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Author Topic: Want to get started in South Texas  (Read 1160 times)
Sid at Rebecca Creek
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« on: May 31, 2008, 09:29:50 PM »

Hi:
Live in South Texas, near San Antonio. It is hot and currently very dry. We also have Africanized wild bees in the area.

Would like to get started, wanted to earlier, but life got in the way.

1) Is it too late in the year to start new hives?

2) I have read a lot about beginning equipment, seen lists, seen packages for sale. Any recs??

3) Should I worry about Africanized wild bees incursion into any hive I start?

4) I have 58 acres, had picked out several locations for hives, how many should I start?

5) Austin club is a little far, San Antonio club does not answer the phone, do I need a mentor, or can online suffice?

6) Assuming it is okay to start now, should I get frames or packages?

Sid at Rebecca Creek
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qa33010
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2008, 11:02:02 PM »

Sid!  Welcome to both the forum and the addiction!

     I used/use online for mentor purposes myself, I also read alot before starting.  It's always amazed me how reading and doing are two totally different animals!  I've started new hives (cutouts given to me) as late as the end of July.  As long as they have time to build up stores for the winter you should be good to go!  Good Luck! cheesy

   By the way if you can get someone to do it for you they may use your new frames, or swap yours for theirs, to get them to draw out and get brood on a few frames for you.  Friend of mine did that and got started up here in mid August.  The bees are good to go almost a year later.  If you can get a nuc you have an established hive to start with and transfer to a larger box with a better shot at survival.

     Oh and by the way when I went through a bee course last year there were beeks available that were happy to answer all questions. 
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 10:11:05 AM »

Sid, welcome to our forum, nice introduction, by the way.  You can get bees soon, now, later, as was said by qa33010, you can even start them a bit later in the season.  This is a hobby/pleasure that will take you a longs ways, once you begin to keep bees, you will be held under their spell and want to know everything about them.  You have the room for lots of bees.  Start out with a couple of colonies this year and build up for next year.  You don't need a physical mentor, on-line is wonderful and that is where we and many, many others will help you out.  This forum is a great place to ask questions that will be answered, no question is irrelevant or considered dumb, so you can ask, learn and listen.  We all will be your mentor, through that cyberspace.  Have the most beautiful and wonderful day, we all be lovin' and livin' this life we share.  Cindi
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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
Sid at Rebecca Creek
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 05:57:38 PM »

Thanks for the good wishes. I am going to order this weekend.

Will get two hive setups to start.

What equipment should a newbie like me get. Probably at least a hood(head net) and smoker, but what else? I am not allergic, have not been stung in many years, but it is not something I want to be stupid about. Do I need a body suit. It would be a real challenge to wear in the heat of South Texas.
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 09:13:15 AM »

Sid, you will hear many differing opinions on what to get.  I always wear head protection, I have a full body bee suit, but I use that to keep me warm.  Normally, in the warm weather, all I use is the head protection, that be the hat/veil.  When you are working the bees, if you are not wearing a light coloured body suit, we will call it that, wear light coloured clothing.  The bees do not like dark clothes, nor do they like clothing that is "furry", that is how I would describe that clothing.  If you wear dark clothes, they may think you a predator, hee, hee.  Light coloured clothing, that will keep you cooler too.

In the summertime when I am working with the bees, I have the safari style hat that has the veil.  THat is common.  I do not wear much other clothing because it is too warm.  I like to wear my jeans, I don't like the thought of bees crawling up shorts, I wear tank tops, my arms are exposed and so is the top of my back, I don't get stung. 

Of course, protection also does depend on the temperament of the bees.  YOu may hear more comments, but that is what I am saying to you.  Good luck, you are gonna love the bees.  Have a most wonderful and great day, Cindi
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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
MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 09:55:45 AM »

Starting with two hives is a good idea, that way you can compare the progress of each hive. Nucs would probly be your best bet , but i am up north, season is pretty short here. I would diffently reccomend the full suit. Just in case some of the bees decide to have a bad day, and that would make a bad day for you. A smoker is your best investment, get a larger one if possible, and one with an asbestos cover helps protect you from getting burned. HIve tool is a given, as well as a bee brush. The only other real nice option is a frame hanger for outside the hive. I love mine. I also am new so this is what I have found to be useful. There is lots of things reccomended but these are all you need to get started. Oh one more thing a 12 quart pot for sugar syrup mixing or a 5 gallon plastic pail. That will get you going.
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Each new day brings decisions,  these are  new branches on the tree of life.
qa33010
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2008, 08:02:16 PM »

    Michael Bush has got an equipment list on http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Sorry gotta go.  Will be back.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Moonshae
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 09:09:04 PM »

I've found that time of year has a big impact of the hive temperament. June-September here in NJ, I work my hives in shorts and a tshirt, no veil. A little smoke is enough to mellow them out. Outside of that, though, they can be a bit testy, and moreso the cooler the weather. Not sure how cold it gets for you, so other beeks in your area might have more advice that way.
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