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Author Topic: I know I am getting ahead of myself  (Read 1253 times)
vermmy35
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« on: February 07, 2009, 06:58:24 PM »

Ok I am finally getting started and this will be my first year with the bee's.  The hive and equipment will be here Monday and the bee's are ordered, but I have one question and I know I am getting ahead of myself.  The question is this the hive came with one super and I was wondering how many honey super's I will need for the first year.  I live in Chicago and there are plenty of flowering plants around the area.  I have also noticed a decrease in the bee's in the area. 

Thanks for the input
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 08:27:07 PM »

Its almost impossible to answer the question precisely. There are too many, mainly weather type, variables to answer definitively.

What are you using for your brood boxes, deeps, mediums?

If the weather is good and your area gets sufficient rainfall there will be more available nectar, hence more comb and honey production. If you don't get adequate rainfall you will have to feed them.

Either way, besides nectar availability, genetics will come into play. If your bees have good genetics and a viral queen they will build better and she will lay more thus bolstering numbers that will aid the hive to build better than a hive and queen with poor or poorer genetics.

Sometimes hives are not created equal and this is why its a good idea to start with at least two colonies, so that you can take feed or brood if need be and give to the weaker hive to help it along.

 If I were you I would have at least a deep and a medium on hand or three mediums for the brood nest and perhaps a minimum of three mediums for honey supers. There's really no way of knowing with certainty exactly what you'll need until nature takes its course but its better to have too many supers available than not having enough when you need them.


...JP
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sc-bee
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2009, 09:01:01 PM »

Too many variables as JP discussed.

Is there anyone in your area you can get a ballpark avg from.

Bottom line as you well know--- If You ain't Got-em You Can't Put Them On grin!
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 09:10:47 PM »

Yes too many variables but I would definately have an extra super at some point.  You can probably wait a bit though.  You won't even be putting on the super you have immediately.  Then you may have some time before you need the 2nd super even if you do.  Normally, beeks will wait until a super is about 80% full & capped before adding another. 
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 11:04:53 AM »

As stated above there are way to many variables, however  (second year newbie) I kept 5 supers on hand per hive. Thats for a new hive by the way. right from a package. That allowed me to use a couple extra for hive bodys, becuse I use mediums. then a couple left over for stores, if I needed them. And you usually need an empty one for putting around the inside feeders,  if you decide to use that method. No one can give you a diffenitave answer but  kept around a few extras. It wont hurt to have extra's and like stated above, if you need them, you got them. You could have a bounty of food sources and not even know it.

 what I found last year, my first year, I used the extra's, and only had a couple left overs. This year I am ordering more than I will use but better to err on the safe side. dont know if this helps and others may disagree, but heck thats what its about. agreeing to disagree.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 07:20:45 PM »

My goal is to have 6 hives all mediums at 6 boxes per hive.  That gives me 3-4 brood boxes (depending on the queen) and 2-3 harvestable boxes.  6x6 =36 and I just ordered 5 more from Western Bee (5 boxes w/50 frames and 50 sheets of foundation).  So with 40 plus boxes it allows for catching a swarm swarm or two or splitting out some nucs for sale.  I also have 10 medium nuc boxes.  That should last me for a couple of years.  I don't use the foundation except as starter strips at times so I'll sell that to a commercial beek I know.
The point is that for every hive you plan on having you need at least 3 boxes plus the 1 you start with that's 4 boxes per hive at the minimum for the 1st year due to variables.  5-6 boxes hive is better planning.  If you don't use them all the 1st year you will the 2nd.
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vermmy35
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 11:24:19 PM »

Thanks for the input and I am sorry that I forgot to add that the brood boxes will be deep and the honey super is a 6 5/8.  Thanks and I can't wait until I can hive my first package of carniolan's even if the wife thinks I am crazy for starting this as a new hobby.
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 11:53:06 PM »

This is a great "crazy" hobby.  I am beginning my 3rd season, and I am actually beginning to understand a lot thanks to the very kind people here on the forum.

I will tell you what I have on my one colony that is deep.  I have 2 deeps for the brood, then I add mediums for honey supers/brood depending on where the queen wants to go.  I learned that 2 brood deeps should be enough, but with bees we never really know.  I do not use excluders either...

Have fun, remember that we typically don't take much honey from a first year package...They'll need it to build up and prep for Winter.

Like JP and the others say, 2 colonies really are better than one, as you can borrow brood and/or honet if need be.

You will also need to feed your new package...

Have Fun!

Sharon
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2009, 11:59:09 PM »

Vermmy, people think beekeeping is crazy because bees have a stinger. Once she understands that the stinging issue will be the least of your worries, she will realize how wonderful a world you have entered. Be enthusiastic, and share with her all of your discoveries and she will become a convert. Once she gets a taste of fresh honey from your hives she will be overjoyed. Enjoy the journey and remember we are here to help with any questions you may have.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 10:28:16 PM »

Always have a couple of extra on hand.
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2009, 01:22:23 AM »

And if you have a couple of extra hands even better!
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