Quantcast

Bees

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

jimmythehuman

Well-Known Member
Joined
7/12/09
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
For those who want honey for your homemade beer or mead...why not keep bees and let them gather honey for you?

I work with bees as a hobby and use honey in everything at home and was thinking it makes sense for homebrewers to be beekeepers too!

If anyone needs/wants bee colonies i can help with either filling your hive with bees or sell you a complete working hive.

You dont need to know much, its a pretty good adventure and very interesting...lots of funny sting stories to tell people while you are drinking homebrew :)
 

mkstalen

Well-Known Member
Joined
18/5/09
Messages
526
Reaction score
50
Location
Pennant Hills, NSW
I've actually considered this as a hobby. But got vetoed by SWMBO who's allergic to bee stings. :(
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
Joined
19/2/09
Messages
11,585
Reaction score
909

Muscovy_333

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/6/11
Messages
660
Reaction score
15
For those who want honey for your homemade beer or mead...why not keep bees and let them gather honey for you?

I work with bees as a hobby and use honey in everything at home and was thinking it makes sense for homebrewers to be beekeepers too!

If anyone needs/wants bee colonies i can help with either filling your hive with bees or sell you a complete working hive.

You dont need to know much, its a pretty good adventure and very interesting...lots of funny sting stories to tell people while you are drinking homebrew :)
I am keen

What's the sting for a set-up?
 

Mr. No-Tip

Well-Known Member
Joined
26/9/11
Messages
920
Reaction score
277
Where are you based? Have you found hives can upset dogs?
 

sean_0

Well-Known Member
Joined
20/12/09
Messages
148
Reaction score
7
As somebody who has been around bees my whole life, I think that beekeeping is something that should not be entered into lightly. I'm only 29, but in my lifetime I have seen what seems to be a huge increase in the number of people who are allergic to bee stings. By this I mean anaphalactic shock, which can result in death (though it usually doesn't if caught quickly). When I first moved to Melbourne I got to know some beekeepers keeping bees in the city, and I was pretty horrified by their lack of concern for the general public. Most of the problems I saw stem from these beekeepers having woolly notions about letting bees run wild as nature intended (though honeybees are not native to Australia). Please, if you decide to keep bees, be prepared to destroy aggressive colonies, and take great care to prevent swarming from your beehives. This applies even more so if you live in a built up area, and in fact I personally would not keep bees in such an area as I have decided that it is not possible to do so safely.

Sorry to get on my high horse, but it's something I feel quite strongly about, I have seen anaphalactic shock at first hand and it is unbelievably scary. If it was to affect one of my loved ones I don't know how I could live with myself. Same for you guys, be careful, and try not to handle bees on your own until you are very very experienced. You certainly should take all possible precautions to stop anyone else you know, or indeed strangers from being stung by your bees.

If you really are interested in bees, find somewhere quiet to keep them, find someone really knowledgeable to teach you about them, and if you take to it, you will have a hobby even more thrilling than brewing, if you can believe that!

Sean
 

Muscovy_333

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/6/11
Messages
660
Reaction score
15
As somebody who has been around bees my whole life, I think that beekeeping is something that should not be entered into lightly. I'm only 29, but in my lifetime I have seen what seems to be a huge increase in the number of people who are allergic to bee stings. By this I mean anaphalactic shock, which can result in death (though it usually doesn't if caught quickly). When I first moved to Melbourne I got to know some beekeepers keeping bees in the city, and I was pretty horrified by their lack of concern for the general public. Most of the problems I saw stem from these beekeepers having woolly notions about letting bees run wild as nature intended (though honeybees are not native to Australia). Please, if you decide to keep bees, be prepared to destroy aggressive colonies, and take great care to prevent swarming from your beehives. This applies even more so if you live in a built up area, and in fact I personally would not keep bees in such an area as I have decided that it is not possible to do so safely.

Sorry to get on my high horse, but it's something I feel quite strongly about, I have seen anaphalactic shock at first hand and it is unbelievably scary. If it was to affect one of my loved ones I don't know how I could live with myself. Same for you guys, be careful, and try not to handle bees on your own until you are very very experienced. You certainly should take all possible precautions to stop anyone else you know, or indeed strangers from being stung by your bees.

If you really are interested in bees, find somewhere quiet to keep them, find someone really knowledgeable to teach you about them, and if you take to it, you will have a hobby even more thrilling than brewing, if you can believe that!

Sean
Got 20 acres and a serious interest (Scientist by qualification) and treat anaphylaxis seriously.

