Getting Started with Bees on the Homestead

[Music] Well hi there and welcome to this week's Episode of The Pantry chat Food For Thought this week I'm really excited to Have a special guest on to talk about a Topic that I don't really know a whole Lot about neither Josh or ideal and so We are introducing Kaylee here from Um the honeystead who knows all about Beekeeping and we're going to be talking About getting started with beekeeping so Welcome and thanks for coming thank you Guys for having me I absolutely love Talking about bees so I'm excited let's Dive in this is the perfect time to Start talking all right and you know I Don't know it seems like a little off Season to be talking about this right Now but we I don't know we'll we'll see What you have to say about that maybe You don't agree with that idea but I Know for Josh and I planning happens This time of year so if we're going to Bring in a new top a new you know Project on the homestead we're starting To think about at it right now to make Sure we're kind of lined out for the Following year so this is kind of high Up on our list we've been wanting to Keep honeybees for years but this new Property property we're living on we're Going into I think our fourth winter Here Um actually have the benefit of our our

Big local beekeeper in this County lived In this house back in the 70s And he said there is just not enough Beef food in that area because we are Really isolated in this tight Little River Valley And we don't even have neighbors so we Literally do not see honeybees on our Property coming in from anywhere else We're just so isolated so we've really Been working at building the bee food so All the fields now are planted with Clovers all sorts of like we've got a Lot of bee food going on now and we're Getting to the point where we think okay We're about ready to be able to support At least one Hive of bees to get started And see how they do so that's kind of my Background on the beekeeping side Um but let's hear a little bit about you Where do you live what do you I know You've got like an active Homestead Where you're at you do all sorts of fun Things so tell us a little bit about Yourself so Um long story short we are modern day Homesteaders here in Virginia my family And I we work and we raise and grow at The majority of our food as well as Herbal medicine on 60 Acres that's kind Of nestled right in the Skyline Drive of Virginia so we have such an abundance of Trees and just the wildlife that's all Around us

But we do the majority We do what we can to try to be as Sustainable as possible not just for us But also for our bees so you know long Story short we've been doing it for a Good couple of years and you know it's Just every year there's something kind Of new and we're growing and changing And morphing and I think that's just the Beautiful part of homesteading is that It's not always one thing you know There's so many different entities Inside a homestead to to kind of have That regenerative aspect and the growing Aspect Yeah absolutely I'm so thankful of that I get bored really easily and so this is Just homesteading is the perfect answer For me because it's always something new You know there's always something Whether it's the seasons changing and It's keeping you on your toes or working With nature and you have to be so Responsive but there's always room for Another project of some sort because There's so many opportunities when you Get onto The Homestead it's it makes it A lot of fun it's never there are never Any doll moments on the homestead so not At all no we you know we had a really This is not even homesteading but we had A really interesting moment two nights Ago Um where Josh and I said that to each

Other and that was we were sailing to Sleep in bed about 2 A.M in the morning And it had just started raining and all Of a sudden we heard squealing tires and Breaks and like cracking and breaking And we live in a part of the road is Real close but it's a a very not often Used road it's pretty lightly traveled And somebody had a little too much fun Out a little too late and apparently and They actually took out part of our Pasture fence Amazingly like we thought we were Calling 9-1-1 and there was going to be A real problem but uh um amazingly they Backed out of it and were able to get Out of our pasture which was muddy at The time and take off down the road and So we were just left with some fence to Repair before the Sheep got out but it Was one of those moments where we turned To each other and we're like you just There's never a dull moment there's Never you know and you immediately go Okay the guy's alive I'm really glad for That hopefully he makes it home safely Without injuring anybody else Um and the Sheep are going to get out if We don't get out there right now and go Fix the fence because at first light the Sheep are gonna see that hole and be out On the road and so you just you know You're always dealing with something you Just go with the flow I mean I

