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Beekeeping Equipment – Advice Please

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  • #258001
    Bel
    Member

    Hi all. I recently launched into beekeeping, buying 2 hives for our property. The only problem is, I know nothing about beekeeping (yet!). I know I need to buy some basic equipment – suit, gloves, hive tool, smoker at the minimum. I’d also like to buy a good beginner’s book. Any and all advice on the topic would be great, thanks, particularly if you know of any good books. I’m thinking of buying this beginner’s equipment from ebay – thoughts?

    Bee Equipment

    #534631
    redhen2
    Member

    Hey Bel. We bought some hives some years ago, but the bees decided to live elsewhere. still not over that.

    Anyway, the advice that i got at every turn was to join a local group of beekeepers. advice on tap and all of that.

    #534632
    lavman
    Member

    Hi Bel

    I’m new to bees also, I was advised to purchase this book which I refer to a lot, as for the kit, the hive tool doesn’t have the hook on one end so I am not sure how you would lift the frames up with it :shrug: sorry I’m not much help, I have been watching to see what the experienced bee keepers have to say.

    I don’t know how to hyperlink so you may have to copy and paste:

    http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/resources/bookshop/bee-agskills

    It worked when I posted, wattayaknow.

    #534633
    Bel
    Member

    redhen – I don’t think I’d get over it if ours moved either! I paid a pretty penny for these hives and I’m hoping they stay put!! I’ll try to join the local beekeeping association ASAP.

    thanks for the input lavman – busylizzie recommended the same book, so it must be a good one. I’ll try to get hold of it. My uncle told me today over New Years lunch that he has some beekeeping equipment! Looks like I’ll be getting some equipment for nothing, which is great!

    #534634
    penny
    Member

    We just found some insects in our garden which we think are blue banded bees. They are small and busy in the basil and tomatoes. Every so often when the light catches them the bands are bright blue and they look like the pictures we googled so we are really hoping they are blue banded bees. So exciting!!!

    :clap:

    #534635
    Bron
    Member

    blue banded bees are quite big, buzz and are quite obvious in appearance 🙂 we have them visit our durants and desert cassia each day. i love to hear them. they’re australian native bees too, i found out the other day!

    bel, what about australian native bees instead of the feral ones? that way, no stinging, no smoking etc 🙂 plus, you support our natural wildlife 🙂 you can get ones that live in boxes or in other types of housing.

    there’s a facebook page of a local person (so maybe there’s one or more local to you too?)

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wide-bay-native-stingless-bee-rescue-and-removal/359829707486719

    #534636
    Jye
    Member

    Hey guys,

    I’ve posted below and extract from an email that I received from an experienced Bee Keeper interstate. Unfortunately native bees are only suitable in SA if you want them for pollination and not so much for honey well that’s in the mid north anyway but im pretty sure it’s almost state wide just depends on your weather.

    “Unfortunately, social stingless bees do not occur in your area and I would not recommend sending them there as they would probably die in the winter. However, many solitary species occur there. Check this website for a document on encouraging local solitary bee species in your garden “

    http://mrccc.org.au/downloads/links/BEE%20WALL%20and%20HABITAT%20-%205%20page.pdf

    #534637
    mudhen
    Member

    The WEA runs beekeeping courses a couple times a term, it looks like. The summer season’s are not available, but I imagine they offer them each term:

    http://www.wea-sa.com.au/search_results.php

    Native stingless bees would come and pollinate our lychee tree when we lived in Emerald. It was lovely to watch them at work, and nice to know they weren’t a threat.

    My dad kept bees for years when I was a kid and was stung regularly. He would have a mild allergic reaction but always kept anti-histamines on hand. These days I would suggest he keep an epi-pen as well just in case, but they weren’t around then. There’s nothing like eating honey still on the comb!

    #534638
    penny
    Member

    I looked up the bees and found that Blue Banded bees are 11 to 12 mm in length. That is the size of the ones we have in the garden. Are there more than one banded be that is called a Blue Banded Bee? I’m a bit confused. Can any one put me straight please?

    #534639
    Bel
    Member

    My bees are dead. I am so very, very sad. Looks like pesticide poisoning as there are thousands of dead bees in front of the hives. I had become so attached to them in such a short time and just feel so awful that they’ve been poisoned. Must’ve come from a neighbouring property somewhere, but I have no idea where. The ants moved in on the few that were left. I’m going to a bit more research before I get some more again. And I’d just got my bee book and other equipment too 🙁

    There are a few bees still flitting around the place, so I hope there are some native bees alive around here at least.

    sorry, Penny, not sure how many varieties of blue banded bees there are. The ones I have around here are probably around 1cm or just under I reckon.

    #534640
    mudhen
    Member

    So sorry to hear that, Bel! I can understand how devastated you would feel. I hope you are able to give them another go before too long.

    #534641
    busylizzie
    Participant

    Oh Bel, tragic, dead bees, although we have lost a few hives here in the last 12 months, has not been a good season for beekeeping in a while. Have you looked into the hive to see if they had food? If you find quite alot in the cells with their bums hanging out and no honey or pollen in there, it could be starvation. (Although you may have lots flowering, the temps need to be right for nectar to flow, if to hot can burn the flower._ You can get a form from DEPI to give to neighbors re their spraying, just lets them know you have bees and would appreciate knowing when and what they are spraying especially on a large scale. I know Pea growers spray which can kill hives. Investigate your hives really well for other diseases or hive beetles ect. Should have told you we have now gone into selling Beekeeping equipment, should have our site up soon as I just need to take some pics to add to it. Dont be disheartend, we all lose Bees along the way.

    Lizzie 🙂

    #534642
    Bel
    Member

    Thanks busylizzie – I needed that 🙂 Was feeling that a bad ‘bee mummy’ and felt so responsible. I’ve read a lot of different books about bees now and I’m pretty certain it was pesticide poisoning. The bees went from foraging and active one day to hundreds dead in front of the hive the next. I inspected the hive and there was honey in both the brood super and the honey super on top (not all frames were full, but plenty there if they needed it). There were also young bees starting to emerge head-first from the brood cells. I felt awful knowing that they would soon die without the support of their colony. I will try again this spring with a new nucleus for each hive, but I’m going to learn more first and will also make some modifications to the hive and location. Those forms about spraying sound good too – I’ll get onto that.

    Oh, a question if I may. Can ant sand kill hives? We had some ant sound around the place as ants were getting into the hives. Could that have killed them somehow?

    #534643
    Bron
    Member

    Tragic Bel 🙁

    Penny, I wonder if they grow to different sizes in different places??? By big, I mean bigger than feral bees.

    #534644
    busylizzie
    Participant

    Bel post=359953 wrote:

    Oh, a question if I may. Can ant sand kill hives? We had some ant sound around the place as ants were getting into the hives. Could that have killed them somehow?

    Hi Bel, not sure on ingredients of ant sand, maybe one of the people here who understand all the chemical lingo can check it out. There are other non chemical ways to keep ants out,(like standing hive in oil) most people don’t worry to much about a few ants as they don’t do to much damage.

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