Okay I admit that I have bee fever, it came on recently, and after reading several books on the subject I want bees. But when should I start? I figured on using this summer to find the perfect location for my bee yard,peruse the catalogs and to assemble and paint some hives and frames.But Should I start in the fall - or the next spring? I don't mind the cost of feeding them all winter, if I was in it for the money I wouldn't be in it, right? I am hoping to find a bee keeper locally to take me under his wing so to speak. Any advice appreciated. (Especially your favorite book recommendations!)
Start now. Read, Read, Read everything you can on bees. Beekeeping for Dummies is a good book and referance for any beekeeper. Finding a local beekeeper will help you for timing in your area but books and this board will also help a lot
just South of Lansing Michigan
Read, find local beekeepers, and get your equipment ready. You'd be best getting local bees, rather than bringing them in from some remote area where the climate is different. I'm not sure when bees are available in your local area, but you need your equipment ready in good time.
I agree with everyone else. You can do a lot at any time. Read, get equipement ready etc. Spring is best for starting bees. The old saw is "A swarm in May is worth a bale of hay. A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon. A swrom in July isn't worht a fly". Although I never turned one down in July.
I recommend "The Queen and I" by Edward Weiss. It is a nice book with a step by step description of how to get started and get through the first year (at least for the area of southern Connecticut). After that, there is a lot more to learn and this discussion site is as good as anything (however, the info is scattered around and you need to do the synthesis yourself).
As has been mentioned elsewhere on book recommendations, the best thing is a mentor. One day of following someone around watching them work bees while they teach you is worth ten books.
I have dozens of books and find them useful. ABCXYZ of bookeeping and the Hive and the Honey bee are the large volumes with much information. I use them, but the best is to find someone to learn from.
Once again I agree with everybody else. If you are not going to start this year, read everything. Try to get a local contact, don't let the oldtimers discourage you with horror stories of mites, keep in touch here. A great wealth of knowledge passes through this board. Read though, because choosing a good location has some variable to take into consideration. If you have bears, you need to think of the worst case scenario, and prepare for it. Anyway, good luck, get your equipment together, and look for some swarms to remove. Free bees is a good start, and possibly they will be adapted to your area depending where they originated from. Definately keep tuned in here, and ask questions if you are not sure.