Completely understand we've had many Moments on our end as well and it's just You know this is what's happening right Now so that's what you jump into and you Just do it Um there's definitely never never a dull Moment yeah absolutely so how did you Get started with beekeeping So a long time ago my story kind of goes Back basically for my childhood I was That weird kid that would always flip Over rocks to see what type of bugs were Underneath of them I didn't have Necessarily like TV that we watched I Wasn't really into video games I was Always outside always foraging always Learning about different plants And um my favorite One of my favorite things that I would Ever do was to to go horseback riding And so the the farm that we had our Horses on was a 3 000 Acre Farm nestled Right here in Virginia and I mean it was Just beautiful and um we didn't own that Property we at least our horses on it And so the the farmhand That managed the property I think I was about seven eight years Old Um he told me he was like you know I Don't want you going down this certain Trail there there's a beekeeper there And and you're probably best to just Keep your distance well

What kid listens okay so so I I would Hop on my horse and I would ride uh down The trail and it we always would go Horseback riding kind of in that Afternoon where there was you know that Golden hour where it was just the sun Was just right And I remember sitting up on the hill And seeing all the the rows of hives and They were all painted white And when the bees were returning home The sun would just kind of glisten on Their wings and it looked like I mean it Looked like fairies it looked so magical And I just immediately was like you know At some point in life like I would love To be a beekeeper And you know now life happened got Married moved away my husband was in the Military Um once he got out we came home we Started our family and it just wasn't Time but I still wanted to learn and I Still wanted to you know try to Take advantage of not having it right Then and there but always keep it in my In my back pocket but that's something That I was passionate about and so when My husband and I decided to start our Homestead Um that was the first thing that I Jumped right into and so we've been you Know doing it ever since and my family Came along with me

My husband's there for the honey but he Doesn't get into the hives then every Once in a while he'll help me catch a Swarm uh but he's more like oh baby go And I do my thing uh but I don't do it Alone I have my parents that are active In it as well and my my kids as they Have gotten older they're not as active In it Um but who knows maybe when they get a Little bit older they'll come back Around but basically I fell in love with Just how they made me feel and then now As an adult Seeing the vital important aspect that They offer for for your homestead and Right now if that's your passion and You're planning on getting these I would Say I know you've already started Sharing your your homestead and Documenting that You'll see a huge difference when you Start to bring in the pollinators I wish I would have documented my Homestead From the beginning I wish I would have Shared what my pastors looked like then To what they look like now and then Understanding the benefit of you know if You're raising cows or sheep or even Chickens The bees are making the food for your Pasture they're they're growing your Pasture so they're just helping it's It's an entire system and how it works

Together is just it's completely Beautiful That's wonderful that's that's really Neat in some of your videos that I've Watched this is this totally gets me Because I I would like to be the one out There working with the bees I know Josh Is tough and he'll go do it and you know If I ask him to he would get out there But I see you working with your bare Hands with the bees now a lot of times I Do realize those are swarming bees and Swarming bees are known to be very Peaceable they're not looking to start a War or protect anything because they're Outside of their colony but even Mentally knowing that I do not know that I could walk up to a swarm of bees that I'm telling myself they're Peaceable They don't they're not looking to see me And like put my hands into them and let Them crawl over me do you like is that Something in a in you that you feel like You're just comfortable with the bees or Did you have to learn that like Comfort Level to be able to do that I think it's Both both Um I do think it's both you know when You So what's interesting these They have a personality and And depending on the weather and Depending on the time of year and Depending on what's happening if you're

Able to kind of read them Um you There's a comfort level that I have Gained do I trust them Um depends you know it's it's kind of Just like a livestock animal like you Can't fully trust it because you just Never know I don't recommend a brand new Beekeeper go bare-handed right away Um but there are some benefits and and Yeah I mean depending on the year Sometimes I'll even work the colonies Without my gloves on but I learned early On kind of sharing and documenting my Beekeeping Hive inspections what I don't Want is to share a false sense of Reality towards new beekeepers so I do Wear my gloves the majority of the time I also do manage roughly how many times I do get stung and where I get stung I Do try to use it for like a therapy for Um arthritis there's a whole lot of Information for uh apotherapy and Beasting Venom to help with arthritis so I do try to manage that but but yes it's You know it's just one of the moments You know you just you do what you do and I I'm able to kind of engage a little Bit of their attitude and there are some Times where I'm like yeah okay they're Pretty gentle and then I'm like no just Kidding after a couple of things and Then I suit up and I respect them and I'm like okay all right I get you I'm

