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A money source for homebound - Bee keeping

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
They can be quite tame if one can say that lol, I found this fascinating
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2RV_tz95Qc haha guy at end
or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTLgSqu4r3E (this would have to be the weirdest youtube video Ive seen yet)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DobxqhczJyQ another video showing how they can be handled (there are lots of beekeeping videos on youtube where the people aren't even wearing protection.. apparently many bee keepers become immune to stings if the bees sting. I wouldn't count on that though with ME/CFS!)

I had a bee issue the other day so had to call in the bee professionals. I offered to have them set up a beehive in my backyard if the bee nest could be moved (turned out they had to kill it as it was in electrical wiring). The guy if he could of moved it, offered to mentor me in beekeeping, that is how many people learn.

When things didn't work out and the bees had to be killed, he's still willing to mentor me.. I told him Im homebound and he thought it would be a great interest for me to get. He's going to give my name to the local bee association to see if anyone wants to set a hive up at my place so I can learn (people often like to set hives up at places and love to teach others this art of bee keeping). In my state of Australia in a little property like I rent in urban area, one can put in a couple of hives.

Anyway, since then I've been watching youtube videos (its great now I no longer have dial up!) on bee keeping and it looks easy (other then the racks containing the honey can get a bit heavy but on my good days I could lift those). I can see I can easily make up using waste wood from my old friends place a bee box to breed them in and also extremely easily make up a trap box to attract and trap a bee swarm to breed (I guess one could think of trapping a bee swarm as a community service.. better in a bee box then in electrical wires!)

Anyway, this is looking doable for me over a time period and could be a good money gainer for homebound people (unless I collapse onto the hive! ah well, I have an epipen due to all my allergies.. so far Im fine with bees). I was told that one bee hive can produce 60-100kg of honey a year https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvaphnin8Iw (easy to sort out once out of the hive . I used to buy it in its natural state like that to eat).

I've seen that quiet bred queen bees can sell for 100s of dollars ($600-800 dollars I saw queens advertised). The process of making queens and setting up new nests is a little more complex but I think also possibly doable for me?. (the bees would have a good water source as I have the fish pond I set up last year or was it year before). (Im more confident in just having a hive and getting honey from it).
......................................................................

Anyway if anyone is interested in looking further into this either as a possible interesting hobbie or as a money maker ...

Basically a swarm trap box is just a wooden box with a hole in it in which a few drops of lemon balm essential oil is used to attract the bees (many just use that) . Bees mostly swarm in spring.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KHQSjYMsRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrtLGZysaPE (this novice hasn't painted the box which should be done to keep the water out and his slat bits I think may be are spaced wrong but it gives idea of how simple one could make a swarm trap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErBABg3fEgc (guy catches a swarm with a biodegradable flower pot)
(After catching bees in a swarm trap, they are left for a little while to settle in and start brooding..they don't like to leave brood.. before moving them and brood and queen into their new home. One blocks off the enterance once they are all in for the night before moving them. They can also be smoked slightly to quiet them to do that).

all looks easy enough to catch rather then buy bees, it could be a very low cost, money gaining project using things a person could already have at home (I would need to buy one of the protective head things.. could get away with heavy clothes, overalls duct taped on me etc and gloves with the rest. Colour of clothing may be important as bees can apparently see colours and may react differently to them).

Permanent bee home https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZDYgBkCx0 (this one has wax on the parts you pull out which bees do the honey and brood so the bees build comb straight but that isn't needed). There is lots of great videos on bee keeping on youtube
If I do ever do this.. I'll share how it goes
 
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Snookum96

Senior Member
Messages
290
Location
Ontario, Canada
Such a neat idea! Do you live in a rural area? I wonder if there are any rules where I live. I've been trying to find a low maintenance project that I can do where it doesn't matter if I'm out of commission completely for a few days in a row.

My husband hates bees that might be interesting lol:)
 

Toxed

Certified in Environmental Medicine, ATSDR
Messages
120
Location
Oregon
I could keep a couple of bee hives in my yard and they can make up to 100kg of honey each.
I've been considering this too. Not to sell, so much as because I eat a lot of honey.:p Only I have to wait until I find a remote property. There's too much pesticide here. There is a hive that you can drain the honey from and monitor the bees without opening it and disturbing them. Its costly, but I figure it would be worth it as it reduces labor. I'm researching bees on "Mother Earth News" site. I don't think they would sting you if you went down near the hive unless you had an aggressive queen. They get to know their keeper and wouldn't see you as a threat. :)
 

Misfit Toy

Senior Member
Messages
4,178
Location
USA
Bees=my nightmare. I honestly can't imagine this is an easy gig. You have to pick up the bees, unless you are hiring someone else and then you have to wear that whole get up. That get up makes me want to sweat when I am not even wearing it!

