Entering the classroom
Hello Everyone, I have spent the last 7 months or so poking through this site, reading every book I have available, exorcising as much trouble shooting as I can as I read the problems others have faced with their bees etc. I also built tow hives. One TBH and the other a Lang with two deep bodies and three med supers.
I have frames with foundation in the lang and it is set up outside baited with lemon grass oil in hopes a swarm of bees will move in. Since I am not counting on that much luck I also located a local beekeeper that has agreed to provide me with a 5 frame Nuc. Expected date for the nuc is the third week in May at this point.
I do not expect to get the TBH started this year unless the bees do very well or a swarm takes up residence. It is also set up and baited. No foundation of course.
In the mean time I have gotten a smoke, hive tool and a vented bee jacket. I went with just a jacket because I will always use it. A bee suit I would use in the beginning but figure once I develop a comfort level with the bees I woudl not want it.
I have mason jars I can use for making a top feeder, otherwise I think I am ready. As ready as I am going to get anyway.
It has already been suggested that I start with two lang hives but room simply will not permit it for now. I am searching for other locations to place hives.
Otherwise I wanted to just thank everyone that is a part of this group. I am aware of the value of forums such as these that allow newcomers to fast track to doing things that took many others years to accomplish. Experience is an expensive commodity and I appreciate those that share theirs. Hopefully I can avoid much of the expense and simply remember the lessons learned.
Other than the very sound advice to just put the hives in a shed and walk away. If anyone has any favorite bits of advice for beginners, they are welcome to add them here.
Knowing me and my past history I will probably gravitate toward producing bees and queens rather than having much interest in honey. I have had breeding in my blood for as long as I can remember and that always seems to be where I end up. I am in a good location to be isolated. The dessert of Northern Nevada. I live just a short ways from where they do Burning Man every year. If you have ever seen pictures of that you will see that it is a flat weedless valley that stretches as far as the eye can see. Well I live in the surrounding area that is full of sagebrush. Not a lot of beekeeping seems to be going on around here although there is lots of potential to produce sage honey and here we have to varieties that produce an early and a late bloom.
I contacted my supplier this last week and he reports that the bees are doing well, but not as well as expected so far this year. We have had days this winter in the low 70's followed that night by temperatures in the high 20's and sow the following day. I would think that tends to catch foraging bees off guard and many woudl be lost. We can also go from the 60's in the early morning to the 40's by noon. That does not do much for bees either. I am not sure if this mild winter is a blessing or a curse. One woudl always hope that the bees adapt to it and will do well.
Anyway, thanks to all. I have found this group to be the single greatest resource, although the single hardest to get through, of all the resources on information. A lot of knowledge is packed into these threads. You just have to go digging for it.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)