Hearing you so so do you think that Because I go into beekeeping with uh This like natural oh I'm uncomfortable With the idea of getting stung is that Automatically going to make me like not A good beekeeper no okay not at all and You're going to hear other beekeepers You're going to hear old school Beekeepers just say you need to be Getting stung all the time and you're Going to hear beekeepers who are like I I rarely ever get stung I think that Really just depends on what your comfort Level is and then the one thing that I'll add is just like animals the bees Will be able to sense your emotion and And your hesitation you know so if you Approach it Nervous and antsy and jittery in a way They're going to be able to kind of feed Off of that Um but when you get your first Opportunity to get into the hive And you're taking it all in you know You're breathing the smell of the honey Of the wax of you know just the comb I Mean it's I wish I could figure out a Way to document the smell of a colony Because it is like a thousand flowers I Mean it's everything that they forage Just combined into this box mixed with The sweet smell of honey and nectar and Pollen But it almost

It almost takes over your emotion you Know it almost just completely For me it calms me all the way down so I I definitely use it therapeutically Um it's kind of my therapy I mean I go In there and if I'm heightened if I'm Stressed out and I go in there and I Start working with the girls Um they're gonna easily tell me like you Need to cool your jets so I have to kind Of be calm Um and and I think that that's something That you'll learn you'll get a you'll be Able to appreciate them for what they Are when you have an opportunity to get In there That sounds wonderful it sounds like a a Great thing to be doing in a world that Feels a little stressful you know and a Little bit crazy it sounds like a very Just calming and uh that I know for me One of the challenges that I have in Life is I am such an idea person and Such a Visionary that sometimes I have a Real hard time existing right here and Right now and that sounds like something Whether it is from the kind of nervous Fear Factor or just you know the uh Maybe the intoxication of the experience Like you're talking about it sounds like It would be very uh grounding like it Would make it very present right there Well it's I mean and if you are not Present if you're not focused if you're

Not paying attention You could wreck their world you know so There is that aspect as well I mean they Have their entire they're more than just A box of bugs you know and and how they Communicate and what they're doing they Have such their their own Community Um so you know anything that you do Could affect them and so going in there Being grounded and being aware of your Actions um I think it's it's very Helpful but absolutely You tend to block out all the noise That's going on around you know and you Just are truly focused with what is in Front of you I mean it's beautiful if You allow yourself that time to kind of Dive in and embrace it Um there's not that many people out There that are beekeepers And will understand that feeling but the People who are beekeepers and get into Beekeeping that's the first thing that Most of them talk about is just their Their overall sense of Engagement that they that they have with Their bees and you do you form a Relationship with them I mean I I talk To him I know that sounds weird but I Love my girls and you know and I love The boys too when they're around they're Kind of gone right now Um but you know it's it's definitely a Beautiful relationship that you you gain

Yeah well that's exciting that sounds Really neat so about 10 years ago I was Living on a piece of property where we Thought we may be able to keep bees and So I was doing some research and about This time and I wish I could tell you Guys details I'm sorry I know Everybody's going to want to know the Details of this but about that time two Different homesteading type magazines Came out with two different articles From different authors promoting their Beekeeping books but talking about their Beekeeping experience and they were so Drastically different That it really stood out to me one of Them pretty much said here's your basics For keeping bees however this is an Extremely challenging time in history to Keep bees and I really can't say that I Wholeheartedly recommend newbies to get Started because of you know colony Collapse and um all the mites and all The different problems and then there Was this other article from this guy who I believe is a Russian permaculturist And he was like oh you know I went Totally away from all the normal Beekeeping uh advice out there and I Just have this wonderful magical Experience with the bees and now I have So many hives because they keep Multiplying that I like pretty much Supporting myself off of all the honey

