I have been a Bee Keeper since 2004 and have recently started my own business

Here is a picture of my suit, gloves, and work truck


I will be back to answer more questions later today my phone is almost dead from responding to questions. I will respond to all once I can later today thanks for the interest!

Comments: 383 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

Samipearl1951 karma


RedHaze132 karma

Yes bees

vocalpoint10739 karma

Your timing is impeccable. I go to school at the University of Delaware and just last night a truck carrying an estimated 16-20 million bees overturned about a mile from campus. As a bee expert, what effect do you think this will have on the area?

RedHaze129 karma

An effect on what? The bees? They will probably be exterminated it will be near impossible to put them back together if the hives have been fully destroyed as to some though they will fly wherever there queen has landed some will escape and set up shop anywhere they csn find a suitable nest to do so as for some they will live until they either die from the elements or until there life span runs out

benjim4n10 karma

When this happened did it make your heart hurt? Soooooooo many bees lost! (Fortunately all of the humans involved were fine, albeit with a lot of stings)

RedHaze120 karma

It is always disappointing when you hear of these things especially with all the problems we have been having the last few years 450 hives is a lot of food going to be lost

ninjajazza23 karma

I homebrew mead. People like you make that possible. Thanks!

As for questions, how can you tell when a honey is a particular variety? Is it just whatever grows in the region that the hive is located, or do you have some kind of testing?

RedHaze117 karma

It will depend on what type they are bringing in typically the darker the honey the more rich it is though I have seen some bees brining in blood red pollen...

IAMA_Drunk_Armadillo21 karma

How did you get into the business? Also have you ever participated in a Druidic ceremony that involved burning Nicolas Cage alive?

RedHaze113 karma

It started as a family business back in thr late 90's and no, druidic ceremonies as of yet

leodown019 karma

Are bees really that mean or is it a fluke

RedHaze134 karma

Bees are not mean in the slightest it takes an act of aggression or an invasion of territory to make them aggressive!

mrcopie10 karma

Bees are great, yellow jackets and hornets are the assholes.

RedHaze16 karma

Very true they konda are asshole they use to sting me when I was little

Mrs_Fonebone19 karma

How much honey do you get on average from a hive--or per comb? Are you set up where they mainly get clover or can more randomly fly about? What's their favorite pollen?

RedHaze121 karma

On average we can get anywhere from 50-100 pounds of extra honey per hive. Our bees are used for blueberry pollination and after that they are placed around pastures mainly to collet what they can find

Gralekgejost17 karma

How many bees go in an average beehive and how many beehives do you need to earn a living?

RedHaze123 karma

Roughly around 50,000 bees are in a hive on average, and you need a couple hundred to make a living solely of bee keeping

budtron8414 karma

how often do you get stung?

RedHaze118 karma

On a normal outting to a bee yard looking through an average 30 hives I'll get stung 5-10 times

budtron8410 karma

Oh wow, less then i thought. Do you have a good way to deal with the swelling, some insider treatment?

RedHaze112 karma

Benadryl spray works good but now a days I just deal with it

KnightFox8 karma

So have you built up a tolerance to the venum?

RedHaze111 karma

Yes I have, I went from severe swelling for days to a bump and a itch for like a day and a half

Larryndallas12 karma


RedHaze111 karma

Mu business is up in canada we don't have the problems they are having down south, though we have had some hives be more aggressive then others but over tike we have bred the aggression out I believe

KnightFox6 karma

How do you control breeding for trait selection?

RedHaze16 karma

We do not try and control traits I our bees but when I order in Queens they come from all over the world

EndoplasmicPanda12 karma

I know that it was a big deal in the news a few years back that all the bees were disappearing. Is this still a problem, and how have beekeepers gotten around it?

RedHaze110 karma

Yes it is still a huge problem and we are trying our hardest to bring up our populations by brining in new queens to try and build new hives from scratch

CanuckChick713 karma

This may sound completely retarded, but how are the queens created? Is it like a DNA thing, where you just pick some chromosome, and queens are instantly made?

