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vandco

Newbie -- land for hives & other info

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vandco

I'm originally from Colorado, where my mom is a bee keeper. I live here in Leesburg, and am interested in getting started in bee keeping... exploring the options of starting a few hives this spring.

In Colorado where my mom keeps, the environment differs quite a bit from here (plains, agricultural fields).  I'm curious about how the bees do in wooded or partially wooded areas here in Northern Virginia?

We unfortunately do not have the space in our neighborhood to  keep bees on our own property. Are there any locals who would be willing to let me start a few hives on land nearby this spring? I'm in Leesburg, and don't mind a little drive out. 

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Kristina

Welcome to Virginia! This is the right place to get started with bees! This club and website (the member forums) are a wealth of information. I would recommend taking a beekeeping class with the club in late winter/early spring to learn as much as possible about bees and how you can help them thrive in our area. I have never kept bees in Colorado so I can’t compare it to that but things have changed over the last years and it is hard to keep bees alive. If you take the class you will also get hooked up with a mentor who will be able to help you when you have questions or trouble in your hives.

You are also welcome to attend the monthly meetings to get to know us and learn about bees. 

Regarding a bee outyard it would be a good idea to continue to ask around, read older posts in this forum to find people who are looking for beekeepers, or to wait that someone posts and asks for a beekeeper to keep bees on their property. This happens frequently. Or ask among your friends, you might know someone who would be willing to have your hives on his property.

Edited by Kristina
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DavidW

I may know of one place just north of Leesburg.  I had another option for an outyard and will likely take that one. I will contact them and let you know if they are interested.

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vandco

Thank you. I appreciate you both taking the time to reply! 

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vandco

Very happy to say that we have found a local friend with 10 acres who is interested in hosting a couple of hives for us! I hope to attend the upcoming bee course.  In the meantime, just after the holidays, we are going to go take a look at her property soon and scope things out. I believe a good portion of her property is wooded but there is some open space as the woods open to her yard and home. But I haven't seen the actual property myself yet. In addition to lots of sunshine and hive access through the property, does anyone have any pointers or recommendations as to what we should be looking for when we visit the property and start to think about and determine a place to put our hives in the spring? 

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Bret Fisher
3 hours ago, vandco said:

In addition to lots of sunshine and hive access through the property, does anyone have any pointers or recommendations as to what we should be looking for when we visit the property and start to think about and determine a place to put our hives in the spring? 

You can find some good tips at the link below. You will also read much of this same information in The Beekeeper's Handbook, (Sammataro & Alphonse), which is included in your tuition for the LBA Beginning Beekeeping Course. 

https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/hobby-farming/beekeeping/pick-the-perfect-location-for-your-beehive/

Randy Oliver also gives some good tips to consider when locating the place for your hives on page 8 of this:

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/scibeeimages/BEGINNERS-OUTLINE-PDF.pdf

Attached is a PDF copy of another book you will receive in the LBA Beginning Beekeeping Course. Might as well get a head start reading. See pages 20-21 for more information on locating your apiary. 

My bees are all in my own back yard, but those with out yards can probably offer even more tips, such as making sure the location is easily accessible by vehicle. You will often be carrying a good deal of equipment to and from your bee yard, so the shorter the distance you have to carry it the better. 

If you have the address or know the location you can do some preliminary scouting using Google Maps. This will give you a better idea of what is within a 2-3 mile radius of the location you are considering. Commercial agriculture operations might introduce unwanted pesticides and other chemicals. Here's an article from American Bee Journal on that very topic:

https://americanbeejournal.com/finding-apiaries-using-google-maps-part-one/

Welcome to the jungle! Good luck!

Beekeeping Basics_agrs93.pdf

Edited by Bret Fisher
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