And you know you you can imagine which Of the two guys book I purchased because The one was like this is the best thing I've ever done in my life and the other Was like yeah I really can't say it's Good for people to get started doing And you know that kind of creates this Real juxtaposition I do know for those Of you guys who are interested that Second book was uh beekeeping with a Smile uh Dr Leo yeah okay Yeah the cancellation though is a little Rough and it's not necessarily like a Perfect English and I do know we've got A lot of really good books out uh Recently on natural beekeeping Um but Uh you know that was just such a strong Juxtaposition between those two points Of view that it really stood out to me Does it really come down to like the Difference between natural beekeeping And kind of commercialized beekeeping Being that hinge factor or or that Sounds so simplistic as much as I'd like To believe that Beekeeping is very you you have to be Extremely flexible with beekeeping and After after a couple of years what You'll learn is you know the basics if You learn the basics And then allow yourself to be fluid with The bees you know like for instance Honey harvesting if I were to have

Harvested An abundance of honey this last Go-around Um last year let's just talk last year I don't think that they would have had Enough food for the winter because our Fall was not as uh prolific we weren't As abundant as what we normally were now This year I mean everything I feel like We are I feel like we honestly had a Very beautiful fall and they're bringing In the pollen they're bringing in the Nectares we're kind of phasing out Um you know so if I were to be basically If I were to be textbook uh with my Beekeeping techniques I don't think that that's fair for the Bees so I think that you do have to kind Of gauge it and there are so many Different ways to be keep there are so Many different Hive setups there's so Many different uh Individuals with their experience and You also have to take into consideration Your location Depending on where that person wrote Their book you might not be exactly Adequate for your location you know so Take learning the basics is key Learning identification what's happening Inside the hive it gets to the point Where after so many times that you're Doing of you doing your hive inspections You will start to read your colonies

Like a book they tell a story and as Long as you're able to pick up on on What's Happening then you know you put The book down essentially Um but absolutely you're going to hear It from multiple different beekeepers You know my technique might be Completely different than somebody Else's my hive style is different you Know well it's more traditional because We do run Lang Strath colonies uh is That something that I want to Forever Run probably not you know and I I Recognize that but we have so many Colonies right now that I don't want to Switch everything up Um so I'm kind of this is you know where I am at as a beekeeper is you just kind Of have to go with the flow really in All honesty Yeah and that's something that's so true And I think a place that we get into Trouble a lot in modern Agricultural and Agriculture and conventional farming is That we want to take living elements and Treat them like they're little cogs or Little pieces of a puzzle and they Really aren't your living elements They're living things and there's this Unpredictability that comes with them And there's a personality but there's Also all these nuanced pieces that you Know honestly probably even experience Master beekeepers

Don't even know all the different Elements that are affecting the bees in Any given year So it's learning this kind of intuitive You have to start somewhere you have to Get the basic information like you're Saying but then allowing yourself to use Your intuition and to go with us years Ago I heard a piece of advice it was Actually on Um parenting and I thought it was Brilliant and I've found that it applies To so many things on the homestead and That was read everything you can get Your hands on learn from everybody and Then throw it all out and do what works Yes and that just when coming when you When you come to something living Whether it's a sauerkraut ferment and You've got living bacteria or it's a Child or it's a hive of bees you've got To give yourself the permission to Respond to the real world circumstance And the relational element of it Absolutely and I think that that's That's the the most important lesson uh When it comes to beekeeping that I have Learned is you know the the biggest Question that I get often is what what Book do you start with and my the best Answer I can say is go to the library Open up every single book that you can About beekeeping and pick the one that Resonates with you you know there are