I was absolutely series when i asked what a set-up is worth from OP.
 

sean_0

Well-Known Member
Joined
20/12/09
Messages
148
Reaction score
7
Got 20 acres and a serious interest (Scientist by qualification) and treat anaphylaxis seriously.
That wasn't aimed at you, just a more general comment to those who might consider beekeeping.

I was absolutely series when i asked what a set-up is worth from OP.
Then I reckon you're a good candidate for a beekeeper. It'll cost you about $1k to set up a few hives (say 3-4) with all ancilliary equipment, clothing etc. You should be able to get bees pretty easily from about October onwards. It really is a fantastic hobby. You'll get your money back pretty quickly (a year or so) if you can manage the bees pretty well. If you can find someone in your extended network (work, family etc. ) who knows a bit about them it makes things a hell of a lot easier.
 

Dave70

Le roi est mort..
Joined
29/9/08
Messages
5,443
Reaction score
3,109
Has anybody investigated the idea of farming native bee's? Tiny and no sting. 'Sugarbag' was considered a delicacy by the indigenous.

'Sugarbag mead' has a nice ring to it, don't you think?


Bloody foreign insects stealing local jobs..
 

mosto

Well-Known Member
Joined
10/1/12
Messages
609
Reaction score
153
I've got a good arrangement. A co-worker of my wife farms bees and was interested to learn that I like to use it in brewing. Now, she gives us a tub of honey, I give her a couple of longnecks.
 

Wolfy

Well-Known Member
Joined
18/12/08
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
64
Location
Melbourne
I have a bee hive, registered licence/number ... but no bees (the bees will live at my sister's farm with my hops, better for the bees and the general public).

When I investigated getting a swam of bees, most people either wanted me to join their beekeeping club, or were hesitant because I plan to use a home-made Warre hive (that they had not seen or heard of before, nor can they transfer a pre-established hive into one).
 

Phoney

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/12/08
Messages
2,187
Reaction score
234
Location
Sydney, Innerwestside
$1k to setup?


Or $4 a kilo for honey from a wholesaler. Unless you're making commercial quantities of mead, you're not going to be saving any money from this venture. Though if youre doing it for a hobby then sure enough I guess. :)
 

wakkatoo

The Sneaky Monk
Joined
18/3/08
Messages
986
Reaction score
11
Then I reckon you're a good candidate for a beekeeper. It'll cost you about $1k to set up a few hives (say 3-4) with all ancilliary equipment, clothing etc. You should be able to get bees pretty easily from about October onwards. It really is a fantastic hobby. You'll get your money back pretty quickly (a year or so) if you can manage the bees pretty well. If you can find someone in your extended network (work, family etc. ) who knows a bit about them it makes things a hell of a lot easier.
Sen_0 makes some good points however you can get into it for relatively less than 1k, particulary if you remove the purchase of an extractor (these can be hired, borrowed easily enough).

I live in a small country town and have 2 hives with enough hardware to expand to 4. It really is a great hobby and something my kids love being a part of. I don't know about being very, very, experienced before going it on your own. Commonsense rules and so long you are aware of your own capabilities and site the hives in a position that is protective of both bees and the public then really there shouldn't be any problems. If I lived in a more built up area I'd still follow the same principals and keep bees. You do need to manage them properly in order to maintain healthy, calm hives. Aggressive bees are too hard to work with (and increase the chance of passers-by being stung) and a diseased hive has the potential to decimate the bee population on a national scale, depending on the disease. What that would do to our agricultural industry......


photo__12a.jpg


I followed a similar path to beekeeping as I did to brewing; I read a lot, spoke to people about it and was able to attend a short course run by a local beekeeper at the adult learning centre here in town. I was by no means experienced but felt confident enough to go and collect my first swarm even before I'd inspected a frame.

I second the opinion its a great hobby, there really isnt much work involved on a small 2-6 hive scale and you can get significant rewards. Even better is that its now free to have less than 6 hives (you must be registered, poor form / possiblt illegal if you are not). The flow on benefits to your veggie patch, and no doubt your neighbours as well!, is noticeable and one of my favourite things to do in summer is to pour a homebrew, pick some hops, 'dry hop' said beer and just sit and watch the bees. Sounds silly but they are very hypnotic to watch once you understand them...

Muscovy, if you ever end up back out this way, I'd be happy to show you my simple set-up.

And back to the OP - where are you located?
 