Plus, Tania, don't you have a hard time standing? This is something you have to have extreme patience for and you must stand to get the honey. The buzzing alone is very anxiety provoking. I had family do this in New Hampshire and it's a lot of work.

I have a bad allergy to bees since I came down with ME/CFS.
 

CFS_for_19_years

Hoarder of biscuits
Messages
2,396
Location
USA
Years ago I watched a friend harvest honey from his hives and it was not easy work. On top of it all, one bee managed to get past his protective head-to-toe gear and sting him. Then all the other bees started to swarm around him, because once a sting has taken place, some sort of chemical alert goes out making the stingee a huge target. No thanks, I wouldn't put myself in that position even if I was healthy.
 

Hutan

Senior Member
Messages
1,099
Location
New Zealand
Nice idea @taniaaust1

My sister and her family have two hives in their suburban back garden and they enjoy them a lot. They started by having a local beekeeper keep a couple of his hives in their garden. Their local beekeeping society runs training days and is very helpful. As well as the honey, breeding up bees generates income ($1000 per half-hive and $90 for a single queen bee). It doesn't seem to be a very physical hobby if you aren't shifting hives around.

Check this out - a new beehive system that automatically collects the honey. Invented very recently by two Australians.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/new-bee-hive-invention/6227258
Two New South Wales beekeepers have raised over a million dollars and attracted the attention of world's beekeeping community with a breakthrough innovation.

Anderson says the design appeals to those who find the process of beekeeping too difficult.
 
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Keela Too

Sally Burch
Messages
900
Location
N.Ireland
Prior to ME my husband and I kept bees on our small-holding.

We continued in my first year ill - and he did all the heavy work (believe me there is heavy work) and I came out to help, as his assistant.

I loved working with bees, but my health couldn't keep it up. Soon, it was too far to walk up the garden to the bees & too difficult to stand for long enough etc. etc.

Sadly once I was unable to help, my husband felt that it was becoming another chore (and he was already picking up so many chores around the place that I could no longer do) that we decided to stop bee keeping.

I'm not sure bee keeping is really an ME friendly pursuit, and to make any extra money at it you'd need to keep several hives.

Having said that, if you are well enough, it is a lovely hobby. Especially if you find you are relaxed around bees. ;)
 

Sean

Senior Member
Messages
7,378
Have considered trying it with native bees. They are stingless, and their honey is supposedly much sweeter and nicer than standard commercial honey bees so it probably commands a premium price. But they have a slower production rate, and are harder to find.

Also, keeping bees of any kind around here is difficult because the ants hop into them and destroy the nests. Can be done, but a bit tricky to isolate the hives.

Plus I have back problems (unrelated to ME/CFS) so any lifting etc is out for me.
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
You might be on to something @taniaaust1 : there was this thread recently about someone being cured after bee stings! Imagine: a money source AND a cure! :woot: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/bee-sting-against-lyme.36624/#post-592425

oh I wish :) . If I get attacked by bees and have a miracle recovery, I'll let you guys (and girls) know.

On the subject of stingy things and miracle ME/CFS cures. I met someone online years back who had ME/CFS who cured himself by hitting himself with stinging nettles. He was convinced it cured him.
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
Bees=my nightmare. I honestly can't imagine this is an easy gig. You have to pick up the bees, unless you are hiring someone else and then you have to wear that whole get up. That get up makes me want to sweat when I am not even wearing it!

Plus, Tania, don't you have a hard time standing? This is something you have to have extreme patience for and you must stand to get the honey. The buzzing alone is very anxiety provoking. I had family do this in New Hampshire and it's a lot of work.

I have a bad allergy to bees since I came down with ME/CFS.

sounds like bee keeping wouldn't be for you :) . Fortunately I don't tend to suffer anxiety much (unless Im about to collapse or having to see a dr!). I've been in huge bee swarms 3 times.. when I used to do horse riding (now that is scary as bees everywhere including in ones hair while trying to hold a freaked out horse back from bolting, its being on the horse in such a situation not the bees which is scary)

Yes I do have a hard time standing and cant stand still for over a minute (having to sway back and forth on my feet to keep the blood going to my head) and can easily pass out if I stand too long. I watched a guy do a hive set up and he did the whole thing with putting new bees into his hive in about 2 minutes. I'd certainly have to get someone to observe from a distance to make sure I didn't pass out amongst the bees and couldn't do anything with them on a warm day.
Fortunately with bees you don't have to do things with them very often at all, a hive check only takes a minute (and then the dressing in the protection of cause added to that. I'd dress and then rest first if needed)..