RedHaze19 karma

It's called grafting some removes a bee larva from its original position in the hive and places it in a special plastic holder then the bees will feed her a different food which makes her not a normal bee but a queen!

yogurtforbreakfast12 karma

What are your thoughts on the honey bee shortage facing us right now? Is there anything the average person can do to help the situation?

RedHaze111 karma

As a individual I can't see one person being able to help it will probably take a lot of research and a large public outcry to change anything short term

mcai8rw212 karma

Do you think I could start out keeping bees for their honey in my standard sized garden.

And if so what publications / tutorials would you recommend i read up on first. (preferably relatively small easy to digest books).

Is keeping bees quite equipment intensive?

RedHaze113 karma

I do know a few folks that do keep thete own bees for gardens but you need a lot of area to keep hives in. The best advice I could give is find a local bee keeper to show you the ropes or take a beginner bee keeping course, read in from books is ok but learning through doing will help you out more. The majority of bee keepers need a suit, gloves, a few extra boxes for honey space, and a smoker and a hive tool it could run up to 750-1000 dollars for the proper start up gear


I am also interested in beekeeping. Any advice you could give to beginners is appreciated!

RedHaze13 karma

Always check with local bee keepers some have beginner courses you can take and learn from experienced people

Dinosoarman11 karma

How many gallons of honey are produced per year on average?

RedHaze113 karma

I think in canada it's around 36 million kgs a year

Dinosoarman11 karma

Holy wumbo, that's alot. Do you think i could drown a bear with that much?

RedHaze111 karma

I imagine more then one

geekfly11 karma

I take it that beekeeping is largely seasonal. What (if anything) is required during winter? More specifically - can you outline what goes on over the course of a typical year from a seasonal perspective?

RedHaze110 karma

Not much happens in the winter some need to dig out the entrances from snow I will winterize my bees prior to winter by wrapping them in plastic and using Styrofoam as for the month to month operation that's to much to text

imba810 karma

Are Queen Bee's really expensive?

RedHaze113 karma

This year queen bees were 31 dollars a queen

Samipearl199 karma

Have you seen the Eddie Izzard Covered in Bees? What do you think of it?

RedHaze14 karma

I have not seen it sorry

PartiallyWindow11 karma

Have you seen it now?

RedHaze111 karma

Still haven't!

Ragn4r8 karma

What kind of bees do you have? I heard the African bees produce a lot more money and are more resilient to diseases.

RedHaze111 karma

If I had bees that produced money I'd be very happy to! My bees originate from all over the world, from local to Hawaii to as far away as New Zealand

3ecauseICan7 karma

How do you dispose of the dead bees?

RedHaze17 karma

Surprisingly the hive will clean itself out to the best of its ability by pushing it's own dead Out of the hive but to clean out a completely dead hive they must br scrapped out to prevent mold. Usually they will decompose on site or be blown away by wind

simplerobot7 karma

What did you think of Bee Movie by DreamWorks?

RedHaze19 karma

I think I seen it a few years ago amd I thought it was amusing but gave a poor representation of a commercial bee keeper

SuperSmith_4 karma

Do you ever say "They make the honey and we make the money"?

RedHaze110 karma


sircam227 karma

What Is the Scariest Thing that Has Happend to You while around your bees?

RedHaze17 karma

Is my eye when I was like 10 or 11 I was taken into the bee yard by me grandfather after always being petrified of bees, hornets, and wasps from being stung a lot as a kid. So naturally I was horrified at how many there was flying all around me

mhtreddit7 karma

Have you watched the new Godzilla movie? And if you what did you think about it?

RedHaze14 karma

I have not seen the movie yet I'm been to busy working! I heard to wasn't as good as it could have been from a few friends though

Nautolans1 karma

They're lying, it was amazing!

RedHaze13 karma

I'll have to check it out

alendotcom6 karma

What commercials have your bees been featured in?

RedHaze16 karma

They were on the local news and local paper once

Magilla-Gorilla6 karma

Hello fellow commercial Canadian Beekeeper. How did your area winter? I am assuming Ontario/Quebec because of blueberry pollination. Heard there are some heavy losses that way.

