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Thread: Honey

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    We apparently have a feral hive around here somewhere. I noticed a lone honey bee on my flowers in the back on Wednesday. On Thursday there must have been 20 or so collecting pollen. Really cool. It's the most honey bees I've seen wild around here in several years. The flowers were loaded with them today.
    I always have tons of honey bees in my yard. Carpenter and bumblebees too, but definitely lots of honey bees. They're always on my sedum in the fall, privet in early summer, etc.


  2. #62
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Lots of honey bees in our yard as well. Planting a yard to attract certain critters has the added benefit of all of their friends showing up to the party.
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  3. #63
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    We generally have everything from Cicada Killers to Bumble Bees to Yellow Jackets but Honey Bees have been very scarce that last few years. I'm glad to hear you guys still have them in good numbers. Hugely important to the ecosystem.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    They know they're safe in my yard. Unless it's a paid hit, I leave em alone.
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  5. #65
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    All this talk about honey has made me wonder where exactly to find it. I plant a garden every year and the area around it is always full of red and white clover. bees love it and I never spray any pesticides until just before dark after the bees have gone to bed. honeybees have become very scarce around here and I can't say I've ever found a feral nest. There are beekeepers in the area with hives made and you find those along the edges of fields.
    hornets on the other hand seem to be in no shortage.
    So how do I find bees in the wild?
    I could use some of that honey for sweetener for beverages (last nights sumac tea could have been a little sweeter) and I could really really use the wax to seal up my mocs and possibles bag. This year I want to make a snack bag as well and the wax would help to seal that to keep the pemmican/meat dry. I know places where I can buy it, but lets face it, can you really put a price on such a commodity? yes, apparently $7 a pound...
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  6. #66
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I have never come across a feral bee colony while just out wandering. Being in the business that I am, I get calls to come and get rid of them. One of the things you can do - depending on where you live - is to start your own hives. Now, if you are in a residential area - not a good idea. Another concern, and why the State of Florida has directed pest control operators to destroy, not harvest feral bee colonies is the presence of Africanized Honey Bees. They can be extremely aggressive and dangerous.
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  7. #67
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    See? One MORE reason I don't need to live in Florida. Gators, fire ants, killer bees, sharks, ancient drivers! Good grief.

  8. #68

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    There were few bees where I lived a year ago, 15 miles away. now there are many in my new stompin ground. i think there is a wild colony nearby. the house across the street had a huge hive in the old fireplace/ chimney and honey oozed out from between the bricks.

    My uncle just came back from a visit to KY. 10 bucks for a quart mason jar of comb honey. it tastes so good too.

  9. #69
    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    Honey is used in a similar way as rooting hormone or willow water to encourage the start of root growth.

  10. #70
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    wow...

    I noticed some bees buzzing around an oak tree to the side of the trail we cleaned last week as I was coming out of the woods yesterday. The trunk had a hole in it and it was full of honeybees!! I got close enough to see in with my binoculars and it is dripping honey! I wanted to take pics but I dont know how to tell Killer bees from native ones so I kept my distance.

    WOW. I found a feral beehive! how cool is that!
    now I gotta figure out if they are killers, and how to get the honey and wax out. I will be doing some research on this over the next week and hopefully will have more pics and info to share with you guys.

    I'm stoked! this is the first time I have EVER found wild bees and I've spent a lot of time in the woods! Hornets and paper wasps are pretty common, but not honeybees! any advice you guys want to share is much appreciated!

    thanks in advance! And thanks for starting this thread!
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  11. #71
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by your_comforting_company View Post
    wow...

    I noticed some bees buzzing around an oak tree to the side of the trail we cleaned last week as I was coming out of the woods yesterday. The trunk had a hole in it and it was full of honeybees!! I got close enough to see in with my binoculars and it is dripping honey! I wanted to take pics but I dont know how to tell Killer bees from native ones so I kept my distance.

    WOW. I found a feral beehive! how cool is that!
    now I gotta figure out if they are killers, and how to get the honey and wax out. I will be doing some research on this over the next week and hopefully will have more pics and info to share with you guys.

