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Author Topic: Help! I mean yay, I'm new!!  (Read 553 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 2

Location: Soquel, CA

« on: February 10, 2014, 01:45:24 AM »

Hi y'all,
Tatyanna from Soquel, CA looking to get started with beekeeping this spring! I am trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can and not be completely overwhelmed!   huh

I can still order some 'package bees' from my local beekeeping guild:"
"Cost is $80 for three pounds of bees with a mated Italian OR Carniolian queen bee, indicate which you want. Italian will be provided unless Carnies are requested. They will be ready mid to late April."

This is good because it gives me til April to figure out what sort of hives I want and buy (or make?) them! (as well as figure out what to do with them all once they get here...) But, I don't know how many pounds of bees to begin with, and whether I want Italian or Carniolian queens. So that's the first order of business.

Practical Beekeeping by Michael Bush and Beekeeping for Dummies are on my roster; I'd be happy to hear of any other must-reads, and advices...
What would you do if you had it to do over again for the first time? How many/what type of bees/hives would you start with? Where would you get them? How to keep it the simplest possible??

I have a lavender field I'd like to place them near. Also a small orchard and large veggie garden. I want to do right by the bees!! ; )

Thank you all so much  Kiss

Super Bee
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Posts: 2168

Location: Kalamazoo,MI

« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 07:41:36 AM »

Welcome to the forum Tatyanna, I would start with two so you can compare them and learn from their growth. If something goes wrong with a queen in one, you can use brood from the other to make a new one.
Carnies winter better in cold wintery climate. Otherwise I would choose Italian.
Joe D
Super Bee
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Posts: 1981

Location: Ovett, Ms

« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 10:20:02 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Tatyanna.  If you get two hives to start, get one with a Carniolian and the other with Italian queen.  Good luck to you on this addiction, and it is.  You have caught the bug already.

Galactic Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 5312

Location: Placerville, California

« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 08:57:59 PM »

Hi Tatyanna

I am living in Placerville California which is Northern. You are around the Santa Cruz area which is warmer in winter than our winters up here. Usually Italians are the bees that do well here, especially if you have warmer weather as well.

When I started beekeeping, I started with deeps and medium supers. But I quickly learned that it is better to have all your supers one size then you can use your frames anywhere you need them. I then transitioned to all medium supers.

Also you have to make the choice to use foundation or go foundationless. I started with foundation, but then transitioned to foundationless. If you are going to read Michael Bush's book, he has information on how to do this.

You can read Beekeeping for Dummies, which is the book that got me all excited about beekeeping. But now I do some things different than that book.  As I mentioned, I use all medium supers, and let the bees draw out their own comb (going foundationless).

There is lots to learn, but you can get help here on the forum.

I use the traditional beehives with 10 frames. If I had to start over, I would start with 8 frame equipment because it makes it easier to lift the heavy supers.

Michael Bush's book is the book I would refer to for anything you need. I basically follow his advice for all my beekeeping needs.

Hope this helps some.

How far is Soquel from Sonoma County??  You can take a great beekeeping class with Serge Labesque who is one of my beekeeping Guru's. If you are interested I can try and research when he teaches classes.

Take Care

Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 2871

Location: Jacksonville FL

« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2014, 09:12:17 PM »

I agree with Annette.  Follow Michael's book.  I would try to find someone who is raising mut bees and not using any chemicals or antibiotics. I also have switched to medium boxes and if starting over, I would be building 8 frame hives.
The first question you should ask when buying bees is:
What do you use to treat your hives with?
What ever they use, you will also need to use.

New Bee
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Posts: 2

Location: Soquel, CA

« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 11:42:02 PM »

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions! and the warm welcomes : )

After digging into some readings, I'm now leaning toward top bar hives and untreated bees! Hmmm, already getting fringy...I'm kind of amazed with all there is to learn how many people have told me beekeeping is so much easier than you think!!!??? I think it's time to start the search for a local mentor!

I've just signed up for a workshop with Les Crowder next month. He recommended looking into B Weaver bees. To be continued....
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