RedHaze13 karma

I'm in the atlantic area actually and yes some people have had up to 50% loses

johnnybones236 karma

I have read about man's use of chemicals changing the behavior of bees. Just how important are bees to the food chain? More specifically how does it affect human food production?

RedHaze16 karma

Well as an example in relation to blueberries with 2 hives to an acre we can produce 1500-2500 pounds to the acres of berries with upwards of 5 hives to the acre some people are reporting up to 10000 pounds to the acre so with the decrease to bee population everywhere with less coverage comes less yield

TurboPoggs6 karma

Any tips or tricks on how to keep a hive in a neighborhood with anti-hive HOA rules?

RedHaze13 karma

I'm sorry what does HOV stand for im in the country and there is no such laws in my county

TurboPoggs6 karma

HOA = Home Owners Association. Basically a bunch of jerks who make dumb rules for suburban neighborhoods.

So, I guess to rephrase my question: Are there beekeeping methods that can...minimize interaction between the bees and your neighbors?

RedHaze13 karma

Not really I have seen experimental bee entrapments that basically confine the bees to one certain area but they aren't kept in the enclosment year round

SnickeringBear3 karma

So long as it is legal to keep bees in your area, a few basic steps will help. Build a fence at least 8 feet high completely around the area where the colonies will be placed. This will force the bees to fly up and over the wall to forage. Don't try to keep large numbers of colonies in an urban location, the more colonies, the more likely problems will show up. Provide the bees with a ready source of clean water. This will prevent them getting water from swimming pools or bird baths. Avoid working the bees in inclement weather. When they are confined to the hive by rain, they tend to be irritable.

RedHaze14 karma

Unfortunately fences will not keep bees anywhere they have a pattern they will follow for scouring for food

DEDmeat5 karma

So yesterday in Delaware a huge truck full of hundreds of thousands of bees was tipped over on the highway and many were set free. How fucked are the residents of Delaware precisely? No, actually I would like to know if that kind of thing would have any impact.

Proof article:http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/traffic/2014/05/20/truck-carrying-bees-overturns-on-95-on-ramp/9348173/?sf26407166=[%271%27]

RedHaze13 karma

Eventually the majority of the bees will be exterminated but as long as the residents don't try and handle the groups of bees themselves and call the appropriate authorities they should be fine if they don't disturb the bees

KnightFox5 karma

Who do you sell your honey to? Wholesaler, processors, meadsters, retailers?

RedHaze18 karma

I do not sell any of my honey as of right now, I remove the honey and then let bees rob it back into there hives for use for winter but in previous years we have taken it to another local bee keeper to be extracted and sold locally

seakazoo5 karma

As someone who is terrified of anything that can fly and sting I'm curious as to how often you come across other people scared of bees. Have you noticed that people who are afraid tend to get stung more than others? Can bees smell my fear?

RedHaze16 karma

Some people tell me that bees and sense fear. Maybe it's the same as a dog on a leash the attitude is transfered to the animal kinda way. I always come across those who are very afraid of being stung. But I have seen no relation to how much you get stung as to how much you are afraid of bees

scansinboy5 karma

How much would it cost to set up a single hive? And would that single hive be worth it, or would a higher number of initial hives be more practical?

RedHaze14 karma

On average in my area a hive runs about 350 dollars complete, just having one hive is fine it shouldn't make a difference hives do not work together in any way

Orange_Sticky_Note2 karma

How do hives interact? Do they fight like ants?

RedHaze15 karma

Bees will leave each other alone they usually don't mix within each others hives

captainryo5 karma

a honey and rum remedy cured my allergies, do you eat a lot of honey? how healthy are you?, also have you been affected by the sudden death of entire hives?

RedHaze16 karma

When im sick I drink pure honey and hot water and it usually does the trick within a few days. I'm pretty fit I keep active as much as possible. And no I have never had a hive just suddenly die

HGpennypacker4 karma

For the past few years I've been looking to set up some bees in my backyard, not so much for honey but more for the benefit of the garden and the cultural aspect of raising bees. As opposed to the traditional Langstroth hive I've been leaning more and more towards a home-made top-bar hive. Do you have any experience with top-bar hives and have good or bad things to say about them?

