I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where we still have snow on the groud. I had a couple of hives about 10 years ago, but they didn't make it through the first winter. About a week ago I saw a program on TV about honey bees and got the bug again. I still have my old equipment that's in good shape. My question's are:
1) Is it too late to start the hives this year?
2) Do you think I could still find some bees? Where would I look? Any way to find local beekeepers? I wouldn't mind driving a few hundred miles to pick bees up if needed.
3) What should I look for in my old equipment to make sure it's safe? I'm pretty sure my bees froze the first time as they had lots of honey nearby. My uncles 10+ year old hives along with many others also dies that winter.
4) Could I still use the 10 year old honey that is left in the old hives?
I'm sure as I rediscover this hobby I'll have lots of other questions.
>1) Is it too late to start the hives this year?
If you can get someone to sell you some it's not too late. In fact it's a bit early to start a package that far North.
>2) Do you think I could still find some bees? Where would I look? Any way to find local beekeepers? I wouldn't mind driving a few hundred miles to pick bees up if needed.
Try the Agriculteral Extension people. They often know of beekeepers that catch swarms or the local bee club. Someone might sell you five frames of bees. You can try all the package people. There's a pretty good list on this site. They may all be sold out since there seems to be a run on bees since the price of honey is up.
>3) What should I look for in my old equipment to make sure it's safe? I'm pretty sure my bees froze the first time as they had lots of honey nearby. My uncles 10+ year old hives along with many others also dies that winter.
Look for dried black scales in the bottom of brood cells. These COULD be AFB. Otherwise they are probably fine.
>4) Could I still use the 10 year old honey that is left in the old hives?
I doubt there is still honey in them. The ants, wax moths, mice and bees would have found a way in somwhere. But if it's there, honey will keep literally for thousands of years if it stays clean and dry.
where in da u.p? my family & i left marquette 4 years ago. there is not a week that goes bye that we don't think about our time there.
I have tried to overwinter hives 30 miles South of the Soo and 3 times all 10 hives died during the winter. I have found that if I winter near Lansing MI then move the hives to the UP they work great just as long as I bring them down before all the snow and freez
Clint beekeeping from 1964
just South of Lansing Michigan
Hi Ryan I do not know where you are in the UP but there is a beekeeper near Ontonagan.He may be willing to help you out.I can get his name and info if you need it.
Thanks for the advice. I'll make a few calls and see what I can find. I'll look over my equipment this weekend and see what condition it's in.
I live in the eastern end of the U.P. near Trout Lake which is SW of the Soo. I graduated from Michigan Tech up in Houghton and really love the Marquette/Hoghton area.
Are you talking about the Rudyard/Pickford area? I've got several friends that own farm land in the Rudyard area. Maybe I can talk them into letting me set up a fee hives there over the next several years.
Ontonagan is a 500 mile round trip for me. I'm hoping to find something a little closer, but I'd be thankful for his info anyways just in case. I have to make a business trip to the Bay City area in the next fee weeks. Does anyone know of possible sources of nucs/packages in the central area of lower Michigan?
Again, thanks everyone.
Here ya go Ryan this guy is in Rockland
Al Wells (906 886 2974)and this guy White Birch Apiary in Bruce Crossing (906 827 3224). There ia another guy in ontonogan but i do not have his info yet. here is an add in Bee Culture queens queen cells,nucs and single story colonies northern amr russin survivor stock. southwest arcansas and upper chigan, call Tom 906 428 9619
The Superiorland Beekeepers Association, a group of beekeepers from the EUP and Sault, Ont. area, is meeting this Thursday, April 22, at the Bruce Township Hall. The meeting starts at 6:30 with a potluck dinner followed by a presentation by a beekeeper who keeps 300 hives in Mecosta County. You are welcome to attend. There will be a few people there who might be able to help you.
The Bruce Township Hall is located on 12 Mile Road just a few miles east of M-129. If you're coming from the Trout Lake area, take H40 over to Rudyard and turn left onto Mackinaw Trail, turn right at M-80 and take it east to M-129 where you will turn left, drive north towards the Sault for 5 miles to 12 mile road, turn right and as I said earlier, the hall is a few miles down the road. It will be on your right.
Thanks for the contacts. I'll keep them handy.
Thanks for the information. I be there tonight if at all possible. I wasn't even aware that there was a beekeeping association in the area.