I have 2 Buckfest hives (Because my Uncle/ Mentor said he would only work with Buckfest) I worked them for one year and did well.
I did not get any honey my first year from them. That being my first year and not knowing too much. This year I decided to go with NWCs. I installed 10 new hives the first of May. We made packages up from Italians from White Star Farms here in Ohio; I purchased 10-2lb. packages for $10. Per pound!!!!!!!!!!! This was from Joe Blair (Bchillicothe@aol.com
). What I ended up with is probably 4lb. + packages. He was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! I purchased my NWC Queens from Strachan Apiaries http://www.strachanbees.com/
. They to were GREAT too. I did lose one Queen and had to order another one, But all is fine nowâ€¦â€¦ I did do a split this spring on my Buckfest hive and I tried to introduce a NWC Queen but they refused her, but raised their own Buckfest Queen and is doing well.
Now what have I learned? Well Buckfest Glue EVERYTHING very well. They also Burr comb a lot. They will get temperamental. And they built up well this past spring (2nd year). I did start feeding them the Spring Meds in rock candy about the end of Dec. That turned out wonderful. I will probably do that again with all my hives this next spring. I had purchased 60 Gal. of corn syrup this spring to feed with. I have had no problem with it so far. I am still feeding it to them all. I have all new plastic foundation and drawing out comb has been slow 26 Deeps and 28 Small Honey supers. I keep the frame feeders in the top Brood box and fill it every 3-4 days. They are drawing out the comb with it wellâ€¦â€¦.. I have pulled a couple of frames of honey already this year for a Cub Scout troop that stopped by to watch my son and I work the bees. We cut the comb honey off the frames for them and they had a ball chewing itâ€¦. But the honey that was stored had good color and was tasty.. We are doing our first harvest this Sat 7-9-05. and we will see what the honey is like. I know we have about 8 Small honey supers to extract. I have 4 honey supers on the Buckfest hives and they are FULL!!!!! And we have 2 hives of the NWC from this year that are kicking buttâ€¦. They have each filled 2 honey supers.
I have noticed that the NWC do not glue everything as bad as the Buckfest, and seem to have less burr comb. They are very gentle. And manage the hive I think better then the Buckfest. But I will wait till the end of next year to make a decision on that.
I am just getting to the point that I am looking for different things to do in the hives. I am reading all the post here and other sites. I am reading all the books I can get my hands on and talking bees in my sleepâ€¦.LOL I am reading about how to manipulate a hive and all that stuff. Yes I do beleave in pushing the bees along. I love to read all the post about what is on the edge. I have been working on more woodwear for next spring. We are adding another 13 hives to our bee yard and Yes I am going to the Med Supers for everything. I also am using Plastic foundation in everything on the hives I have now and plan to use one piece plastic frams/foundations in all the new supers. I am experimenting with all the Ventelation, 2nd Entrances, SBB, Hive Top Feeders, and moreâ€¦â€¦ The equipment I have now is all used and we have Deep supers for brood, and Small honey supers. I have been rotating out the frames to get all of them onto Plastic foundations. We will see how that works. But I have found no difference in how my bees work the different foundationsâ€¦â€¦
Thatâ€™s my story and I am sticking to itâ€¦â€¦â€¦
I keep a log of what we are doing, and hope to have it typed up to post on a web page soon.