Good morning everyone.
This my first post and I am a true new-bee. Over the past few weeks I have done hours and hours of reading (including this forum), surfing and speaking to a few keepers (long distance). This hobby is very exciting to me and my wife and we are determined to start keeping bees this year.
We live in Menominee Michigan on 13 acres (mostly wooded with evergreens) with a pond. Menominee is in the very most south eastern part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which is located on the bay of Green Bay and only minutes from the Wisconsin border town of Marinette. To put it in perspective we are a one hour drive to the north of Green Bay, WI.
I have ordered 3 five frame "nucs" that will be available for pick up the first part of May in Germantown, WI which is a 3 hour drive. I ordered quickly because most of the sites that sell bees say to order early because there is the possibility of suppliers running out. Indian Summer Honey winters their hives in Florida and summers them in Wisconsin. I'm convinced we would get excellent "nucs" from them but am now concerned they are not "used to" the hard winters we have here.
After doing a lot more reading (especially Bush's website) I/we are second guessing our plan of attack. What he presents in his site is mostly common sense which is the way we tend to lead our lives. I'm sure there are many on this site that would debate his methods and I respect that.
We're leaning towards small cell foundation. We have considered no foundation but I am fearful of it especially first starting out. My main question for this post: Is the "Plasticell" foundation sold by Dadant "small cell" foundation (4.9 mm)? If so, is this the best way to start out? If not, what are our other options to obtain small cell operation within our hives?
Beyond that question we are now also considering using medium (10 frame) supers as our hives instead of deep. We realize we will have to cancel our existing order and are willing to make them "whole" to do so. We believe we are at a critical point and want to make the right decisions on these issues. Having interchangeable frames makes a lot of sense to us.
My secondary question for this post is then: what are our options for obtaining bees from our type of climate? I have had a hard time locating bees for sale that are from our region. There are plenty of suppliers around that order them from the south but we would like to have queens that come from a line that have endured (actually excelled) in our climate.
Sorry this is so long winded...but from reading through the forum I know you all like as much detail as possible to help out. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this and I look forward to your thoughts.
In His Peace,