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Thread: Bee choice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Harrison, IN
    Posts
    24

    Default Bee choice?

    I am a complete beginner. I have been reading everything and really like the treatment free philosophy. I would like to set up two hives this spring. I have a choice between local nucs from a commercial beekeeper, or I could order SC nucs from Wolf Creek or Dixie Supply. Everything I hear is that SC AND local bees are important, but I can't get SC bees locally.

    If I have to choose between the two, which would you recommend?

    Thanks!
    Tiffany

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    Those would both be good choices but you live relatively close to a lot of people with resistant bees. Just get cracking on finding some. It is getting late to order believe it or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bethesda, MD, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    I ordered from Wolf Creek last year and the bees have been great so far. I am a beginner and both hives have survived the winter so far, although the package I thought would be the stronger of the two has been just Ok, but the one that I thought would be just OK has been gangbusters. I found the Seaborns at WC to be great to work with, although the weather last spring in TN pushed back shipment by about a month, but I am glad I was patient because the bees worked out so well for me. They have also been very gentle and pretty much free of pests.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,027

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    First - Hello and Welcome. Nice to see another Indiana beekeeper.

    I always recommend the local nucs. Not only are they locally adapted bees, I believe it's important to get connected to the beekeepers in your area. As Vance noted in his post, there are quite a few Indiana beekeepers who have been working with Purdue in breeding mite-resistant bees.

    Along those lines, are you involved with a local club? I know several beekeepers in the Southeast Indiana club (www.indianahoney.org). Given your location, there might be a southwestern Ohio club that's close: http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/a...-associations/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Middleton, WI
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    If you're interested in treatment free, I would at least consider BeeWeaver. I am a new beek, only 3 years. During that time I have used BeeWeaver and never lost a hive to mites even though I DO NOT TREAT. Over the first 3 or 4 months when I started I was doing a 'sugar roll' to count mites. After consistently finding none or a few I stopped checking. I've heard and seen on this forum that some have had 'hots' from BeeWeaver but this has never been my problem. This year all three BeeWeaver hives came through Wisconsin winter(yes it was unusually mild) with no winter prep, no mite treatment, and no feeding.
    From a customer service point of view Laura at BeeWeaver is 'off the chain'. The type of service you should get anytime you are spending your hard earned bucks. Are they more expensive...I think generally yes, but remember you won't be buying chemicals.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    salunra,

    for the reasons mentioned above by Markerbee I went with BeeWeaver as well. I looked all over the place. I read and studied for over a year. I figured out what I wanted to accomplish with my bees and I bought the ones that I thought would best match up with my goals. So in a few more weeks I am expecting 2 packages from the fine folks at BeeWeaver.

    TC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    I ordered from BeeWeaver too - when I was a newbee. Now after 15 years, I rely solely on local stock. Nothing against Beeweaver, it's just that moving bees across large distances is what has increased our problems with pests and diseases. How do you think the tiny little mite who can hardly crawl, managed to get across this entire country in less that 3 years? (we moved them. Not on purpose, but we did it) .

    If you are truly interested in not using chemicals and the natural philosophy, then using bees from outside of your region goes against those philosophies.

    I used to be president of one of the Indiana chapters before I moved to Missouri. There are many, many beekeepers in Indiana who would be glad to help you. The best thing you can do for your bees is to interact with other Beeks who can help you to avoid the mistakes that they have already made.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,306

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    Sometimes the only way you can get "treatment free" bees from the get-go is to buy from outside your area. Then live treatment free, lose some swarms, and pretty soon you've got treatment free bees all around you!

    Yes, it would be wonderful if you could get local treatment free bees, but someone has to be first. If it has to be you, why not? My suggestion, fwiw, is to buy treatment free bees, locally if possible, but if not, treatment free trumps local any day. And after a while, your bees will be localized.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Default Re: Bee choice?

    If you want bees on small cell or some other comb or cell size than the nucs come in, I would get a package. If you want small cell bees and can get small cell bees, you'll be that much ahead.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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