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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    holland mi usa
    Posts
    8

    Default new to bee keeping and so many questions!

    I'm so excited to get started. I have contacted my local bee club and will attend the ANR week at the university in a few weeks. I'm sure all my questions will be answered there, but I was wondering if I will get any honey my first year? I have watched youtube videos and demonstrations about how to put the new queen and bees in your hive, but when do you come back to take out the queen box thingy? I noticed there were were several different ideas about what should be done. One person rubber banded the queen box to the comb, one person put it on the bottom of the box and one person hung it from the top. Since they all seemed to be seasoned beekeepers I am left thinking there is more than one way to do things. I am gathering equimpment and my bees will be here mid april. I really am excited! I am looking forward to the day I can actually reply to a post with an answer. Thanks for all your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,183

    Default

    Welcome, it sounds like you're doing all the right
    things, including becoming a member here.

    As to honey the first year....... if you're starting a
    Nuc then that is more likely than a package. But
    even with a package, if everything goes well you
    could get a small crop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    holland mi usa
    Posts
    8

    Default

    oh well, I will hope for the best. Honey is only the bonus to all the fun of learning and sharing what I am learning with my family.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,183

    Default

    Are you doing packages?? 2# or 3#? New foundation??

    You have the right attitude.... have fun...... honey is
    a bonus the first year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    holland mi usa
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I am getting three pound packages with queen/ 3 banded Italians. My local honey club pres. is coordinating a large purchase. And yes, probably new foundation. I have found a retiring bee keeper but I'm not sure what he will have.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    484

    Default

    Welcome. The ANR week is a good time. I haven't had a chance to go in several years but my father usually makes it. You may want to join the Michigan Beekeepers Association. We have some pretty good meetings. If you get any supplies from Rossmans we can arrange for a really good deal on shipping as long as you don't mind coming to our farm to pick up your things. Sunfield is near Lansing exit 67 off of I-96
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    holland mi usa
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I should join the MI bee keepers association in addition to my local club? Where do they meet? What happens at meetings and why should I join?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    576

    Default

    Welcome! I suppose it is possible to make surplus honey the first year. There have been years that I have with a new hive...but those years have been few and far between. Let your focus be to get your new hive(s) established well your first season. If they make surplus honey...then its a bonus! Welcome to a great site with lots of nice folks.
    "My child, eat honey, for it is good." (Proverbs 24:13)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    484

    Default

    The MBA will donate $5 to you local club if you join. The last meeting we had Randy Oliver speak. The biggest thing I go for is the hallway conversations with the other beekeepers. I haven't looked to see where the fall meeting is but the spring meeting is during ANR week at MSU.

    http://www.michiganbees.org/

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbibee View Post
    I should join the MI bee keepers association in addition to my local club? Where do they meet? What happens at meetings and why should I join?
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    250

    Default

    I got surplus honey in my first year from a 3# package on new foundation. There were quite a few new beeks in this area (central PA) who got honey because of great weather in the spring and early summer. That will have everything to do with your experience. Just don't be too eager to take honey that the bees might need. When you do get your first surplus, it will be the best honey you ever tasted. There are two things that I would advise further:

    1) Don't believe anything you read about not having to worry about mites or getting a "free pass" on treatments in the first year with a new package. My colony has probably been wiped out by a virus that was vectored (spread) by Varroa mites. I only zeroed in on the problem late in the fall when I really had no opportunity to do much about it. Monitor your mite situation (drop count on sticky board, powdered sugar roll, etc.). If you discover a mite problem, know in advance how you want to deal with it. You will read passionate arguments from all sides of the issue and when you already have a mite problem is the wrong time to start learning and deciding what you'll do.

    2) Reading the forum and asking questions are good. Going to a class and joining your local/state groups are great. But the best thing you can do is find a mentor and spend as much time as you can watching and working with him/her and asking lots of questions. If you are having a problem and think you need to do something corrective, take the advice of just one trusted person (hopefully your mentor) and follow it. I have made the mistake of trying to use bits and pieces of advice from two or three different people only to make a bigger mess of things than if I had done nothing. If you have a serious problem or concern and you can't get a mentor or an experienced beek to come look at your hive, call your state inspector.

    The abundance of questions and information available can get overwhelming sometimes. Just remember that the bees have been doing this for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years so you're just there to give 'em a little logistical support. And (this is probably not the first nor the last time you'll hear this) the bees don't read the books. They'll do things the way they want them done so your primary job is to learn what that is and help them.

    Relax, learn, have fun. It really is amazing to experience first hand.

    Best of luck!
    Carl F

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Posts
    521

    Default Lots of info out there!

    There are lots of great bee sites but if you haven't looked at Michael Bush's site, be sure to. It has lots to teach, for beginners and experienced alike.
    Starting with all mediums is one you might want to consider. He makes a good case for it. Take care.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    holland mi usa
    Posts
    8

    Default

    So joining the Mi Beek ass. is a good place to network on a state level. Great idea. That is exactly why I looked up my local club.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    holland mi usa
    Posts
    8

    Default

    This is a great forum. Thank you for the offer of shipping help and the other sites which I will check out this morning. I think you are right Carl about finding a mentor. When I told my family I was going to keep bees at first they were excited and then skeptical about how I was actually going to do it. I told them I would read everything I can and then find a keeper to latch on to. I've stopped at a house that has a beehive in the yard several times but they are never home. I figured I would ask if I could just watch when ever they tended the bees. I was prepared to offer labor for any chores if they thought I was being a bother. Last week I typed in "keeping bees in Michigan" and found that there are actual clubs and a state association. Was I surprised! When I contacted the local club the secretary brought over a handful of information about the club, ANR week, a recipe book, and order form for bees. Dropped it off at my house! I've gotten so much help on here, and it seems like the club is going to be a great asset too. Bee people are passionate about their hobby. I don't think I am going to be a bother when I do find someone to latch onto. Thank you all so much. Bobbi

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