Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Port Murray, NJ
    Posts
    60

    Default "Advice for the Beginner"

    I met a beekeeper at a gas station today. He had some great advice (paraphrased) for a new beekeeper like myself.

    "Dont coddle the bees. Don't feel bad if your bees don't make it through the winter. In fact, helping weak bees survive is doing no one any good."

    He also had quite a bit to say about the southern package industry, which I won't repeat here; but the basic idea was that you can't breed/select for a northern climate in the warmth of the southern winter.

    Anyway, I'm sure there are differing opinions about this but it was definitely interesting to hear, especially coming from someone with a bit of experience.


    --jon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: "Advice for the Beginner"

    the "... southern package industry..." is not perfect, but its tough to get package bees on April first from northern states....
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: "Advice for the Beginner"

    So to recap
    "Its okay if you kill a few $85.00 southern packages"

    ????

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Port Murray, NJ
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: "Advice for the Beginner"

    I completely agree. I cannot afford to watch an $90 investment go up in smoke like that.

    However, his take was to not buy them in the first place. He claims all of the bees in his apiary are trapped swarms or cut-outs.

    Mike Palmer makes much the same point about package bees in this video: http://vimeo.com/23178333 He also speaks of the increasing rarity that is the Vermont-swarm.

    May explain my empty traps here in northwestern NJ.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: "Advice for the Beginner"

    Locally sourced bees are probably always your best bet. If you don't want Southern bees in NJ, you should get locally adapted bees from local beekeepers.

    I can imagine Southern bees in NJ might fare about as well as banana plants here in Alabama. But if I planted a field of bananas and didn't get a crop, I wouldn't blame Honduras for it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,767

    Default Re: "Advice for the Beginner"

    The gem in the advice is the first statement - "Don't coddle the bees." The hardest part in teaching new beekeepers is getting across that beekeeping is an agricultural activity and in agriculture you have live stock and dead stock. Similarly, every time you go into a hive you are going to kill bees. Hopefully not many. Recognizing the weak hive that has limped along all summer and dealing with it before winter is a kindness. I'm not there yet but my goal is to have 100% of my hives that I prep for winter alive and thriving in the spring. I lost a tad under 15% this winter.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: "Advice for the Beginner"

    Gee I like my Southern bees they all buzz with a nice Southern accent.

    I all so think local is better when you buy your bees all so I think as a new bee keeper getting a local to sell you a strong nuke is very good. It keeps the money local and gives you someone to call.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads