Anybody make honey in case of a SHTF scenario?

This is a discussion on Anybody make honey in case of a SHTF scenario? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Wife and I have tried to be self sufficient. We grow much of our own food. Wife and I are mostly vegetarians (fish also). We ...

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Thread: Anybody make honey in case of a SHTF scenario?

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Anybody make honey in case of a SHTF scenario?

    Wife and I have tried to be self sufficient. We grow much of our own food. Wife and I are mostly vegetarians (fish also). We have a generator at one house in NH and putting one in our house in TX. Firearms and ammo are stock piled as well as a good supply of emergencey food and medical supplies. (she is a nurse and use to be a medic, I have a lot or trauma training.).

    We feel we are missing something....Bee Hives!! Honey almost never goes bad, we need bees around for our farm/garden. So why not get into bee keeping and producing our own honey.

    Anybody out there do that and is it worthwhile. Sites I looked at said it costs about 500 to 800 bucks to get started. How much money can you expect? I have been looking at prices at this site:

    Results for Start Up Kits

    It seems worthwhile...thoughts and advice
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    I've been told by a few friends that have several hives that you need to think of them as a garden that needs year round attention and also as a pet that requires a bit more attention.

    That's why I decided to be friends of people that have hives instead of getting into it myself.
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    I know nothing of this stuff except that hives are subject to a variety of ills, so
    if you go that route you need to be aware of early detection of the common
    afflictions that can destroy a hive or greatly reduce it productivity.

    I also don't know if there is added personal risk here (TX) due to the natural influx
    of "Killer bees." That is, I have no clue if they could take over a hive and give you
    a really bad surprise.

    Like any other hobby, my guess is that it will take lots of study and MORE MONEY.

    Just a thought, do it if you want to as a hobby and as something that is fun for you as
    a recreation. There probably are better ways to obtain or maintain food self-sufficiency.

    Too bad we don't have sugar maples like you did back home.
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    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    I have a very active Amish community and a well stocked Amish store very close. They also sell eggs, milk (for pets <wink wink>) and a very large vegetable stand and honey bee hives. They also do wood work and animals for meat. They figure large in our survival plans.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I know nothing of this stuff except that hives are subject to a variety of ills, so
    if you go that route you need to be aware of early detection of the common
    afflictions that can destroy a hive or greatly reduce it productivity.

    I also don't know if there is added personal risk here (TX) due to the natural influx
    of "Killer bees." That is, I have no clue if they could take over a hive and give you
    a really bad surprise.

    Like any other hobby, my guess is that it will take lots of study and MORE MONEY.

    Just a thought, do it if you want to as a hobby and as something that is fun for you as
    a recreation. There probably are better ways to obtain or maintain food self-sufficiency.

    Too bad we don't have sugar maples like you did back home.
    It is for recreation also. Wife brought it up on the way home from church and figured we have the room, time, and money. Figured just another tool in the tool kit though. We have other sustainable plans.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    Senior Member Array RKflorida's Avatar
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    You can buy honey in Texas for less than $30 a gallon. So $600 would buy 20 gallons of honey. Seems like that is about a lifetime supply. It keeps forever and your time could be devoted to things that will be difficult to store and purchase when a crisis comes.
    Hopyard, goldmaster and ppkheat like this.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKflorida View Post
    You can buy honey in Texas for less than $30 a gallon. So $600 would buy 20 gallons of honey. Seems like that is about a lifetime supply. It keeps forever and your time could be devoted to things that will be difficult to store and purchase when a crisis comes.
    Is that for 5lbs of honey or a gallon? 5 lbs of honey sells for about 30 dollars. 12 lbs of honey = 1gallon

    PM where you saw 30 bucks/gallon!

    Anyway, like I said, we want to be sustainable and we have already many of the resources and tools in two geographicly seperated locations. We also cook ALOT with honey and I don't feel like storing 60 gallons. Anway, just another tool in the toolbox and a SKILL which is darned important in a SHTF situation.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    Distinguished Member Array pinklady's Avatar
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    I was raised up around honey bees and used to help my dad collect honey from their hives. I would not recommend having them in Tx due to killer bees. I believe they would take over the hive and that would not be good. Not everyone can be around bees. Me nor my dad never wore any protection around our bee's and I never once remember getting stung. If you are afraid of them like my brother was, Lol they can sense it and they would be all over you. He could not pass within 100 feet of their hive without them chasing after him. Bee keeping is a lot of work. Disease, and pests can wipe out whole hives of bees. They have to have a good food supply. Knowing when to collect honey and when is too late to collect. In my honest opinion, you would probably be better off just stock piling honey because it will last a long, long time. If it turns to sugar just heat it and it will go back to it's original state.
    goldmaster, Hopyard and ppkheat like this.

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    Senior Member Array marcclarke's Avatar
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    No, due to the expense and time required. I do buy my honey from local producers.

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    Here's what we do out here:

    Find local honey retailers at your local farmers market; find one that wants more hives under production; go to Craig's list and find hives, generally for free; put the hives out for/in conjunction with the retailer for a percentage of the production.

    Learn, learn, learn........

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I know nothing of this stuff except that hives are subject to a variety of ills, so
    if you go that route you need to be aware of early detection of the common
    afflictions that can destroy a hive or greatly reduce it productivity.

    I also don't know if there is added personal risk here (TX) due to the natural influx
    of "Killer bees." That is, I have no clue if they could take over a hive and give you
    a really bad surprise.
    Like any other hobby, my guess is that it will take lots of study and MORE MONEY.
    Just a thought, do it if you want to as a hobby and as something that is fun for you as
    a recreation. There probably are better ways to obtain or maintain food self-sufficiency.
    I would not recommend having them in Tx due to killer bees. I believe they would take over the hive and that would not be good.
    Bee keeping is a lot of work. Disease, and pests can wipe out whole hives of bees. They have to have a good food supply. Knowing when to collect honey and when is too late to collect. In my honest opinion, you would probably be better off just stock piling honey because it will last a long, long time.
    No, due to the expense and time required.
    Because of the above quotes I have decided to start my journey in becoming anapiarist! I love a challenge. (I have never failed at anything yet) Bunch of Eyhores out there! j/k. The feed back was helpful. Heck, I got bored last summer, bought a piano and practiced 8 hours a day for two months till I got good at it. Too much OCD and too much time on my hands I guess. Seriously, for recreation it sounds like fun (anything easy is not fun) and it is a another skill to learn in case of a SHTF scenario. Thanks for the replies.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    Distinguished Member Array pinklady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Because of the above quotes I have decided to start my journey in becoming anapiarist! I love a challenge. (I have never failed at anything yet) Bunch of Eyhores out there! j/k. The feed back was helpful. Heck, I got bored last summer, bought a piano and practiced 8 hours a day for two months till I got good at it. Too much OCD and too much time on my hands I guess. Seriously, for recreation it sounds like fun (anything easy is not fun) and it is a another skill to learn in case of a SHTF scenario. Thanks for the replies.
    Bee stings don't sound like fun to me, but to each his own.. I wish you the best of luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    Here's what we do out here:

    Find local honey retailers at your local farmers market; find one that wants more hives under production; go to Craig's list and find hives, generally for free; put the hives out for/in conjunction with the retailer for a percentage of the production.

    Learn, learn, learn........
    From a beekeeper friend back east...

    Private/amateur beekeepers who have passed the 'beginner' mark like to expand their domain, and are frequently on the lookout for landowners (with vegetation) who are willing to host a hive on their property. I'd jump on that in a heartbeat (although not in a region where the African ['killer'] bees are an issue), with the agreement to share the harvest.
    Rock and Glock and msc8127 like this.
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    Member Array BaldSasq's Avatar
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    We purchased two hives 4 years ago. It's one of the most amazing, cool things we have done to date in our preps. I started off with two Nucs and two hive setups, got them home (purchased them locally) and in place. I did not get a full bee suit to start, just the hat/veil, and thick clothes. Do not make that mistake. I went cheap because I am 6'7" and the suits that are out there don't fit me. Just this past spring, I bought a full bee suit, custom made/fitted. I have not been stung since wearing it, before, well, sometimes I did stupid things that got the hive mad, and let's just say pulling out 60 stingers from my pants later, after jumping into the pool to get them off me (didn't work, amazing, bees can hang on under water longer than I can hold my breath) well that is enough motivation to go ahead and buy the full suit. Anyhow, since having them, we didn't take any honey the first year (we were told to let them get established) and in the 2nd year took about 10 frames of honey in the summer. Lost one hive to wax moths, I learned the hard way to not leave the tops open just a tad in summer for the heat relief, the entire hive was decimated by them. We plan on getting 3 hives this coming spring, to get to 4. We got 6 gallons of honey off this one hive this spring/summer, it's truly amazing working with them. I've made lots of mistakes, watched a lot of Youtube videos, read a lot of RSS feeds on beekeeping, and our gardens/wildflowers are BOOMING with the pollinators flying around. Problem is weeds are BOOMING also. :-) Our hives are 50 feet from our back porch, never been a problem, only I have been stung really, and then only when I was working the hive. I would say do it, it's worth it, and you will know if you get overrun by killer bees, the honey production will fall off, and they will become more aggressive, and pursue you farther (currently I walk 10 feet away, and they go back to the hive) also their bodies are more black than golden, the stripes on the adbomen. If you get killer bees in there, introduce them to Vitamin G (gasoline).

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    Member Array BaldSasq's Avatar
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    And what Gasmitty said is true. There is a guy here in Virginia who puts out on craigslist/freecycle "I want to put a bee hive on your property, costs you nothing, I'll work the hive, and share the honey with you" he just wants to get the bees back, from where they are dwindling. Pretty cool.

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