I am working on getting a piece of land in the country, and may have a spot for bees in a couple of months. Is that too late to get them going so I can get some experience, and so they can hit the ground running next year?
Thaddeus in MN
Thaddeus: I have bees in Washington county, northeast of St. Paul, and in Western Wisconsin, about an hour east of St. Paul. You can start them anytime, but I say that with a caveat.
April & May---2-3-4 pound packages will survive the comming winter.
june-----You will need a 5-6 frame nuc and feed heavily into fall in order for winter survival
july-----You will need a nine frame nuc and feed heavily into fall.
August ----You will need 12 frames of bees and feed feed feed.
No matter what you start with, by late september there needs to be 80++ pounds honey and lots of bees in order to survive.
Winter survival here is another story.
Find a local location and get started with a nuc this time of year and then move them when you get the land. Surly there is someone that would let you put a hive out in a remote location for a few months.
Now is not too late to start a hive by any means. The bees send out swarms through May and June in nothern climates that survive the winter fine. You will probably want to feed them to help them get started. You could probably get a hive started in July, but you can't get anyone to ship you bees then and an early and cold winter could do them in. August is pushing your luck.
Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I might have a place you could start a hive, or you could come play with mine 'till you get started. I am just North of St Paul. Just talked to my supplier, (Nature's Nectar over in Stillwater) and he may even have an extra package or two.
Thanks for all the replies and the kind offers! I am going to be tied up for the foreseeable future with work stuff, though, I find... weekend work as well as weekday...
But thanks to all of you!
I feel june is about the latest Id try to start any hives.As the light levels taper off it seems the queens tend to slow down on laying.
Here, near San Francisco, Ca., you can make strong divides in October with some stores, and they make it through the winter just fine if they are on the Eucalyptus flow, which starts about then. Swarms in April and early May can produce a crop by fall.