Ok beeeeee keepers....where do we start?

Medicine Woman

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I spent a lot of money getting set up in bees in the past. I never got rid of my equipment but recently we began to remove bees from walls and catching swarms from weeds and branches (which is the easiest). I already know how expensive the equipment is and I will be needing more equipment so DH and I bought a new table saw to make our own hive bodies and possibly frames.
I am a Hurricane Ida survivor and my house was made out of cypress so I plan on making a few hundred bee hives from my house. You can probably make a lot of hives by dumpster diving or buying directly from the mills. Also if you have lots of bodies and you need frames, consider pallets. Most people buy covers, inner covers and hive bottoms as plastic but it can also be homemade. So if you just want a colony for yourself you will come out cheaper buying a kit and getting started but if there is anything in you that might want to go big then just know you are getting into a hobby that has expensive things. You can pay over $400 for an extractor.
I once advertised that I was in the market for an extractor and other bee keeping equipment. An old man called and for $400 I got his extractor and at least 15 hive bodies with frames, Queen excluders....well lots of things. It is usually something old men might have done. They might not be strong enough anymore and be glad to get a few bucks for it.
Regarding bears...supposedly we have them but they vanished a long time ago. We even have a bayou here called Bayou Luis (bear bayou), and yet no bears 🤷‍♀️ I could be wrong but I think I know why I have never seen one. Cajuns are well known to eat anything so I assume they were pretty much all killed. Electric fence....good. Maybe that will work but I bet a bunch of bear sausage will work too.
 

Okiepan

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If there is a local Beekeepers in your area ask them about classes, I was taught by folks who handled bees for decades , I found a class which really helped me even more,
YouTube university works in a pinch for things as well , But check again your local area and best of luck , they are just fun to watch .
 

flowerbug

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i'm going to put in a plug for being aware of your local native bee species and learning how to encourage them.

honey bees are not native to the USoA and they can cause issues with native populations of other bees (spreading diseases and outcompete for food and nesting sites, etc.).

i love all creatures on this planet (even the ugly ones like me) so please bee aware...
 

Medicine Woman

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Let me just mention that in the past few years I had been losing colonies.
The colonies in my yard I think I lost because of the mosquito truck. I call him Hexus. At first I didn’t know why I lost them.
In the orchard I lost a few. Before it was mine Daddy just wanted bees there to improve the crop. We would find hives knocked over and once I found a can of Raid in front of a hive that was knocked over. Once I found someone had shot a hive with a shotgun and I put it back up.
I set up a game camera but I never caught anyone. I watched a video and some old men showed various ways to catch bees but what stuck with me was they put the bees in green hives instead of white. So from now on I plan on doing the same. I have camouflaged a few hives. I plan on making several stands attached to trees just north of the orchard in the woods. I will try to get trees that are very close to saw palmetto to block the view.
The only reason I can see someone harming a hive is ignorance of the reason for the bees to be there. I assume the person who knocked over the hive, poisoned them and shot them felt we had put the bees there to harm our trespassers. If they did it for hatred of my family then they harmed some very hardworking creatures to hurt us. That’s just sad.
 

flowerbug

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to put another perspective on it some things come to mind. neighbors who have bee allergies who are unaware of how gentle bees usually are. or perhaps they're just mad that someone put bees in without asking (something that has happened here on a large scale and it is very annoying to have it happen). :(

still i'm sorry that these things have happened, it would be great if people could try to get along better but sometimes the direct route is not taken (like it would have been nice for the bee keeper to talk to us before placing so many hives near our property).
 

Medicine Woman

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The thing about bee stings is a true bee allergy is rare and the MDs are too quick to prescribe epinephrine for it. My father was told he was allergic and had this med in the fridge for years.
One night he came pick up a hive with me and received several stings. He was fine. I learned more about bees as I got into the hobby. Some people have a localized reaction that is a bit exaggerated and much redder and swollen than most but no difficulty breathing and no swollen throat. That’s not an allergy but many doctors diagnosed it as such. A true allergy to a bee sting should be handled by an allergist and the person should be injected with half a sting and increase the injection until he or she can take at least 5 stings without going into anaphylactic shock. Now as a nurse this didn’t make sense when I first read it but apparently the way the body responds to other allergies is one thing and the body sends immediate histamine in response but with respects to bee venom it doesn’t follow the same rules. Apparently you can take a person who is allergic and fix them so they will be safer and able to be stung several times without medical emergency. Ignorance is truly bliss and most of us suffer at least to some extent. I know I do.
 
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