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Author Topic: n00bie wanna bee keeper  (Read 2031 times)
DigitalDawg
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« on: April 19, 2005, 07:15:33 AM »

ok - always wanted to try my hand at bee keeping. i have access to a nuc and will have it cleaned and set up by the weekend.

as for bees...i am guessing by all that i have read that you purchase a queen, and place her in the nuc? she attracts bees? i know this probably sounds like stupidity to you guys who are pros at this - but remember i'm still a n00b.

where is a recommended/reputable place to purchase a queen? i am assuming clipped/marked is better? ... so she doesn't decide to move?

is there anyone here that sells or donates queens?

when is the best time of the year to start a hive? i live in SC.

i'm fairly certain my first year will be a learning experience - and the honey production probably won't be up to par i guess. really i am not wanting to get into it for mass quantities of honey. sure - a few jars would be great - but i've always been facinated by bees and beekeeping and want to try. i may fail miserably but atleast i can say i tried it.

any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2005, 07:37:34 AM »

You can not start with just a queen.   You need to buy a package of bees (sold by the pound),  or an established nuc.

Most places are sold out by this time of the year.  You can perhaps find a local beekeeper that would be will to sell you some to get started.

Other than that,  capturing a swarm is another alternative.  But since you are totally new to beekeeping, I would not suggest this.  Unless you can find a local beekeeper to mentor you and help with the swarm capture.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2005, 07:45:53 AM »

Well it is good you have a nuc to get them started but they will soon outgrow that and may swarm. You cant just buy a queen and it attracts bees, it just wont work due to each hives queen "smells" diff and they are used to that "smell". The best time to start a hive is in the early spring. I hate to tell you but you are not going to fined a queen or crate of bees for sale right now, almost all dealers are sold out for the rest of the year. There are a few people on here that raise there own queens but once again a queen wont help you any without 1-3 pounds of bees. I guess if you really search you might find an extra bunch bought for extras at a local bee club but I dought it now. You might just have to wait till next year since your chances are slim. Best of luck, bye Smiley
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Ryan Horn
DigitalDawg
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2005, 08:22:41 AM »

well, after doing some googling and calling around to a few places i have found a handful of outlets that still have some packages left, most of the italian variety.

so based on that - how many should i start out with? 3lbs of bees sounds like a lot of bees to me.
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2005, 08:34:44 AM »

3lbs is the norm.  The more bees you have up front, the faster the foundation can be drawn out and the queen can be most productive.

As Ryan stated, you need more equipment than a nuc, they will quickly outgrow that.
   
Most folks do not recommend starting with less than 2 colonies.  That way you have the ability to compare, and take from one to help the other if needed.

Italians are fine.  If at a later date you want to change,  you can just requeen with a different breed.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


DigitalDawg
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2005, 08:48:31 AM »

plus i just found out that clemson univ has a class coming up - so i will plan to attend that - and i have found two local sources who tell me they have a few packages left.
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2005, 08:53:17 AM »

Looks like things are coming nicely together for you cheesy

Good luck and enjoy.....
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Kris^
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2005, 09:00:01 AM »

Quote from: DigitalDawg
so based on that - how many should i start out with? 3lbs of bees sounds like a lot of bees to me.


3 lbs. is around 10,000 bees, which is a start on a thriving hive.

I started out with one package last year.  If I had it to do again, I would start with 2 or 3 hives.  It gives you some comparisons and, if you lose a hive, it's not 100% of your stock.

Good luck!

-- Kris
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DigitalDawg
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2005, 09:05:17 AM »

Quote from: Robo
Looks like things are coming nicely together for you cheesy

Good luck and enjoy.....


yea doncha just love technology. i may just set everything up and use this year to learn and find someone who would be willing to be my mentor - just in case the wheels fall off.

dunno yet...most of the time - the way i do stuff is just do it...but then again i've never had 20,000 bees in my back yard b4.
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AdmiralD
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2005, 12:11:06 PM »

Ah, the expentant 'father' searching for his children!  Cheesy

Congratulations on your expected bee ranch ... Tongue

If you haven't done so, I suggest that you get a book  on beekeeping, ie "Beekeeping for dummies" or something alone that line. A beekeeper friend is a good idea as well. There are beekeeping societys that are meeting at various places, ie universities/colleges that have some good people who will mentor you as well.

Hope this helps....

It's so fun to see beginers...And just as an FYI, I am no expert in this field either...Keep asking, and you will learn so much... wink
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DigitalDawg
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2005, 12:42:36 PM »

well, i spent lunch conversing with our local feed and seed - and who btw are bee keepers and supply bee keepers .... who informed me that may was my one window to start a hive this year...and it's a maybe. so if it doesn't work out this year atleast i will be prepered for next.

he says i can do just fine with one hive...as long as i keep an eye out for baby queens (i'm sure there's a technical term for them).
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2005, 04:37:36 PM »

I would really start with 2 hives if possible. You are very lucky you found some packs. And "baby queens" are virgin queens. I think it may help you alot to get a book called "beekeeping for dummies", I read it along with a ton of others on here and John even took alot of the pics that are in the book. Bye Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2005, 05:38:45 PM »

Hi - I am a newbie too.  I took some classes and am supposed to get my nuc of bees around May 14th.  I have read several books, but the most informative I've found is The Hive and The HOney Bee by Dadant.  It tells everything.  I couldn't find it at the bookstores, so bought it online.  It just boggles my mind some of the things honey bees do.
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"Outside of a good book, a dog is a man's best friend: and inside a dog, it's too dark to read."  Groucho Marx
Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2005, 06:53:03 PM »

Barnes and nobel has been getting alot of new bee books brought in, that is a good place to always look for a new book. bye Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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