Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bad Seed Farm Bee Class

The boys and I motored up to KC this past weekend to attend a Bee Keeping Class at Bad Seed Farm Market. Chris, the bee keeper, brought a lot of things to see and a wealth of info.

We've been thinking about adding bees to our little homestead, but DH has been concerned that bees and little people/dogs/chicks/horses aren't a good match. Well, it seems that others have blended the bees right into their suburban backyards with much success.

We had researched hive box building and found severl great online references to the Emile Warre method, but no place to buy them. Sooo, DH has offered to assist us in making our set up. We have plenty of time, bees don't arrive until April.

One class member (sorry, I didn't catch your name) gave info as to building a house for Mason Bees. Apparently, they are just as good or even better pollenators as Honey bees, and they don't need a hive. So, after hunting thru some library books, we found a simple design for a bundle of bamboo that will be easy to construct.

Really, all we want is to add bees to our homestead, whether they are honey bees or mason bees, either way is just fine.

By the way, the above photo is one box from Chris's hive. It contains about 25 pounds of unprocessed honey and honey comb. It even had a stowaway bee that zipped out during class.


Karen in Wichita said...

We don't have a hive (not legal within Wichita city limits, alas), but the garden attracts bees from (we assume) the exhibition hive at Exploration place. Last year we had a feral sunflower that kept getting flowers closed in the storm door whenever we let the dogs out, and frequently they'd be occupied by honeybees at the time. The bees were perfectly fine with that, and even let me (gently!) shoo them along if they got disoriented while I was letting them out.

The ducks were surprisingly savvy about bees/wasps: they'll eat Mydas flies without hesitation yet leave mud daubers alone, and ignore honeybees while chasing flies down. This apparently makes them smarter than our dachshund, who will happily attempt to eat bees. Fortunately, they just move to an altitude out of range.

Now, if an actual hive was being threatened, that might be different, but otherwise honeybees are exceptionally mellow.

mary said...

Hi Melissa,
We too have been thinking about building a hive for our homestead. I posted about it in my blog, and I know there is a link there to a free e-book on how to build a hive - if you are interested ;). I'll be following your progress! We live next to a commercial strawberry field that sprays every week. I have often wondered if bees are harmed by what they do. Also, a new subdivision was built next to our lot two years ago, where there once were acres of orange groves. We've seen the bee population diminish since that happened. So, my husband and son will be building a hive for our vegetable garden this winter.
I'm adding your blog to my list today!