Once the frames with the honey on are pulled out of the hive.. the honey can be dealt with sitting down (probably messier but oh well).

Many of the bee suits are actually cotton so wouldn't cause sweating. Im serious about trying this so ordered one. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Beekeepi...ffType=OrderSubTotalOffer&_trksid=p5731.m3795 (very cheap on ebay). (its spring here now so if I want to try this, now is the time for me to try to catch a bee swarm and give it a go)
 
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taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
Years ago I watched a friend harvest honey from his hives and it was not easy work. On top of it all, one bee managed to get past his protective head-to-toe gear and sting him. Then all the other bees started to swarm around him, because once a sting has taken place, some sort of chemical alert goes out making the stingee a huge target. No thanks, I wouldn't put myself in that position even if I was healthy.

nods yeah.. if one bee stings you it does give off a phemomone which causes other bees to sting, hence if you get a bee in the beesuit, you should squash it immediately before it stings. It isn't uncommon to get stung. Im considering using duct tape too in the elasticized areas around arms and legs and neck as added precaution (my daughter was bowel incontinent as a child so I used to duct tape her into a wetsuit so she didn't mess up public pools.. I could do similar with beesuit). The suit I've orderd has the head part zippered onto the rest of the suit.
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
Nice idea @taniaaust1

My sister and her family have two hives in their suburban back garden and they enjoy them a lot. They started by having a local beekeeper keep a couple of his hives in their garden. Their local beekeeping society runs training days and is very helpful.

nods, that's what the bee people have been telling me, they are very enjoyable to watch etc. (I could set one up outside my bedroom window). That's what Im planning to do, the one mentoring me will set up a hive in my garden (I'll just have my hive too which I guess other wouldn't mind helping me with if needed)

Check this out - a new beehive system that automatically collects the honey. Invented very recently by two Australians.

wow.. that would be even better.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/new-bee-hive-invention/6227258[/QUOTE]
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
Prior to ME my husband and I kept bees on our small-holding.

We continued in my first year ill - and he did all the heavy work (believe me there is heavy work) and I came out to help, as his assistant.

I loved working with bees, but my health couldn't keep it up. Soon, it was too far to walk up the garden to the bees & too difficult to stand for long enough etc. etc.

Sadly once I was unable to help, my husband felt that it was becoming another chore (and he was already picking up so many chores around the place that I could no longer do) that we decided to stop bee keeping.

I'm not sure bee keeping is really an ME friendly pursuit, and to make any extra money at it you'd need to keep several hives.

Having said that, if you are well enough, it is a lovely hobby. Especially if you find you are relaxed around bees. ;)

Thanks very much for this post telling me how it was for you. It's good to hear of first hand experiences of others with this.

Many hives (all the professional ones) apparently have 10 frames in them, making the bee box when one has to lift parts off heavier, I've been recommended to stick to 8 so its lighter and easier to handle. I'd have the hive very close to my house. It may turn out to be something I cant do esp with my standing issue (Im fairly strong still on my better days, its the standing which is a huge issue for me).. but I guess I wont know unless I try.
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
Have considered trying it with native bees. They are stingless, and their honey is supposedly much sweeter and nicer than standard commercial honey bees so it probably commands a premium price. But they have a slower production rate, and are harder to find.

Also, keeping bees of any kind around here is difficult because the ants hop into them and destroy the nests. Can be done, but a bit tricky to isolate the hives.

Plus I have back problems (unrelated to ME/CFS) so any lifting etc is out for me.

All of us need to be careful of our backs seeing we would have weaker back muscles then normal people (we tend to slouch more etc due to feeling weak) even if we don't have bad backs which can cause weaker backs. I was in hospital for a whole week at one point as I injured my back picking up a very small brick after being bedbound for a long time (within weeks of being up and about). Fortunately my back muscles are stronger now and my back is now good (thanks to an excellent orthopaedic physio).

I don't know any thing about native bees, it is possible that the European bee which was introduced in Australia may of killed most of our native bees?? It's something I should look into more. I know an island off the courst of STh Australia mainland has native bees but they've been very careful to keep the European bees out.

My house has had an ant plague issue with what is known as a super nest (I may after nearly 2 years fixed the issue) .. so its possible that ants may be a big issue.
 

Toxed

Certified in Environmental Medicine, ATSDR
Messages
120
Location
Oregon
oh I wish :) . If I get attacked by bees and have a miracle recovery, I'll let you guys (and girls) know.

On the subject of stingy things and miracle ME/CFS cures. I met someone online years back who had ME/CFS who cured himself by hitting himself with stinging nettles. He was convinced it cured him.
I wonder if he's still cured? lol I got a lot of nettle stings as a child. Musta' wore off...:thumbdown: