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Author Topic: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne  (Read 1894 times)

Offline OzBuzz

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Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« on: March 03, 2010, 10:31:48 PM »
G'day Everyone,

I'm a newbie to the forum but have, in the past, had a few hives. I live in Melbourne and i'm looking at getting back in to the hobby.

I was wondering - is it too late in the season to start a hive? I'm wanting to set up an 8 frame full depth hive and was thinking of just having a brood super over the winter months with supplemented feeding. I figured putting a honey super on this late in the season might stress them out too much not only trying to establish the brood and winter stores but also trying to draw the wax in the honey super, fill it, cap it etc.

In terms of sourcing the colony i have two options:

1) Purchase a colony and have it put in to my hive
2) Purchase a queen and obtain some frames of brood, honey & workers

I'm keen to start with a nice docile italian queen - option 1) will give me a colony but i don't know what the queen will be. Option 2) ensures i get a young queen of my choosing but she will be a virgin - i wonder if it's too late in the season for her to mate? and as i will be adding frames of brood, honey and workers would i have enough new drones or would she have to rely on 'hopefully' finding one in the field? I live in the suburbs and it's not common to see a huge number of bees in my area. Also, as i would likely be adding 4 frames of brood/honey/workers is there enough time left in the season for them to draw out the other four frames of foundation, fill it, cap it and also get sufficient brood to maintain the hive over winter?

Can anybody recommend places in Victoria where i might be able to buy a nucleus hive, or some frames of brood/honey/workers or even purchase a colony?

Obviously over winter i would ensure i provided some supplementary feeding

Thanks for your time

OzBuzz

Offline philinacoma

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 08:38:58 AM »
You could be pushing it to get hold of a hive at this time of year. Most of the easily obtainable colonies come from swarms and from what I've heard is that they have almost totally dried up. There could be the odd feral hive still. Hmm feral hive...I have my eyes on that possum box...If only the lady calls me again!

If you were in qld, you could pluck a swarm out of Slicko's Macadamia tree... I have seen a couple of hives for sale in the last couple of months from people getting out of the hobby. I'll keep an eye for one of those if you're interested still.

Where abouts in Melb are you? We have Coburg, Fitzroy-Healesville, 2 on the peninsula, another in Northcote and a couple more out of town.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 06:14:55 PM »
Hey Philinacoma,

Thanks for your reply.. It's much appreciated. Yeah, i figured things were starting to dry up with swarms etc. At this late stage i'm thinking the best way of getting a hive up is to get a few frames of brood/honey/workers and either supersedure or supply a queen (as mentioned in another post i'm hoping to get a KI one). I just have to find someone willing to part with a few frames of liquid gold  :) Hahhahah i take it there is a nice feral hive in a possum box?

I've read about Slickos macadamia being the holy grail of swarm catchers! i'm incredibly jelous!  :) that would be great if you could keep an eye out for any hives that might come up for sale! thank-you

I'm located in the Taylors Lake area

Offline Pete

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2010, 10:48:57 PM »
Lady i got mine from in Edithvale had a strong colony for sale around a month ago. If you want me to find out if its still for sale i will. Its completely established, 3 supers etc $450 she wanted.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 10:49:45 PM »
Thanks Pete,

Although it sounds like an awesome hive it's way outside my budget at the moment

Offline westmar

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2010, 01:15:54 AM »
hi 
   get on eBay you see bees there all the time from down that way,plus trading post.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2010, 02:47:22 AM »
G'day Westmar,

You can't sell live animals on ebay can you? but i have been keeping an eye on the trading post...

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 06:21:59 AM »
Given the change in weather in Melbourne lately - is it worth waiting until spring to start up a hive? where i live all the eucalypt are about to bud burst but i wonder about the temperatures etc. I was thinking that if we went down the 8 frame brood super only we could maybe put some polystyrene foam around the outside to keep it warm in addition to the pollen/sugar feeding

Offline westmar

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 01:03:55 AM »
hi
    oz buzz
              i have seen them on there in the past,i think your right as they ARe classed as live stock.at times i have seen some gear under beekeeping.as for the weather out her i didn't get a summer flow but it changed around, now I'm on a good Molly box flow.don't no what it like you way seen you got under some ice would knocked you trees about.out her my bees got plenty drones in the hives,i never got to do splits in the summer I'm doing it now going in to Autumn.

Offline Pete

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2010, 07:53:33 PM »
Sorry for not replying earlier been distracted with other stuff. Too late for us now...happy to do something in spring if that helps.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Is it too late in the season to start a hive? - Melbourne
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2010, 08:39:02 PM »
Sorry for not replying earlier been distracted with other stuff. Too late for us now...happy to do something in spring if that helps.

Hey Pete,

How is your hive going? I've actually organised to pick up a running hive on the weekend - Carniolan X Italian with the queen laying on the outer frames... very docile. Can't wait! the guy i am buying it from suggested in two weeks or so putting another super as there is a lot of eucalyptus flowering around here at the moment. Should be interesting in spring when the red gum that's around me flowers... splits anyone  :)