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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lawson, mo. usa
    Posts
    46

    Default What to do next?

    I started last year with 2 swarms I bought from a guy with 77 years experience. I didn't treat with chemicals. I did dose with HBH a few times last fall, only because I thought it couldn't hurt. I had planned on expanding this year with package bees, but since stumbling across this site I'm wondering if I would be better off taking splits from mine or going back to the guy who got me started. He didn't say anything about sc but I do remember him saying I could have saved myself some money by cutting my foundation into strips and letting the bees build the rest of it. Is it possible his bees regressed themselves long ago? Main question: where do I go from here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: What to do next?

    About eight years ago my first package had a non-laying queen. Rossman shipped a new one the day I called. That September I learned about our summer dearth when I found my hive consisted of two frames. With heavy feeding the girls rallied and made it through the winter. The next spring I caught their second swarm for my second hive. Eventually that first hive became seven in addition to a couple failed top bar experiments.

    Last year only one of my then five hives survived. The sixth and seventh went with a friend to North Central PA years ago. (His wife has a real funny story about that adventure.) While every area, keeper and habit yields different results, many agree a harvest from a first year package is a gift. That said, for my money splits achieve the same goal. After that experience, my plans include avoiding the need for packages completely by over-splitting into all available gear and combining to create strong hives for winter.

    Hope this helps your decisions and please keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,836

    Default Re: What to do next?

    It is probably not quite time to split unless you have drones flying or drone brood with purple eyes. If your bees cover most of a deep hivebody, you probably have enough to split but more would be better. There are lots of split descrptions written up all over this forum if not in this sliver, so I won't repeat everything. I suggest you go read the material on mdasplitter.com It has good information on splitting and vorroa control. The old bird you bought the bees from should be hearing from you too. He will hav the right answers for your area. Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,082

    Default Re: What to do next?

    In my opinion, you're always better off with queens from you're own area. Especially if you have good bees you're happy with. Where you live I'd guess you won't be splitting for a month or two.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: What to do next?

    ago.

    >Main question: where do I go from here?

    Where do you want to go? How fast do you want to get there? If you want to grow quickly and you can spare the money, it's hard to beat buying bees. If not, then it's hard to beat raising your own.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lawson, mo. usa
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: What to do next?

    I want to expand but not rapidly. I'm thinking add 3 or 4 this year. Maybe go to 20 or 25 eventually.

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