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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    63

    Thumbs Up New Bee in Montana

    Greetings to all from sub-zero Montana! My name is John and I decided to raise a couple of hives to help with pollination for my fruit trees, garden and acres of wild flowers. I raised bees back in 1966 in California after a master bee keeper removed a hive from our wall at our house. Back then I had no clue what I was doing. One evening after the sun had set I opened the hive and was immeadeately swarmed. The bees got under my veil and under my clothes and I sustained about 50 stings before I could crawl into the house where my dad beat the bees off of me with a broom.I layed on the couch and was sick for 24hrs. I wish I would have educated myself before I opened the hive for the first time. I have decided to go with a top bar hive and a Langstrof. I built my top bar hive and anticipate it will perform very well. I have been viewing this forum for 3 months in preparation for my leap into bee keeping this spring. My biggest concern is over wintering the bees here in Montana. When I got up yesterday it was minus 20 degrees. I am very thankful for this forum where "Old Pros" are willing to mentor "New Bees".

    Bee seein you around,

    John Q

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

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome to the site!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome to Beesource, John.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wilson County, TN, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Hi John,

    If you want some inspiration on keeping bees in the bitter cold, particularly overwintering them, grab a copy of the February American Bee Journal and read about the fellow who overwintered a hive of bees (Russians, I think) 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle in a small Alaska town. He devised a clever way to shelter his hive from the bitter cold and deep snow.

    I look forward to reading about your venture with the TBH. This is my second time around at beekeeping as well, and I too will be starting with a home-built TBH and also a Langstroth hive using 8-frame mediums. My two packages are due to arrive around April 13. I can hardly wait.

    Good luck.

    Greg
    "My doctor gave me two weeks to live. I hope they're in August." - Ronnie Shakes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,805

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome John. It's good to have you back in beekeeping. Usually cold doesn't kill bees. Good ventilation is very important.

    Live and learn. Bee Happy.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome to the site. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,880

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome John!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Greg,
    Was the feb issue 2010?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wilson County, TN, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Bee View Post
    Greg,
    Was the feb issue 2010?
    John, I believe it is in the Feb. 2011 issue. My partner in crime has it at the moment, but maybe he can confirm which issue it is when he checks in here tonight. I am almost certain it is the most recent issue delivered because I read it as soon as it arrived and gave it to him when I finished. It also contained an article on a fellow traveling in Turkey in search of some rare honey (I forget the name but believe it was something like Azula or Azume).

    Greg
    "My doctor gave me two weeks to live. I hope they're in August." - Ronnie Shakes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Thanks very much. Do you have any favorite ways to insure good ventilation?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome to Beesource.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manhattan,Montana,USA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    welcome,

    I live near bozeman. your bees will winter fine just make sure they have good numbers and pleanty of honey. i use all langs and close up the entrance to 1/2"x1/2" and also give thm an upper entrance.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome to the forum neighbor!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    where do you put the top entrance? do they use it year around.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wibaux, Montana
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Welcome! I live in Eastern Montana and have two Langstroth hives. I'm still in my first year. So far so good. I haven't checked them for a little while but so far they've gone through a couple -30 F and are still alive. Hope all goes well with you!

    BK

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Thanks so much for the good words. I live in Helena and I will install my first 2 packages in May. I am getting carnolians from Western Bee in Polson. Did you get your bees there? I made a couple of Top Bar hives and will let you know how it goes.Did you have Varroh problems?
    JQ

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wibaux, Montana
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    No, I got mine from Simpson Honey Farm in Miles city, it was a lot closer than Western Bee and they seem to be great bees. I didn't seem to have any trouble with Varroa. I was pretty sure I had it earlier on because there were one or two bees with deformed wings but it seemed to disappear as time progressed.

    Bee Kid

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Thanks very much. Im thinking I may try Simpsons next year. Does Simpson grow his bees in Mt. Or bring them in from somewhere else?

    Lets keep in touch. Do you have an email address? Mine is shkdive@msn.com

    Thanks again,

    John Q

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wibaux, Montana
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    He's a commercial beekeeper. He keeps his bees in Montana until around fall and then he ships them to California for the winter. In early spring he gets them back and makes nucs, he also sells queens. Thanks for your email address, I'll PM you mine.

    Bee Kid

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: New Bee in Montana

    Do you use a notch in the inner cover for ventillation? Is that enough in the summer? When do you start feeding in the spring or do you leave enough of the honey the bees produce? Is it reasonable to leave a super of honey on for winter feeding?
    Any info is appreciated.

    John Q

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