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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Santa Susana Mountains, Ventura County, California

    Default Am I too late or what ??

    I just got interested in beekeeping after meeting a beekeeper that wanted to use my land for his hives. I received quite a bit of one on one lessons and got my feet wet exploring the bee yard and hives. I decided this would be something I would like and it is also a good use of my land. I think I may have started too late because I went out and bought all my beekeeping equipment and I'm ready to start a colony, but I have no Bees !! ha ha ha

    If this year flops for me at least I'll be ready next season.

    So, now that I am ready to begin beekeeping I start searching for packaged bees and a queen. I find out I'm too late this season and all the packaged bees have been sold. Now I'm seeing lots of Queens being sold. I don't think I can start a colony with just a Queen can I ? As I search further for bees I notice that there are Summer Nucs being sold. Maybe this is the route I should go ? I'm not really sure what to do at this stage. I guess the best I can do while I'm looking for bees is to try and catch a swarm. Any thoughts on how I can populate my new hives and begin some colonies ? Is it too late in the season now ? Are Summer Nucs a good way to start or should I just hang loose until next season ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Evansville, IN

    Default Re: Am I too late or what ??

    It is too late to start from a package, but you might try to beg a three frame split from the beekeeper and install it in a nucleus hive box. You will have to feed it up, and it may not fill out more than a single deep this summer (depending on your honey flow and fall conditions), but you should be able to get it through the winter.

    I plan to do at least one split myself in the next week, my brother has a boomer hive we want to reproduce as he wants two. I may even split one of the swarms I got as another friend wants bees, and it was after all free to me.

    You will not get any honey this year, and will probably have to feed them for overwintering, but that would equally be true of a package this spring anyway.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Default Re: Am I too late or what ??

    Welcome to beekeeping! I wouldn't expect too many swarms in your area at this time of year. A nuc would be a great way to start right now. If your beekeeping friend has a split you could use that too. The season is probably pretty long in your area depending on your altitude, I guess. I don't know exactly where Santa Susana is, but that seems like it would be a beautiful area to keep bees unless you are really high in the mountains. If there is a local beekeeping group, you could ask them when the honey flows are and when they close up their hives for the winter to get a better idea of the time you have. If you have good flows throughout the summer and into late fall as I suspect you might, you should be able to get some hives going nicely with a strong nuc or a split.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Palermo, Maine, USA

    Default Re: Am I too late or what ??

    Is there any chance that you could work a deal with the beekeeper that wants to put bees on your property? Use of your land in exchange for a hive/nuc/split?

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