Hi, I am new to beekeeping and new to this forum. I wanted to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions.
I am from Bliss Idaho
I just purchased 4 colony's and have been reading alot about the "sport" of beekeeping.. I have made a couple of decisions. But have a question about what might be my best move in the spring?
One: I would like to let the bee's do as much work as possible and keep my input to a minimum and enjoy keeping bee's.
Two: I will be going with one size hive body Medium 8 frame that way my equipment will be easy to interchange.
Three: I would like to go with foundation-less frames and let the bee's draw out all their comb.
Four: I am moving toward top entrance to my hives.
The four colony's I bought are 8 frame boxes single deep with one medium super. What would be the easiest and best way to split them and move them over to all medium super equipment this spring?
Maybe a couple of management decisions or am I just over thinking this whole deal.
Welcome to the forum and the addiction we call Beekeeping! :-D
I'm a first year Beek and made a lot of decisions similar to the ones you've mentioned.
I completely agree on your first point.
On your second, I too have gone all 8 frame medium equipment, however, my initial purchase was two 5 frame medium Nucs, so I never had to deal with the transition issue.
On your 4th point, all my inner covers have a top entrance. However, I also leave them a bottom entrance...I wasn't sure if you meant a top entrance exclusively. :?
On your 3rd point of going foundation-less, I've got a slightly different opinion. While I think foundation-less may be a great choice, and I may eventually end up there myself. I think it's a big bite of the apple for a newbie. While some will advise newbies to go that route from the beginning, others suggest getting a few years of experience under your belt before going foundation-less....I tend to think the latter is solid advice.
I think the old experienced Beeks tend to forget just how overwhelming starting out can be and don't realize how much trying to manage a foundation-less hive can add to that for a newbie. Granted I grew quicker than anticipated, my plan was to have 2 or 3 hives this first year, but all my newbie enthusiasm put me up to 10, swarms, cut-outs, etc. :-D
Even without having to try and manage foundation-less, I had my hands more than full. I guess one could argue if I would have kept my hive count lower going foundation-less would have been manageable. I would counter that if I only had two hives, I'm not sure how much I would have wanted to actively experiment with trying to pull off going foundation-less.
I while back I was curious about this issue so I conducted the following poll; Link to POLL Thread about "Choice of foundation".
While I know it's not scientific, I found the results interesting. While of the 71 respondents a full 20% are foundation-less, Less than 6% have been that way from the beginning.
Just food for thought...Good luck to you and your Bees! :)