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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    What's the best way to get started... I live in the city--Chicago.. getting excited!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wake County, NC
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Best to have two so you can compare them if there is a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    It is always a good idea to start with more than one hive. First you can compare the hives, and see how they progress against another. You will be able to see if there is a problem, you might not know what it is, but you could get advice or help from others to diagnose the issue.
    Second, you can use resources from one hive to help out the other, if need be. Brood, frames of pollen, honey or a shake of bees from one hive to another can be a huge boost and be the key to keeping them alive.
    most people would suggest you get a book and read all you can before you get your bees. there are many out there that are good, first lessons in beekeeping, backyard beekeeper, beekeeping for dummy's, and the list goes on and on.
    good luck with your bees!
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Coolidge, Ga. USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Welcome, Having more than one gives you something to fall back on if you have trouble with one. With two hives, you can compare them to each other. You will have a source of eggs from the other hives. If one becomes weak, you can add bees or brood from the other. Best of luck!
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
    http://photobucket.com/MCBees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,592

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by garbear View Post
    What's the best way to get started... I live in the city--Chicago.. getting excited!!
    Welcome,

    Consider having a complete nuc setup if possible, in addition to your hive or hives. You have a lot of decisions to make.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Two and a half hives are ideal, the half being a nuc to use as a queen bank.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Do alot of research on the path that you would like to take. And then order seperatley instead of kits. It may coast more, but you get what you want.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    As a new beek last year go with 2 nucs. Keep the nuc boxes (might cost you thought) and if your doing real good try starting a 3rd or even 4th hive by late summer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    An old beekeeper started me out a long time ago by selling me 2 hives. He recommended I let one thrive and split the other. He said this would teach a lot about bees. It did.

    By leaving one hive alone, you get honey, and the opportunity to witness what a strong hive looks like. By splitting the other, you get the education of seeing queen cells being made, how long that process takes, and 3 full hives by the end of the season.

    I'm not saying this is how a commercial beek would do it, but lessons learned early on are first hand experience, and last a lifetime.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Two and a half hives are ideal, the half being a nuc to use as a queen bank.
    I don't understand what people mean when they talk about this. I get the general concept of it, but I don't understand how maintaining a nuc box would be easy. That and I'm going all mediums for my beginner hive so I'm not sure about nucs anyway.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,592

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Are you considering 8 frame mediums?

    Nuc equipment adds a lot to the beekeeping experience. It is handy for numerous manipulations.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,375

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Always do two or more. I stared with 2 and by the end of the first year had 11. Those were the good old days now it is 150+

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    I don't understand what people mean when they talk about this. I get the general concept of it, but I don't understand how maintaining a nuc box would be easy. That and I'm going all mediums for my beginner hive so I'm not sure about nucs anyway.
    I agree with you Gus. This is my first year, I started with two hives. I don't have nuc....yet. Maybe next year, but I only have a vague idea of what nuc maintenance involves. I'll move on to that when I'm ready. I may try a split next spring, but I have to see if the bees make it through the winter first!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,514

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by garbear View Post
    What's the best way to get started... I live in the city--Chicago.. getting excited!!

    a variation on the theme would be to start with one, build it up, and then split it into two.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Maintaining a nuc is very simple and it gives you an instant queen if you need one. I use 8 frame mediums for all my nucs. I place follower boards, (frames of solid wood) at #1 and #8 frame position to take up excess space and maintain a 6 frame medium nuc. As the nuc grows, you can take out frames of brood to bolster your existing hives to keep your nuc at the same population level.

    If you get two hives to start with, you can wait until they build up in the summer then take frames from your strongest hive and make up a nuc. You can introduce a mated queen for your nuc or let them raise their own.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    This is my second year keeping. Definately get two to start as others have said. I started a nuc this year and would recommend doing so as well. It's really easy, just take a couple frames from one of your hives (one that has eggs) and let them do their thing.

    My nuc turned out to be very valuable a month ago when one of my hives went queenless. I simply combined my nuc with that hive and all's well! Saved me a hive.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    I see you're in Milwaukee--- where did you initially get your queen & bees? Were they Italian- as they seem most suited to this climate?? thanks alot

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    I don't understand what people mean when they talk about this. I get the general concept of it, but I don't understand how maintaining a nuc box would be easy. That and I'm going all mediums for my beginner hive so I'm not sure about nucs anyway.
    Having a nuc on hand is good in case your colony explodes and decides you didn't provide enough room. You can remove a good % of bees and start a new hive, rather then losing the strong one to swarm.

    Quote Originally Posted by garbear View Post
    I see you're in Milwaukee--- where did you initially get your queen & bees? Were they Italian- as they seem most suited to this climate?? thanks alot
    Try to get local too even if it's a hr drive. You should be prepared get your bees early in the morning too before they start work and it gets warm out.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Pleasant Prairie, Wisonsin, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    Hi Garbear,
    I live in La Grange, IL but have my hives on our farm in Pleasant Prairie, WI (just over the border). I purchased complete start-up sets from separate outfitters, and in hindsight, I wish I would have just purchased the supplies separately because I didn't like certain components that were included in the sets and ended up purchasing additional supplies that I wouldn't had otherwise needed to. Start with two hives, that way if one fails, you don't need to wait until another whole season to stay involved with your bees. I started with package bees, it was really interesting to watch the hives develop on their own from the complete start. I think I learned more from the package bee experience so I don't regret going that way. I'm also new at this, I'm going into my first Winter after starting this past Spring. I purchased my Italian Bee packages from Gardner Apiaries in Georgia but there are several local suppliers in our area. The Oak Park Conservatory has bee keeping classes this March:

    https://www.pdop.net/wbwsc/webtrac.w...tion=d&wbsi=si

    There is a Dadant store just west of Milwaukee in Watertown that sells that line of equipment. There, you can check out the various options, also they are really nice and helpful and willing to answer questions. If you go this route, you can save a bundle in shipping charges. The Dadant store is open Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 (closed at noon for lunch hour). Here is the store info: Dadant & Sons Inc 920-261-5363 W 2763 East Gate Drive Watertown, WI 53094-0331

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: 1 hive or 2 to start---newbee planning on ordering complete kit(s)

    pov hill thanks alot

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