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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    isanti, minnesota, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Mentor needed in East Central MN

    Hello, my name is Quintin. I'm gearing up to do my first hive this spring. If any of you are in East Central MN (specifically, 6 miles east of Isanti) and are willing to teach, I'm willing to come and give a helping hand for the season.

    Feel free to PM me and we can exchange info and make arrangements from there.

    Thanks,
    Quintin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Nowthen,Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN

    Hi, Quintin!

    I would strongly recommend taking the U of M's beekeeping short course (http://www.beelab.umn.edu/Education/...urse/index.htm) and joining the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association (http://www.mnbeekeepers.com).

    In my opinion, the short course does a great job of laying the foundation for your bee keeping endeavors. It is geared towards keeping bees in our neck of the woods. It's a fun two days as well!

    The MHBA is a wonderful group of folks that are willing to help each other be successful bee keepers.

    And, keeping an eye on BeeSource is a great way to see that others have or are going through the same experiences that you are. I start every day with it.
    -Phil Domeier
    www.nowthenhoney.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    isanti, minnesota, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN

    Thank you for the reply, Phil.

    MHBA membership and the U of M short coarse on beekeeping in northern climates are already on my to do list. However, while the local bee buying resources indicate they will start taking reservations in late January, MHBA does not start meeting till February and the classes are not till March. Is the MHBA meeting going to be in time to ask a bunch of questions and ensure placing a well informed order?

    I figured getting a mentor lined up would help me navigate those kinds of questions. I'm probably a little early in the mentoring request. I missed my window of opportunity last year, though, and I'm intent on not missing it this year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,136

    Default Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN

    Quintin, I took the U. of MN. course in 2009. They recommend starting two packages on brand new equipment. I suggest looking at the "How to start Beekeeping" section of Beesource. Starting beekeeping can be an expensive endeavour. If you can't afford two colonies start with one. If you are committed to starting beekeeping go ahead and order your package(s), and the equipment now. Packages from CA arrive mid to late April depending on conditions out there. There is time to take a course, build/assemble your equipment, and go to a few meetings before spring. Welcome.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    isanti, minnesota, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN

    Thank you, Adrian.

    I'm a little over half way through the "How to start Beekeeping" section. I notice that most lean towards starting with a nuc. I don't see those in the price lists of the local suppliers available to me. Is it that big of a deal or is there somewhere else I should be looking?

    It was my initial thought to start with 2 hives but I did not have an educated reason for that thought. I have been thinking of pulling back to one in order to spend money on other projects on our homestead. I'll sit down with the wife and hash through that plan again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,136

    Default Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN

    Quintin, the two hive recommendation is so that you are able to make comparisons. The U. of MN. recommends new equipment and packages because it pretty much guarantees against brood diseases. Additionally, a nuc grows so quickly that it can be a bit intimidating. The package on new foundation/plastic frames grows at a predictable rate.
    There are nucs available, there is a young lady in Dresser, WI advertising on Minneapolis Craigslist right now. I anticipate selling some in the spring as well. However, if you take the U. of MN. course it is all based on their book "Beekeeping in Northern Climes" and packages/new equipment.
    Beekeeping is kind of like gambling at first in that you should only have as much money in it as you are prepared to lose. Nothing is certain. Yet like gambling it is addictive, and entertaining.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,934

    Default Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN

    Welcome to Beesource!

    I agree that two hives is much better than one to start. And if you start with 2 packages, instead of 1 nuc, the savings from extra $25-$40 that the nuc would cost will help substantially towards the second package.

    If you've got a tablesaw available, you may be able to make some of your own woodenware. And Michael Bush offers plenty of good reading for free. Here's a page that has some discussion about nucs vs packages:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    isanti, minnesota, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN

    So, how many here subscribe to Michael's recipe of all 8 frame mediums with a hive consisting of 4 mediums for brood and honey, no extractor plastic PF120 frames and a migratory top (which I still have to research what is) with shims to create a top entrance?

    It sure makes it sound a whole lot simpler.

    As for building them ... yeah, I could build them. Has anyone tracked their costs to see how much building them actually saves them?
    Quintin

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