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Author Topic: New to bees what should I start with  (Read 1691 times)
ant12
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« on: January 04, 2013, 05:36:19 PM »

Ok my two options ok three, 1 buy 3-5 yr old hive new queen for 235.00 no super. Or nuc for 185. I supply new hive. Or a package of bees with my new hive. What would the experienced do if starting in my shoes. The issue with whole hive is possible infection mites, and age on hive. So any advice please.
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 05:38:41 PM »

First question, where are you located?   Then we can go from there. 
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Maryland Beekeeper
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Nature does nothing uselessly. Aristotle


« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 07:15:45 PM »

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24583
Cheers,
Drew
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edward
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FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 07:33:58 PM »

Kind good tempered bees that are easy to work with.

mvh edward  tongue
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ant12
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 07:44:50 PM »

Located outside Houston Tx
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AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 09:07:55 PM »

All options will work.   185 sounds steep for just a nuc.  It is all a matter of just how much work you want to put into getting a full hive.  But getting them there is half the fun.   Also with the mites, all bees have mites.   
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 09:17:46 PM »

Personally, for that price, I would get the package.  I enjoyed watching them grow and learning as I went.  You can watch the nuc grow too, but the package is cheaper and you get the fun of putting together the hive components.  I now make nucs from my hives and then add queen cells from a local supplier that I trust.  I have read (and experienced) that many package queens are superceded quickly.  I addressed this issue by re-queening with local, marked queens in August. 
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Brian
ant12
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 09:58:56 PM »

How established can my hive be in first year if I go with package.
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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 11:23:25 PM »

First go with a package. You will learn far more that way.

As far as what you well end up with the first year depends on the year, the bees, and mites etc. It could range from nothing to several supers full of honey. There are so many variables that can change your outcome. I was told not to expect any honey the first year. I pulled two capped suppers off each colony my first year and a nuk I purchased a month after hiving the packages I had nothing to show for it.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Ron Babcock

                                  "I believe the good that men do, will live long after they gone."
                                                                                                                          ~Mr. Fox Haas

<
Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 11:30:17 PM »

With a package (or a nuc for that matter), all I hope for is survival the first year.  I do not expect any excess honey the first year.  I have seen hives that produed enough that I thought I could take some, only to find out that I was wrong.  I have a rule now that no matter what they make the first year, I do not touch it.  In the event I leave too much, I can always redistribute in the spring for buildup.  That said, take one frame your first year just so you have some. It will be a real treat and likely commit you to the craft.  (just be sure to feed back syrup to make up the shortfall).
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Brian
RHBee
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 12:35:26 AM »

For what it's worth I would advise a package. I found that nucs are a way for some people to get rid of old comb and SHB. With a package you start fresh. Everyone has their own preference in race. I started with Italians and Russians. Italians are very gentile but susceptible to mite infestation. Russians are a little more aggressive but appear to tolerate mites better. There are lots of options out there. Have fun and good luck.
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Later,
Ray
Bees In Miami
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 12:42:09 AM »

ant12:  First, welcome to an awesome resource in your beekeeping adventures!

Solid advice provided already.  For me, some of my best learning was done starting from scratch, building gear, and helping young colonies establish themselves.  It also really solidified my attachment not only to the bees, but to the addiction...errrr ummm I mean hobby.  There is always something to learn, and more to challenge you with bees.   I would like the idea of a package, and assemble your gear while waiting.   The price for the hive complete and all could be tempting, but then where did you invest yourself in that colony, other than some money?  Smaller colonies that grow WITH you and your knowledge are a lot less intimidating, IMO.   I did not expect any honey for myself the first season (though I did steal a single frame from the super for a treat).  Regardless of your choice, you're going to have a blast!   Have you got any books yet?  Also, many great Beeks with vids on You tube....just search honey bees, and you'll have days of viewing pleasure!   Consider also signing up with your local Beekeepers Assoc, and see if you can pair up with someone willing to be your mentor.  Nothing like some 'hands on' time before handling bees alone!  Sorry, I know this was much more than you asked....just my two cents!  Have fun with your bees!  
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Joe D
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2013, 02:31:32 AM »

I started beek in the late fall of 2011, would have gotten them earlier but were in probate.  I got 3 full hives, single deep brood boxes, 2 with shallow 2 supers each and 1 with 1.  The boxes weren't in the best of shape, so I built new one and on a warm day changed the bottom boards and brood boxes.  In the spring I added another brood box to each.  Latter in the spring, they swarmed and I got to start some new hives.  So I would say to go with the full boxes, depending on the shape of the hives.  How many and what size brood boxes and if they are a good many bees in the hives.  You would still have to build supers and maybe some brood boxes.  Oh, the 3 hives I got with some of the swarms I caught, I harvested 17 gal of honey.  And now have 5 hives, learned a lot also.  I did get these cheap $400 for the 3 hives.  Good luck with whichever you choose.


Joe
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my-smokepole
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2013, 07:08:13 AM »

First before you get your bees in witch ever form.  Find a club find a mentor get in to some hives.
David
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My-smokepole
mikecva
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 11:38:33 AM »

Welcome to the forum and beekeeping. cheer

As my-smokepole suggested, join a local club. Although there is more then a ton of knowledge on this forum, local advice is always good to have. There is also a lot of videos on UTube, but remember it does not take knowledge of bees to make a video. - Mike
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Listen to others but make your own decisions. That way you own the results.
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ant12
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2013, 01:32:48 PM »

Thanks for all the good info.
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lazy shooter
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 09:33:09 AM »

I started with Rweaver's Italians.  He is in Navasota, Texas.  His bees are so very tame.  They are also susceptible to mites as they come from treated bees.  I didn't know squat about bees, and started my apiary in the 2011 drought.  During that summer all three of my package queens failed.  I just let the hives go make their own queens.  All of my hives are now doing well with a queen from feral stock.  The new hives are not as docile as the original Italians, but I have become a more seasoned beekeeper and no longer need the very tame bees.  This all happened without any input from me. 

If I was in your place, I would order packages or nucs from Bweaver.  You can google him.  His bees are advertised to be mite resistant, and some of my pals that use them and are very happy with the bees.  Or you could use Rweaver bees that are as tame as your pet dog and go to a different queen after several months if you so desire.   

In the end, it's a "get your feet wet" issue.  Get some bees and watch those girls work.  You can then make intelligent decisions about the future directions of your bees.

Good luck.
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bailey
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 08:24:22 PM »

First find a beek that won't overcharge you!!    I only charge $100 per nuc and only use 2 combs from my hives.
The other 3 are empty with starter strips. 
Once they fill out the 3 empties and fill the box with bees then they are ready to go. 

Also find a mentor if possible.   
Most important is to have fun
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
Maryland Beekeeper
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Nature does nothing uselessly. Aristotle


« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 11:31:09 PM »

I second Joe's advise
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tryintolearn
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Location: South Carolina


« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2013, 10:03:42 AM »

south carolina here i have tried nucs from nc and sc im paying 90 bucks per nuc...(italians)
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