Hello. I live in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I am signed up to take a Beekeeping class in a few weeks & have been trying to study up online & with books. I hope to start a colony this spring. Any tips & info would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Welcome to the forum...lots of fine folks here willing to share their knowledge, don't be afraid to make use of it. I'm a first year Beek and this forum has been an invaluable resource.
First, enter your location into your profile, it will help members to know what region you are in...A lot of Beekeeping advice is location specific.
Second, don't start with "A" colony...I'd highly suggest a minimum of two. This gives you lots of advantages as a Beek, especially a new Beek. It gives you the opportunity to compare and contrast their behavior and rate of growth, using each against the other as a reference point. It gives you the ability to borrow resources (eggs, brood, honey) from one to support the other if needed....And most importantly it at least doubles your chances of a successful first year. Should you lose a hive, you're not DONE!
Third, I know you may think you have a lot of time, but you have a lot of decisions to make and work to be done before your bees arrive, now is the time to be addressing those issues.
- Will you start with packages or Nucs? And where will you be getting them from?
- Will you buy your equipment or will you make your own?
- Where will you place your hive(s) and what will you place them on?....Hive stand?
- Will you use all standard equipment (i.e. all mediums), or will you use both deeps and mediums, and possibly shallows?
- Will you go with 10 frame boxes, or 8?
- Will you use plastic foundation or wax? Or possibly go foundation-less (Personally, I would discourage foundation-less for a newbie)
- What protective equipment will you use? Veil, Jacket, Full suit?
Just to mention a few.... :)
Good luck and feel free to hit us with any questions you may have...If you're giving this adventure the attention it deserves, there should be many. :)