Were they the furry klingon type?
I would love to have a few hives. But, my wife is terrified of anything that buzzes!
Thanx........still going to start it doing though. I did say we have the time and sounds like a fun and challenging hobby. I talked to a local bee keeper and I am going to work with him every few days for a month so I know what I am doing.
I am a beekeeper, I have two large hives and have had them for a few years. My bees are italians and are very docile, russians may also be a good choice as far as personality goes. I do recommend looking into local area bee schools and participate in that before getting your actual hives, as it will save you a lot of heartache. Your local dept of agriculture can give you info on bee schools and clubs/organizations in your area, and they in turn can guide you on the killer bee issue and what to watch for.
I did not get into beekeeping for the honey, so I have never actually collected any from my girls. I have however, helped in the harvest of honey from other peoples hives and it does require special equipment that is not exactly cheap. The good news is that your local bee club (here just about every county has their own) will usually have the expensive stuff like the extractors that can be rented and shared by the whole bee community.
They are wonderful creatures to have in your backyard, and you can expect much larger than normal yields in you garden and your neighbor's garden too! Bees will fly up to two miles in any direction from their hives. If you have farmers within that zone, talk to them about what they use for pest control on their crops, as many hives have been wiped out by visiting crops that have been treated with pesticides. Once you get your equipment and some understanding of their behavior, you may even be able to capture swarms in the spring time. YAY FOR FREE BEES!
I definitely encourage you to get into it, whether the SHTF or not it is very satisfying to watch them. :smile:
You could make Dandelion honey.
4 cups dandelion petals
4 cups water
3 (1/4-inch) thick slices lemon
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half
2-1/8 cups granulated white sugar
Pick dandelion flowers during the daylight while in full bloom, remove petals, then measure petals only.
Place petals in a heavy saucepan along with the water, lemon slices, and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 6 hours.
Strain dandelion tea through cheesecloth and discard solids. Place in a heavy saucepan and bring to a low boil. Gradually add sugar while stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat and let simmer to desired syrupy thickness (may take up to 4 hours).
Yield: about 1 cup
Spent my first day with a "bee master":smile:. Very interesting. I think I am going to enjoy it. There is a lot to learn but once you get intoo it he says it becomes easy. He has an old hive he is giving me. Next week I am ordering my bees and a queen.
Very cool for you to take on this new project. Noting wrong with trying something new. When the SHTF, you will be better prepared than others. You are not going to be deterred by the naysayers that have not raised their own bees. Those that are doing it, looks like they are very encouraging. I would not want to do it myself but found the idea of having someone run a hive on my property very appealing...
Thanks for this thread and all the posters... good stuff!!!!
Congrats, that is great news! Don't be too surprised if your bees reject the provided queen and make their own, both of my hives did. They have been going strong ever since though, and I have to think they know what they're doing in there.
Best of luck!
Here is a pic of one of my packages of bees. Some recommend shaking the bees out of the package to introduce them into the hive, but I preferred to remove a few frames and set the package inside the hive. The next day I checked on them and most were out exploring the frames and trying to locate the queen (still in a separate container at that point). I found this much easier for me and generally less stressful on the bees.
Here is one gal coming in with full pollen baskets. :smile:
A bit of good info on honey :
Link : Quick Honey Facts
Honey is a miracle food; it never goes bad. It was reported that archaeologists found 2000 year old jars of honey in Egyptian tombs and they still tasted delicious! Many people find it rather surprising that bacteria cannot grow in honey because all things being equal, bacteria loves sugar. The unique chemical composition of low water content and relatively high acidic level in honey creates a low pH (3.2-4.5) environment that makes it very unfavourable for bacteria or other micro-organism to grow. Thus, "Best Before Dates" on honey buckets indicating honey shelf life do not seem to be very important after all. For more information on why shelf life is stated on the honey bottles in the shop and how to best store honey, read: Honey Storage Tips.
I know nothing about raising bees, but having a ready source of honey seems very smart. Honey has a lot of uses, and stores incredibly well. Even if it crystallizes it's still good, or you can just reheat it to get it "back to normal."
Best of luck!
I try to make Honey as often as I can. Honey doesn't all ways cooperate. By the way, how will this help if tshtf? I always heard bending over backwards and kissing your ass goodbye could be more helpful.
Medicinal Uses of Honey: What the Research Shows
Benefits of using honey, just a quick search via Google. That much said, note that they seem to reference very specific types, so perhaps not wise to count all honey as being useful for wounds, anti-bacterial use, etc.
One thing that any honey provides, however, is a quick and readily absorbed source of sugars, which may be useful when other sources of simple energy are scarce.