Natural beekeepers out there there are Um people who aren't considered natural Uh I feel like I'm kind of that right in Between you know I will Assist my bees if they need it but I Also know when to step back you know They are the ones that are teaching me Uh I just have to be patient enough to Listen and I don't necessarily At some point you know I've made mistakes and I've had Failures and successes no matter what I Mean that's everything especially Homesteading but you know give yourself Some Grace and and learn from them That's the biggest biggest advice that I Could share oh that's great okay so I Want to dive into a little bit of the Nitty-gritty here and the like actual Practical application because I'm Getting excited Um and that is When somebody's thinking about getting Started with beekeeping let's say They're me they don't really know that Much I have a very basic basic Understanding Um but what you know what are the first Steps to take what were the first things To do that uh definitely well right now This is actually the perfect time to get Started you know you're going into the Winter months you're not having to deal Hopefully with too much more gardening

And outside so you're kind of going into That phase of life where you're just Kind of like we're gonna chill you know This is when you learn or plan or or Start to read So this is definitely the perfect time Um I always do Express that it's very Important to kind of see what's in your Community Uh it's great to have a an advocate have Somebody have an organization like your Your local extensions office they if you Have a local extensions office most of The times they will share their their Beekeeping clubs that are in your area Uh come for out here January uh time Frame they offer classes that you can Sign up for and take I do advise Beekeepers to take some form of classes Whether it's online or self-taught and That is even a little bit you know just Bear in mind because depending on who's Teaching that class online it might be Different than your location so the Basics are still going to be the same it Just really depends on your location so Finding local I think is very vital Getting involved finding a group a Community Talking B you know having that Individual that you can talk be with Um I have a few people that I Mentor as Well as I still have some mentors Because what I've learned is

If you collectively think about Beekeeping so I'm in my hives you know Every two three weeks roughly But the more people that you talk to and Their experience of being in their hives The more experiences you gain if that Kind of makes any sense and because They're going to face scenarios that you Might not have yet or or potentially Will so definitely look at your local Extensions office and and see about Classes and clubs there that's always a Perfect way to get started Great that's wonderful so can you give Us like a basic overview of how Beekeeping I don't want to say works Like but what's the year like how does The process work look like for somebody Who's keeping these so for me I'll speak From my experience Um you always kind of have to be a Season ahead so right now Um we're gonna be we're starting to get Ready for winter I'm starting to make Sure that our our colonies have the Abundance of food that they need to kind Of see them through and then also making Sure that the Queen's laying what they Brood looks like you know kind of Everything checking for varroa might Um but then over winter They they don't hibernate so to say you Know they they basically uh they cluster Um which basically they ball up in a

Very tight-knit ball and they vibrate to Keep the warmth Um and then they'll move throughout the Colony and eat you know the the honey That they have stored up Once winners kind of done for us we're Going into spring uh that's ideally About the time that an individual would Want to start beekeeping is in Spring Yeah I would start with a nuke which is a Nucleus of bees not necessarily A Package of bees and if you can find Somebody that sells bees locally that's The ideal way Um I backtracking just a little bit About this being the perfect time and And getting your education in your Reading in your clubs in that'll connect You with beekeepers that are in your Area who might Supply beefs they might breed bees that You could buy a nucleus of bees Um so getting on that waiting list for Them getting all your equipment ordered During the winter months because as soon As spring is here you have to have Everything kind of set up and ready so a Lot of people think oh it's summertime Let's go get bees And yes every once in a while you'll Find somebody who wants to sell an Entire Colony as is but that's kind of More rare because that colony is working

