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Author Topic: new to beekeeping in central Maine  (Read 1300 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 66

Location: Maine, USA

« on: April 29, 2008, 08:32:05 AM »

I just found this website last night and its full of wonderful information, thank you beemaster for all the time you have put into it.

My name is Tara and I live in the augusta, ME area. 

I am going to pick up my first nucs on Saturday and I just can't wait! I have been dreaming of beekeeping for years and now I will finally be doing it  grin

I am hoping my equipment arrives today or tomorrow (it was mailed 2 days ago from vermont, so I think it should be here anytime).

I am planning on starting with one hive this year then hoping to add another next year, after reading about growth and swarming I am thinking it may be possible for me to just grow my own rather than buying a second setup, am I right in thinking that?

I also have a question for people in my area, I was told I should buy a second hive setup for this one nuc setup in order to sucessfully winter them, whats that all about? and why would I need two hive setups to house one active hive? any ideas?

I plan to talk to the aviary people on Saturday about all this when I go to pick up our new friends but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask here too. Smiley

Looking forward to meeting you all and being part of this beekeeping community!

- Tara

beekeeper in central Maine
Finally getting bees again! 6/12/13
Steve M.
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 71

Location: Plymouth, Maine

« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 01:56:37 PM »


You bring up some very good points...questions that I have as well.  Our homestead is about an hour north of you in Augusta, and I have heard similar comments about the folly of starting out with only one hive.  As of yet, I haven't heard much contrary to that.

I have joined the Penquis Beekeepers Association, and have gleaned many useful tidbits from the members so far.  Most say that you should start out with at least 2 hives.  One member who lives a mile or so down the road started with only one last year, and it survived, but some of the other members have lost a few to all of their hives this past winter.  I imagine it is a numbers game.  The more you have the more you can stand to loose and still come out with more than zero.

I imagine that you should be able to multiply your hives if all goes well.  I am planning on setting up my nuc box as a possible swarm catch, on the off chance there might be a swarm passing through...there are quite a few beekeepers in the area.

We are planning on raising our bees as "organically" as is possible...using small cell foundation mainly, and such, haven't had much input from beeks in our area....I have already learned so much from this forum in that regard.  I'm sure that all of your questions can be answered more ably by some of the veteran members here.

Plymouth Pond Farm
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 9827

Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada

« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 11:06:08 PM »

Marla, welcome to our forum, you will be really glad that you found this place, it will be your leaning post, you will be able to ask any questions that you need to, all will get great answers, and you will make some new friends.  Have the best of this wonderful day, Cindi

There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Field Bee
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Posts: 622

Location: S. Alabama, USA USDA Temp Zone 8A

« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 11:07:52 PM »

Welcome, you'll love it here! Smiley
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 5317

Location: Placerville, California

« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 11:17:23 PM »

You can start with one hive. I did just that in 2006 and they came through the winter fine. Now I have 2 hives and I am grateful that I do have the other hive as they can help each other. I have had to give frames of honey from one hive to the other so the strong hive would not run out of stores last Feburary. I am now giving frames of brood from my strong hive to my weak hive to help them along. You can just move frames around and help both hives.

But like I said, I did just fine with one hive the first year.

good luck
Super Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 2502

Location: Hanson, MA and Lebanon, ME

« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 06:21:40 AM »

I think there is a misunderstanding here.  If you are using deeps for your hive bodies, you need two deeps to overwinter up here in the frozen north.  If you're using mediums, you need three.  You have to have enough room in each hive for winter stores, lots of them!

As for having one or two hives, it's uggested to start with two hives, that way you can compare things between the two colonies, and if you lose one (and you will lose bees, it's just a given) you'll at least have the other to either split or just to get going again in the spring. 

- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Click for Hanson, Massachusetts Forecast" border="0" height="150" width="256
Queen Bee
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Posts: 1101

Location: Brown County, IN

« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 06:55:39 AM »

Hello and Welcome,

As Steve noted, I highly recommend becoming involved with a local beekeeping club. There are several in Maine:
Clubs often offer beginning beekeeping classes, and are great places to find mentors and to get connected with other beeks who live near you. Much of beekeeping is "local", and the beeks in a local club can fill you in on how things are done in your neck of the woods.

Good Luck!
New Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 11

Location: Maine

« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2008, 04:12:56 AM »

I live in Bradford, Maine, NW of Bangor. I too am just starting. You have a jump on me, I dont have my bees yet.  Good luck. I'll be watching for more of your posts. Keep us informed of things as they happen.
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 13967

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2008, 12:07:07 PM »

Michael Bush
My website:
My book:
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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