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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Pisgah Forest, NC, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Newbeek Natural Questions

    Hello all, as I said in my welcome post, I have been slowly researching bee keeping over the last 2 years. I've read The Complete Idiots Guide twice, and I've followed the boards here, and looked at MBush's site a few times, just ordered his book today. The one nagging question I have, which may very well be a ridiculous question, but nevertheless I must ask... I want to get bee's this year, but I'd really prefer to start with small cell bee's rather than having to go through the pain of regressing them. The only place I can find that sales SC bee's is the fat bee man at Dixie Bee Supply. I've heard good things about his bee's, but I've also been told that it's better to get bee's from local stock if possible. Here in Western NC we have a couple of suppliers that offer VSH queens and survivor nucs. Which would be the better option for me to go with here? To clarify, I want to be a treatment free bee keeper, which is the reason I posted in this forum. I want to know what you would think my best options are for going this route.

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by Ranger Cody; 01-23-2012 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Clarification of reason in this forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    I don't believe that Western NC and Northern Ga are really that far apart. Pretty close to the same climate and all. Just my thoughts on it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,926

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    If you want small cell bees, probably best to start with small cell bees, as a beginner, regressing them might be an unduly complex task.

    If you feel you want these local VSH bees you could always requeen it. But have a talk to Don about that he might be able to sort everything you want.

    Survivor nucs? Not sure there is any such thing, in terms of guaranteed to work. Probably means they are bred from stock considered "survivors", whatever that may mean. Don also attempts to breed varroa tolerant bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    782

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    Ranger - I think you will do just fine with anything from Don the fatbeeman. Of course, packages and swarms can be started straight onto SC foundation. I use the MannLake PF frames recommended by Mike Bush. -james

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Pisgah Forest, NC, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post

    If you feel you want these local VSH bees you could always requeen it. But have a talk to Don about that he might be able to sort everything you want.
    Thanks Oldtimer, I'm probably over complicating this issue, but I would rather be OCD about it than miss something. I was thinking about the requeening option. I'm tempted to follow the Parker Plan, but $$ is the issue. I'm planning on using 8 frame medium boxes, on foundationless frames. In reading Dean Stigletz book, he advises building the colony up to at least 3 deep boxes before wintering. What is the equivalent in medium boxes to 3 deep boxes? And if I were to stick to the parker plan, how do you over winter nucs, which in my mind would run out of stores very quickly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Cody View Post
    I'm tempted to follow the Parker Plan,


    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Cody View Post
    but $$ is the issue.
    I don't blame you though. However, that plan is more geared toward starting with commercial bees when you have Don K. a mere 2.5 hour drive away. He's not totally treatment free, so I would expect some losses (I lost 4/6 of his in the first winter without splitting but I have much harsher winters) but it should be much better than starting with regular commercial. If you can afford it, I'd suggest getting at least two nucs from him (he sells mediums) and splitting them at least once or more if you can make it so you'll have as many as possible before winter. I cannot tell you enough how nice it is to have bees that are already regressed. If you're going to do it this year, get your order in quick. Of course, ultimately I suggest having more than two, but that's up to your pocketbook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Cody View Post
    I'm planning on using 8 frame medium boxes, on foundationless frames. In reading Dean Stigletz book, he advises building the colony up to at least 3 deep boxes before wintering.
    He also lives in Massachusetts. You shouldn't need more than two deeps at the absolute most which is three ten frame mediums or about four eight frame mediums.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Cody View Post
    And if I were to stick to the parker plan, how do you over winter nucs, which in my mind would run out of stores very quickly.
    In a climate as far south as yours, wintering in singles or double 8-frame mediums might better suffice. Depending on how the year goes and how splitting goes, you may need to feed or you may not. A nuc or smaller hive will usually keep a smaller cluster and therefore consume less stores. It's best to be overly prepared by inspecting and assuring the bees are just about crammed full of honey going into winter. You can also be ready with granulated sugar to hold them over if they don't quite make it. Experience is something you get right after you need it. Occasionally, Don has problems when the bees have started brood rearing in the spring and then they get a cold spell and starve, so be aware of that as well.

    Another thing to remember is that you may have collected a significant amount of nucs during the year (swarms, splits, etc.) but you can off weak queens and combine to make larger hives for winter.

    I'm glad to hear about someone considering my plan. I haven't got the 'overwintering nucs' thing down totally yet, but I know it can be done. This year, I think I'd like to try placing some nucs in my crawlspace and connecting them to the outside with flexible pipes just to see what happens. I've heard of people doing it with a basement as well. Surely the plan will evolve in the future. Thanks for checking it out.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Glennville, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    I started five hives this past summer (two of my own, two of my stepfather's, and one of my pastor's) from commercial 3# Italian pakages (bought from Wilbanks Apiaries) in 8-frame mediums with Mann Lake PF-120 frames. They have regressed fine on their own. My stepfather lost one of his hives due to robbing, but other than that we have had no problems. All but one of the remaining hives are overwintering in two 8-frame mediums, with the other overwintering in three (if you can call it overwintering, high today was 76F and low of 55F, bees are bringing in pollen and nectar like mad). Some may say it's just beginners luck, but I don't belive in luck. I had considered getting bees from Don, and had even corresponded with him via email, but I opted for a local source just 15 miles away for convenience sake. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best in your endevour.

    Garrett
    You get what you get.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    >The only place I can find that sales SC bee's is the fat bee man at Dixie Bee Supply. I've heard good things about his bee's, but I've also been told that it's better to get bee's from local stock if possible.

    Life is like that. You never get everything, so you take what you can get. I'd get the SC bees and worry about the local stock later. Raise your own queens and you'll soon have local genetics.

    > Here in Western NC we have a couple of suppliers that offer VSH queens and survivor nucs. Which would be the better option for me to go with here?

    Get the SC. Your other choice for SC is Wolf Creek in TN.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Newbeek Natural Questions

    Since they seem to draw out the pf120's good the first time. If you bought nucs on regular foundation and only gave them pf120's for the first two mediums would they then be ready to draw small ceel on foundationless frames after that?

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