And they're doing bringing in honey They're they're bringing in nectar to Make honey so you know that's a little More rare So basically winter time for You is where you start educating getting Your hive style picked out communicating With beekeepers that are in your area Taking your classes come spring you're Going to get your bees you'll get them Established and you'll you know start Rocking and rolling and they'll be Bringing a nectar making honey making More bees and just growing and then for Us Summer happens We have a period it's called the dearth Where we have no nectar flow this year Was a little bit uh less than that we Actually we I feel like we didn't really Experience too much of a dearth out here Not like the previous years where we Didn't have any nectar flow for summer But then what will happen is after Summer They'll start to kind of decrease in Numbers Um you know they're they're a season Ahead so they're starting to prepare for Fall because come winter they don't need The abundance of bees that you might Have in spring and summer So pretty much They know what they're doing and you Just kind of ride it out with them and

You know you get in do your hive Inspections every couple of weeks check Them make sure that they're good your First year you're probably in you're not Going to be harvesting honey depending On what your winner looks like you're Just going to kind of let them roll and And wait and watch and then Come spring Go through winter you come spring you're Pretty much going to be starting back at It Okay great that gives us a great Overview so you did mention that you're Inspecting the hives I think you said Every two to three weeks is right kind Of the ongoing work once you get you Know past spring you're kind of humming Along Um and uh Two to three weeks is that what you're Looking at for regulations or more daily No not really daily work other than just Visually putting my eyes on the colonies And seeing what's going on making sure That nothing is in there bear wise or Any any Predators but you know daily Work no not so much uh weekly work yes I'll go in and when the flow is on when The nectar flow is really flowing I I Don't bother them too much I let them Kind of do their thing spring and fall Are a little more critical for Hive Inspections on my in my opinion than

Summer Because I want to make sure that the Queen is laying appropriately in the Spring And also because spring they tend to Swarm so if you have to do any of your Colony splits and you've got to make one Colony into two spring would definitely Be kind of the time that you would want To do that because what they'll do what They're doing is uh swarming is a fancy Term for a bunch of bees moving a bunch Of bugs insects moving in One Direction At once but in beekeeping terminology Swarming is just their natural way of Reproducing and so essentially they Outgrow their space and they need to to Separate and they need to divide so the New queen that that is created will stay Back at the colony in the old Queen Tends to fly off with multiple Queens With multiple new Queens Um And they'll go and find a new home so Spring and fall are definitely the times That I try to keep a very close eye on Them uh more so than ever very good okay Um So it sounds to me like a really wise Place to start would be maybe with one Hive and then to naturally do that and Let them multiply themselves as you get More experience The Hive starts to Multiply and then you can grow or would

You say you know we have a large family With two would you start with three or That's just diving in too deep so I I Actually really advise everyone to not Start with one Colony okay I actually go Go ahead and start with two here's the Thing You have double the opportunity to be Able to gauge especially as a new Beekeeper if you get two colonies and You see okay this one's actually doing Really good but this one right here not So much you won't necessarily know that If that one Colony if you had one Colony That was that was weaker you wouldn't Necessarily have that experience to Gauge to be able to understand to see Like oh what's going on but the other Aspect of it is is come fall If your one colony is doing really well And the other one not so much You could combine the colonies and and We do that actually quite often we will Combine actually here in the next week Or two that's what I'm going to be doing Is combining the majority of my colonies That were late rescues that just don't Have the food resources that that I want Them to have Um and so you know Stepping in on that aspect Has been helpful for their survivability But also for you knowing that it'll Teach you it'll it'll give you a better

Opportunity to see both colonies and Compare and learn and see like what a Brood pattern looks like for a healthy Colony versus a not healthy Colony or You might to have two beautiful abundant Colonies and then you're just golden so Yeah no that's great advice and that That's really helpful to think about Because I know for us we have a large Family we're feeding a lot of people so Josh and I have the Tendencies like oh Well if we're gonna do it we better go Big That that sometimes is not the best way To go so that is helpful though to maybe Not start all the way back with just one But to have to possibly even three if The bee food allows and Um and start there and just you know Have that broader learning experience What is there a rule of thumb you've Already touched on the variability of There's so many different things here There's so many variables but is there Any sort of a rule of thumb of how much Honey you would expect from one hive So it depends as well Um if you are If you are running so okay they're gonna Say anywhere from 25 to 100 pounds of Honey from from one colony and but you Have to take into consideration what Type of colony you're having if you have A horizontal colony where it's you know