DKS

Well-Known Member
Joined
23/3/08
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
4
Has anybody investigated the idea of farming native bee's? Tiny and no sting. 'Sugarbag' was considered a delicacy by the indigenous.

'Sugarbag mead' has a nice ring to it, don't you think?


Bloody foreign insects stealing local jobs..
Ive heard native bees produce very little honey and are mainly kept for pollunating fruit trees etc. Sure they dont have a stinger but the little buggers bite something fierce.
Daz
 

white.grant

tum te tum
Joined
12/3/08
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
239
$4 a kg you say? That's pretty good and if you would be so kind as to pass on the details of the wholesaler I'm all over it. I pay about $12 a kg for my unpasteurized honey direct from the apiarist.

I would love to manage my own hive, and would also love to have the time to manage my own hive.

As a complete OT, I'm working on a community garden project at my work at the moment - we've got a big space out the back of the library which is mostly lawn and soon (ie next Sunday) we will start building an organic vegie garden.

I'm pretty keen to get some chooks and bees in too as things come together (there are already some ducks) and had been thinking about the http://www.theurbanbeehive.com.au/index.htm , bee allergies notwithstanding. Looking at their site, there are hives in some unexpected places.
 

Greg.L

Well-Known Member
Joined
15/3/09
Messages
721
Reaction score
62
I had a hive of bees I collected from the wild, they were pretty aggressive. It was fun opening the hive, I would get about 60sec to do my work, before they would start to go for me. It was a common sight for my family to see me tearing up the paddock to escape the bees, it really gets the adrenaline going. They died in the end of unknown causes, I still miss them.
 

Helles

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/3/11
Messages
696
Reaction score
108
Has anybody investigated the idea of farming native bee's? Tiny and no sting. 'Sugarbag' was considered a delicacy by the indigenous.

'Sugarbag mead' has a nice ring to it, don't you think?


Bloody foreign insects stealing local jobs..

Beerdrinkingbob might make a Ball Bag Mead for you :D
 

hoppy2B

Well-Known Member
Joined
31/7/11
Messages
1,642
Reaction score
175
In summer I work hives in a T-shirt, shorts and sometimes thongs as well. :lol: Or at least I used to until the council came a calling last year and made us move them. Now I have to wear jeans and shoes because I don't want to get a brown snake bite while working the bees on the farm.

The essential tools for working bees are -

1/ a hive tool and a brush
2/ a smoker
3/ a veil over your head
4/ a long sleeved shirt and gloves in case you come across an aggressive hive
5/ a hive
6/ uncapping equipment and
7/ an extractor

An extractor would be the most expensive item to buy. You may be able to make one. A vessel like a large keg may be suitable, and the skills people demonstrate on here building breweries suggest most would be capable.
A hive might set you back around $100 depending on how many stories you want. Not sure what they cost now but you should be able to build one for that amount from prefabricated parts purchased at a beekeeping supply store. You can treat the timber using boiled linseed oil and paint with acrylic Weathershield paint. You will need a queen excluder.
You do get a good yield of honey in urban areas but not all councils permit beekeeping. Its a good idea to keep more than one hive.
There will be a lot of little items you will find you need like honey buckets and strainers and so on. I don't think its worth buying a whole beekeeping suit, much cheaper and easier getting into a veil.
Hope that helps, hoppy.
 

Phoney

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/12/08
Messages
2,187
Reaction score
234
Location
Sydney, Innerwestside
$4 a kg you say? That's pretty good and if you would be so kind as to pass on the details of the wholesaler I'm all over it. I pay about $12 a kg for my unpasteurized honey direct from the apiarist.

There's a fruit shop on the highway near Bathurst that sell 10kg buckets for $40 which is where I quoted the price earlier.



But just today I saw 1kg tubs at Harris Farm on special for $5. Down from i think 8 bucks.
 

Muscovy_333

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/6/11
Messages
660
Reaction score
15
That wasn't aimed at you, just a more general comment to those who might consider beekeeping.



Then I reckon you're a good candidate for a beekeeper. It'll cost you about $1k to set up a few hives (say 3-4) with all ancilliary equipment, clothing etc. You should be able to get bees pretty easily from about October onwards. It really is a fantastic hobby. You'll get your money back pretty quickly (a year or so) if you can manage the bees pretty well. If you can find someone in your extended network (work, family etc. ) who knows a bit about them it makes things a hell of a lot easier.
Good tips, thanks

@wakatoo i might take you up on that offer some time. (my new extended network)

I have a good mate in 'The Rat' that i often pop up to visit.
 

Latest posts

Top