us, bees are needed to pollinate all of our fruit trees and bushes.
 

Chic Rustler

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bees are definitely on the list now. but first we have fruit trees and a pig that we need. i really want the pig pen. not only for pork but lard! i want to make ojr own soaps and laundry detergnets. fruit trees are a must as well. a man can't live on canned pickles alone. I need preserves and jams! :D


seems like a bee hive would only help things tho.....
 

Mini Horses

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I have lard from my pigs but, only use for cooking. Grandma made own lye, lard used for soaps. I make own soaps but use goat milk & buy food grade lye. Plus I use oils in the soaps from olive, palm, cocoa butter, etc. depends on the bar I'm making. Fun. Great soaps, good on skin, cleans & lathers well.

Daughter -- lives on farm in separate residence -- began bee keeping again this year (after 15 yr hiatus). Great pollinators but I try to stay "out of" that project as it's all hers! she helps with soap making and we take/sell as some festivals, etc.

Pigs-- I raised, had butchered (kill & chill), then cut & vac sealed to freezer. No live one now. Eventually will do a couple feeder pigs. Not needed now.
 

NH Homesteader

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I make soap with oils as well. I would like to try it with lard, but I have heard the complaint that the soap kinda smells like pig, lol. Now I'm scared to try it. I have a bunch of lard I need to render though, and will have even more soon when we butcher the next pig.

I've tried making my own laundry detergent. I've never managed to be able to actually get clothes very clean with homemade stuff so I go with the most natural detergents I can buy.
 
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