It's just like a a langstroth horizontal Um you'll pull frames from that but You're not going to have that type of Abundance so we have traditional Langstroth colonies where you you see The the box and then you stack the box And stack the box and basically what We're stacking are supers and and that Is that's where they store the honey Now with that in mind there are multiple Different sizes so there's a medium box Which is smaller Or deep Traditionally the most colonies will Have A few deeps stacked and then a few Medium stacked essentially the frames Really just determine the size of the Frame really determines how much honey You're you're going to get from one Colony there's also different techniques If you use a it's called a queen Excluder which basically is like this Mesh that eliminates it it prevents the Queen from going up into where the honey Storage would be And laying So if you have a queen excluder you're Going to have more honey we don't Actually use Queen excluders I don't Want to limit where my queen goes So with that I will pull frames that are fully capped With just honey but if there's brood on

It I leave it I don't even touch it I let Them have it because I don't want to Have to pull too much and then have to Feed because I think that you know Sugar water if you have to do it you Have to do it But that's not something that I want to Necessarily do so I think that they make You know perfect food for them And I don't want to interfere with that But essentially Depending on the frame okay so if you Have a medium box with Eight to ten frames so you can get Different sizes so if it is uh eight Frames one medium frame could weigh up To four pounds of honey that's basically What you would get from one frame so by Doing the math that'll kind of determine Whether you're getting 32 pounds or Um up to 40 pounds if you have eight to Ten frames If you are running all deeps that's a Little bit different the frame is deeper So that could range anywhere from six to Seven pounds per frame So if you have uh eight frames that's Higher end of 58 pounds to Um up to 70 pounds if it's if it's a 10 Frame box if that makes any sense so It's very You got to take into consideration what Type of what type of high body that you

Have and that your work working with Um but you will end up with honey I will Tell you that you'll end up with Abundance of money well and I know from Purchasing Honey by the gallon because We usually buy between five and seven Gallons of Honey every year for our Household Um that a gallon of honey is Approximately 12 pounds I think is that Is that correct Yes okay all right yeah so so you're Saying that you know We're talking somewhere between two Gallons of honey if I do that math up to Like Eight gallons of Honey is kind of that Range that maybe you could get yeah Somewhere Right absolutely and it depends too on Spacing Um if you space your your frames out a Little bit deeper the the bees will Build out just a little Um if you space your frames a little bit Wider they could grow it uh wider if That makes any sense looking at how the Honey is uh but yeah it really depends On the hive style that you're getting But you could easily get that Um we average we pull about I think this year we pulled about 400 Pounds of honey okay um from our Colonies and we didn't Harvest from all

Of our colonies uh we run around we We've kind of fluctuate between You know anywhere from 50 to 30 colonies Uh a year so I think right now when we Harvested we were at like 36 colonies Okay but I didn't Harvest from all of Them because some of them were swarms That it would it was their first year And they just they need time Um but we also don't pull all the boxes We only pull we go through frame by Frame and we only pull uh what needs to Be pulled and then leave them with with A lot Well and that makes sense if you were a Commercial you know big commercial Company and you need to get every dollar You essentially can out of your hive I'm Sure sugar water is cheaper than honey Yeah and so they're taking as much honey As they can and saying yeah we'll feed Them the sugar water and we'll take the Honey Um but when we can make those decisions For ourselves we can say you know that's Not healthy for the that's not how God Created the bees to to be and what he Created them to eat so let's leave them Their food and just take less and you Know potentially that means you need More hives maybe it means you just Produce less honey but probably in the Long run it equates healthier bees and Less work it is I believe I mean I do