    I'm stoked! this is the first time I have EVER found wild bees and I've spent a lot of time in the woods! Hornets and paper wasps are pretty common, but not honeybees! any advice you guys want to share is much appreciated!

    thanks in advance! And thanks for starting this thread!
    I do quite a bit of bee work. Ask away. As far as the term "killer bees" - no such thing. Africanized honey bees (more aggressive) and European honey bees (get stung and you'll think they are aggressive enough). The only way to tell the difference is through DNA testing. Seriously though, be happy to give any advice I can.
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  12. #72
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Thanks crashdive.

    I know folks use smoke to calm the bees so they are less apt to sting. whats the best method for smoking the hive without having to drop a bunch of money on equipment? I dont want to hurt any of the bees either. All the info I see so far is pointing to bee keeping equipment and money is just something that is in short supply around here.

    I'm sure I can come up with some old window screen or something to fashion one of those bug hats out of, and I've got some coveralls and gloves. Is there anything else I need?

    Can I just use my pocketknife to harvest the comb? I'll be sure to take a good size container to put it in and leave plenty for the bees. Should I take something for them to use that would help them rebuild? I want to be conservative and preserve the balance. This is the first time I've ever come across feral bees and I dont want to destroy the colony. I know your job usually is destroying them, lol, but maybe you know how to preserve them too

    thanks again.
    back to reading!
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  13. #73
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Karma has arrived. Bear and bees. Who wins?

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wil...-down-by-a-bee

  14. #74
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Why couldn't you use something like bulap inside a coffee can or some other can with a lid? That way you can control how much O2 gets to the burning burlap.

  15. #75
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    For a bee suit - coveralls will work OK. Gloves (tape the wrists) should work. I would wear a pair of rubber gloves over top of them (even the playtex dish washing gloves should work) as the dripping honey gets a bit messy. As far as a head veil - those mosquitto head nets will work, but you need to wear something underneath it. If it touches you anywhere, the stingers can as well. As far as a smoker - the bellows in the bee smokers are nice so you can direct the smoke where you want it to go. I imagine a coffee can with smoldering wood chips or burlap in it will work. I would recommend using something like those ziplock containers that you can get at the grocery store. The big rectangular ones. You don't need any tools to break off a piece of comb. I would just harvest one or two pieces (depending on the size of the colony) Let them rebuild - you will always have a source of honey. No sudden movements - it is a little unnerving when you hear thousands of bees buzzing around your head (gets real loud). Just make sure you seal the openings at your ankles, wrists, and around your head gear.
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  16. #76
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Duct tape. Don't forget the duct tape!!!!!!

  17. #77
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    thanks guys. I just remembered my copy of "Back to Basics" from Readers Digest 1981 had some information on this, I read back through it and feel a bit more confident that I won't hurt the population. It says bees consume about 8 pounds of honey to make one pound of wax. I don't expect to get much wax or honey my first time in. I'm not absolutely sure that it is a big hive because I didn't get very close, but I could see honey combs with workers so I know it is at least 2 years old. I think 1/4 pound would do my mocs and possibles bag. In addition we have a Chinese Tallowtree that I intend to make wax from as soon as the nuts open. I also know where quite a few of these have escaped into the woods and have grown to decent size, so maybe I can use that instead of damaging the combs.

    I also read that you can place a mixture of 1 part sugar to 1 part water in a jar for the bees so they dont have to travel as far to get nectar to make honey and wax.

    All my other projects just got put on the back burner. I will be preparing for harvest when the First hard freeze comes in late November. Once I think I have all my ducks (tape) in a row I'll get back on my other projects.

    I think I'll head over to the Making Stuff forum now to talk to some metalworkers about fashioning a bee bellows for smoking them. I keep plenty of punk wood on hand for smoking buckskin so that part is no problem.

    Thanks for all your help guys. I'm super excited to have found such a valuable resource in the woods! I can't hardly wait till cold weather! Did I mention I was excited?

    what do bees say after a long day at work?
    "Honey, I'm home!"
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  18. #78
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Take a look at the posts I just did in the Rebel Chick Knife thread. It's one way to separate the wax and honey. For my next batch I'm going to make a press and try that method.
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  19. #79
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    Honey is the only foos known to man that wont go off, it has no used by date.

    Here in Australia we get the honey bees, but are also lucky as we have a Native bee that is about 1/4 the size of a honey bee and no sting, The aboriginals call the honey and wax Sugar bag and it is a delicacy. It is tastier than commercial honey.

    http://www.sugarbag.net/honey/

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