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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Comal County, Texas
    Posts
    72

    Default Howdy from South Texas

    Live in the Hill Country of Texas between San Antonio and Austin, on 58 acres of almost rural land. We have sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, cows, and donkeys. Would like to try bees. My first attempt at beekeeping. Have ordered two packages to pick up in April.

    Am trying to understand what to buy, what to make, where to place the hives, what cell size to use, how to get bees possibly resistant to Varroa, and many other things in my attempt to be a successful beek and not just a bee "haver"

    Have read Michael Bush'es thoughts and Lusby's from Arizona, and many others. Met Grant from MO at the Small Farm Conference. I respect what the folks here have learned and are willing to share, hope to contribute myself one day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Shallowater, Texas, USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Welcome aboard Sid from South Texas. You have come to the right place. Tons of info and help here. Use the search feature on tis site to find a wealth of info on just about any topic you can think of.

    My advice....don't try to conquer everything at once. Read...read...read...then read some more. Start with one or two hives...observe....learn the beeeeeezzz. Get used to handling them, get used to looking through a hive. Learn your local forage and when it's available for the bees. Make your mistakes. Then when you feel comfortable.....take on all the problems associated with keeping bees. Have fun.
    "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"...well that horse ain't got nothing on a bee.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,721

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Welcome to the site!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Beekeeping is all about choices. When we start out we make some that are right and some that are wrong. Every area is different, beekeeping is local. Start with a couple of colonies that you can observe and learn from. Winter should not be a problem, in your area so any strain would work. I would not worry about cell size you can convert them to small cell later. I would try to get them to build up to two deeps or three mediums first. Good luck with your bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Welcome to THE forum from Dripping Springs, TX

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Hey Sid,

    Welcome. I'm just north of you a few minutes in Manchaca. If you need any advice or want to see how i do things give me a call 512-762-3003 I can direct you to the local clubs and sellers. I started by going to the Williamson Co. Beekeepers Association meetings and getting a bulk rate by ordering pakages with them in the spring when they do a group order. I heard rumors of a club in San Marcos at some point but cant find them online or anyone who knows if, when or where they meet. There is a fledgling club here in Austin just getting started but they don't have much senior experience to pull from. It's mostly a bunch of motivated new folks looking to get into the urban beek scene.

    Cheers,

    Wes~

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,878

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Welcome Sid, SMR, VSH, Minnesota, and others are all hygeinic. Make what your skills allow, buy what you cannot make, and place the hive where animals and children will not run into it. Out of the wind and not at the bottom of a ravine are nice factors for hive placement. Cell size, hive color and design are personal preference and art not science. Scientific studies discount small cell success anyway.
    A. M. Ellis1 , G. W. Hayes1 and J. D. Ellis2
    (1) Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Apiary Inspection Section, 1911 SW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32614-7100, USA
    (2) Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Bldg. 970 Natural Area Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611-0620, USA
    Received: 3 October 2008 Accepted: 10 November 2008 Published online: 6 December 2008
    Abstract Due to a continuing shift toward reducing/minimizing the use of chemicals in honey bee colonies, we explored the possibility of using small cell foundation as a varroa control. Based on the number of anecdotal reports supporting small cell as an efficacious varroa control tool, we hypothesized that bee colonies housed on combs constructed on small cell foundation would have lower varroa populations and higher adult bee populations and more cm2 brood. To summarize our results, we found that the use of small cell foundation did not significantly affect cm2 total brood, total mites per colony, mites per brood cell, or mites per adult bee, but did affect adult bee population for two sampling months. Varroa levels were similar in all colonies throughout the study. We found no evidence that small cell foundation was beneficial with regard to varroa control under the tested conditions in Florida.

    Small-cell comb foundation does not impede Varroa mite
    population growth in honey bee colonies*
    Jennifer A. Berry1, William B. Owens2, Keith S. Delaplane1
    1 Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
    2 Owens Apiaries, 4510 Springwood Drive, Monroe, GA 30655, USA
    Received 1 October 2008 Revised 23 March 2009 Accepted 27 April 2009
    Abstract In three independently replicated field studies, we compared biometrics of Varroa mite and
    honey bee populations in bee colonies housed on one of two brood cell types: small-cell (4.9 } 0.08 mm cell
    width, walls inclusive) or conventional-cell (5.3 } 0.04). In one of the studies, ending colony bee population
    was significantly higher in small-cell colonies (14994 } 2494 bees) than conventional-cell (5653 } 1082).
    However, small-cell colonies were significantly higher for mite population in brood (359.7 } 87.4 vs.
    134.5 } 38.7), percentage of mite population in brood (49.4 } 7.1 vs. 26.8 } 6.7), and mites per 100 adult
    bees (5.1 } 0.9 vs. 3.3 } 0.5). With the three remaining ending Varroa population metrics, mean trends
    for small-cell were unfavorable. We conclude that small-cell comb technology does not impede Varroa
    population growth.
    3. McMullan, J. B., Brown, M. J. F. (2006). Brood-cell size does not influence the susceptibility of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to infestation by tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi). Experimental and Applied Acarology 39: 273-280.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Welcome Sid- there's quite a few Texans here to use as resources. Hope you enjoy your new hobby.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Comal County, Texas
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Howdy from South Texas

    Thanks for all the welcoming information:

    To AmericasBeekeeper, I had read the articles you quoted. They are compelling, and well done. Despite this, Michael Bush and others push Small cell in this forum, under what equipment to buy first. Since I am new, is it worth my time and money, to buy small cell?

    To Mudmallet:
    I will call you, and hope to visit your apiary, and get advice about where to buy bees etc. Thanks. BTW our ranch is 12 miles south of Blanco, website is RebeccaCreekRanch.com (our B&B). How close to IH 35 are you?

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