Believe I I believe that the bees you Know their gut health is a lot more it's It's a lot more critical Um than I than I think and and yes I Have had to supplement some of our Colonies later in the year and they just You know It breaks my heart you know if I get Called for a swarm catch in September That does not give them enough time to Build out and and to be ready for a Winner so you know I do my part I also Look at the bees just like I would my Livestock in my field if I had an animal Go down I'm gonna stop what I'm gonna do To try but at some point also survival Of the fittest does kind of play in to Key and I don't necessarily want bees That are are not exactly healthy and And I guess that's kind of where I stand On beekeeping and my Approach I do the Best that I can but I also let them do The best that they that they can and and I'm okay making that decision Yeah and I think that's a really wise Decision everywhere on the homestead and We we stand by that you know if we've Got an animal that has birthing problems Livestock wise we do everything we can To save that life but you can guarantee They're not going to be in the breeding Stock next year because you know you Don't need to breed problems into the System you need to keep breeding that

Opportunity but you have to make the Hard decisions to do that sometimes but You know on the same front occasionally We get the powdered milk replacer for The animals because we do have that Emergency and we're going to keep it Alive we're not going to let it starve To death just because a mom didn't make It through a birth a hard birth or Something so we're going to keep it Alive and do what we have to do but We're going to take all that into Consideration when choosing the breeding Stock for the next year so yeah I think Those are good so before we wrap up here Because we're getting down on time what Are some of the biggest mistakes that You see brand new beekeepers making that You just like if you could stop people From making one or two mistakes that you See Um what would that be Um I would say trading for varroa right Away uh without checking without Checking I think you know I think that That's I've listened to a lot of Beekeepers that are a little older and They immediately jump right into treat Treat you know treat your colonies treat Your colonies but what are you treating For you know and so I know varroa might As the big conversation with with bees And and just what's happening to them uh And there it's a yes it is destructive

I've had for all of my issues with our Colonies uh I'm actually kind of facing One right now it was the Swarm that I Caught And it was just loaded now looking back At it I don't necessarily think that That was a swarm from A reproduction of Them reproducing and splitting and Dividing I think it was an absconding Situation which is the bees kind of Something was bothering them back at Their colony whether it was a high voro Account which I'm putting money on it Now looking back But you know everyone when I did my bro A check I had a very Unhealthy count of varroa and and I Jumped in and I did go ahead and plan on I did treat uh with uh an organic Treatment That I felt like was safe for them They're doing great right now but Everyone was very adamant that I go Ahead and I just treat all my other Colonies Um I'm glad that I took the time to look At the other colonies and do an alcohol Wash on them because their counts were Within the threshold that they could Survive with the varroa that they had So basically I'm glad I didn't go ahead And just trade all my colonies and I'm Glad that I let each I looked at each Colony because I didn't want to treat if

It wasn't needed so they that the varroa Won't potentially build up a resistance Yep yeah that is so wise just on I think On every medication we can get way too Fast to pre-treat things and then that's Exactly what you end up is you end up With super bugs or super weeds or super Something that just says hey we got this Figured out we can work around it now so I I think that's super smart but great Well I know that you have Um a wonderful YouTube channel and I've Been enjoying watching I was actually Watching you and your mom make fire Cider the other day Every year and I always love seeing all The different little personality spins That go into fire cider and um and yours Was really fun to watch too Um and you people can follow by checking You out at your YouTube channel which is The honeystead And you've got a lot of fun videos a lot Of great videos on beekeeping but also Using that honey and herbal medicine and All sorts of other things that you do Over on that channel so Um it's really fun to see other parts of The country and other uh you know Methodologies for doing different things So absolutely right go check out Kaylee's YouTube channel and thank you Again as I'm really excited about Jumping into beekeeping we'll see if it

Makes it on to the actual project list For this year or if we decide we've got To get the final Orchard in first to Have enough beef food but um but you've Made me really excited about it thank You so much thank you for having me and I look forward to hearing what happens With you and your bees and your Homestead and and watch it grow yeah Well we'll keep you updated so thank you Kaylee thank you goodbye everybody

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