RedHaze14 karma

Sorry no I only deal with the standard hives

Buckman114 karma

How many stings do you think a 5year old could survive?

RedHaze15 karma

It would depend on the weight, past experiance with getting stung, and how far away medical attention is. And of course if they are allergic

Buckman115 karma

Say, 40lbs, never been stung before, nearest medical attention is a 3-day camel ride.

RedHaze16 karma

Possibly 500 bee stings

nodriptip3 karma

How much green space does a beehive need to function properly?

RedHaze16 karma

Depends on how many hives are in one yard they can forage pretty far some believe up to 5 miles

torothebully2 karma

This is great AMA thanks for sharing. My question is if you're wearing the suit how much protection does it offer? Do you still get stung or can bees find their way inside?

RedHaze12 karma

Depends sometimes I wear a half suit for my upper body usually but when moving or during the honey removal process I wear a full suit cause they get more aggressive during these times. And they can still sting through your suit it only protects you some of the time

sircam222 karma

Do you Use Smoke To Make The Bees Fall asleep? If so Does It Harm The Bees?

RedHaze13 karma

Yes I use a smoker and no it does not harm the bees the smoke drives the bees down into the hive so it reduces the amount of bees killed while taking out there frames and curves there aggression while taking the frame out

pourfarmer2 karma

where in canada are you located? thoughts on ccd in relation to pesticides?

RedHaze11 karma


coxipuff2 karma


RedHaze11 karma

I wouldnt be to worried about it unless you find a swarm or group of bees that have decided to make your home or property there own

Ginjunkie2 karma

Wow, how awesome. This morning, I was thinking about a beekeeping business endeavor (before I saw this). I have a few questions!!

-What tips do you have for an AGBS college student who has considered starting a beekeeping business?

-Where would be a good place to start for someone like that, who wants to start a small operation with potential for growth.

Ps: I live in the San Joaquin valley.

RedHaze12 karma

Most work for a local bee keeper and learn the ropes then when they have a good reputation and the knowledge can branch out on there own usually purchasing from the previous employer

stardust72 karma

Have you always wanted to work with bees? What got you started in this field?

RedHaze13 karma

I never wanted to work with bees until the last few years, I In fact hated working with bees. But after all this time working with them when the opportunity came to own them myself I could see the potential for profit and growth in today's business world and jumped on the opportunity

sdmike211 karma

How much of a problem has Colony Collapse Disorder been for you?

RedHaze12 karma

I have had no ccd in my hives

Nautolans1 karma

The questions I could ask! I'll keep it short though:

-How much do Bee Keeping companies actually do to protect the bees as a species?

-Is your job fun? While some enjoy doing this as a hobby, is the pay for this job good?

RedHaze12 karma

I feel they do the best to there ability considering it's the lively hood so we that thrm the best we can. To me the job is fun at the end of the day once the suits off but during its a hot muggy thankless job. And the mo en can be quite good if your business is big enough

devwolfie1 karma

My Latin teacher in high school was a bee keeper, as was one of my favorite professors in College, but they both did on a much smaller scale/as a hobby. What sort of automation tools do you use to be able to manage the large amounts of hives, bees, and honeycomb on a commercial scale?

RedHaze12 karma

We use a boom loader and f350 to haul a trailer for deliver method. On occasion we use a tractor with forklifts to maneuver them or one of our two fork lifts. As for honey we take it to a local bee keeper with extracting equipment for.hpneu if we ever do decide to produce honey

YouNeedToStopPosting1 karma

Have you ever been stung on the tip of your nose, your left earlobe, or left side of your chin?

RedHaze12 karma

Yes, yes, and yes

sircam221 karma

If You Did Not Wear A Saftey Suit Do You Think The Bees Would Sting You?

RedHaze14 karma


devwolfie1 karma

How big of a concern is the invasive Africanized honey bee species to commercial bee keepers, and is there anything done specifically by commercial bee keepers to prevent population spread of said invasive species?

RedHaze12 karma

I dont know to much about these bees I'm in Atlantic canada