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Thread: Getting my bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Getting my bees

    I'm driving myself crazy trying to decide where and from whom to purchase my first packages from, so I thought I would ask a couple questions. There does not seem to be any local or even remotely close suppliers in the Texas panhandle or surrounding area, so picking up packages or nucs is out.

    Do I take into account to choose a supplier that has a similar climate to what we have here? Will California or south Texas bees (or any other mild climate) winter well here where we get snow and ice storms?

    I'm sure you all have your favorites regarding suppliers, but are there any I should avoid?

    I'm freaking out that I will procrastinate too long and my lonely hives will stay lonely (once they get here, that is).

    Thanks all...

    ~Circ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,605

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    You can get feedback on various suppliers here:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/foru...onsumer-Report

    Some you may want to stay away from, some you may want to buy from.
    Weaver's are in your state and have had good reviews.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    If it where me I'd go with someone from Texas, maybe Bweaver. The shorter distance they are shipped the better off they will bee.
    & getting something from a similar zone will help.

    PS don't waste too much time thinking about it.
    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,076

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    PS don't waste too much time thinking about it.
    One of the keys to life.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Texas Beekeepers Association has a list of clubs. I didn't see any in Amarillo but it may be worth checking into. If the club is purchasing nucs the larger order normally gets a better price and you can avoid some shipping costs. You'll be limited trying to find someone that ships nucs. Remember if this is your first rodeo you need either a nuc or hive because you should have some drawn comb to get them started.

    Good Luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,605

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Personally, I think everyone starting out should experience starting bees from packages. Watching bees start from scratch is a great learning tool.
    Regards, Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    I don't think that you need to start with a hive or a nuc if it's your first time. I started from scratch with two packages last year. I've got two hives going into the winter, and as of last week when it was warm enough to check them, I've got two hives that are still doing rather well.

    To your original point, definitely look for beek clubs, that's what I did this year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Thanks for the thoughts. I look forward to starting out with two packages. Maybe I'll try a nuc a little later.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    I wholeheartely agree - In addition to the education that 1st package installation is one of my fondest beekeeping memories.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    I agree a package on foundation with a feeder. We have all the new beeks we help start at least one hive that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Personally, I think everyone starting out should experience starting bees from packages. Watching bees start from scratch is a great learning tool.
    Dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,767

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Circeae View Post
    I'm driving myself crazy....

    I'm freaking out......

    ~Circ
    i can already tell that you are going to become a great beekeeper!

    here's the deal. adopt the mindset that making mistakes is a good thing!

    here's why: every mistake you make is one that you won't make again, and that's what makes you grow from a newbee into a beek.

    i often joke that i made ten years worth of mistakes in my first year. go for it!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,935

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Circeae View Post
    Thanks for the thoughts. I look forward to starting out with two packages. Maybe I'll try a nuc a little later.
    Maybe after your two packages you should try capturing a swarm. They cost less, just have to add in drive time to go get the swarm.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    I agree with BMAC. I live on an island where packages and NUC's are not an option. As a beginner, I looked forward to capturing a colony either by cut-out or feral capture. I have to say that I was not disappointed with the thrill of the challenge. On the day that my equipment shipment arrived I was in the jungle getting dirty and when the sun went down I had a colony hived up and had a great sense of satisfaction. Five days later I caught my first swarm that I added to the captured hive because I missed the queen. I take satisfaction in the fact that all I started out with was an idea and a mail order for equipment.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Yowza! I'm not so sure about capturing my own swarm just yet. I imagine in my case that may require an adult diaper or two. Just got my first hive in the other day and am looking forward to getting it ready for the spring. Bee ordering coming next. Hope I'm not too late...eek!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Maybe after your two packages you should try capturing a swarm. They cost less, just have to add in drive time to go get the swarm.
    I was lucky enough to get a swarm where I work (It don't get no better than dat!).

    http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/2012/0...t-to-help.html
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    I started by catching a swarm from a feral hive last spring. I had never been around a beehive in my life. I had read tons of books, the internet, and pretty much everything I could get my hands on. Everyone was sold out of bees when I got my hive built. It just so happened that a friend of ours has a wild hive in a tree in his yard (been there 10-11 years) and it swarmed. He called and my husband and I went and got it. It was thrilling to say the least. I have never felt more proud of myself, and we quickly got over an fear of bees and drove home with a cardboard box full of thousands of bees in the trunk of my car. In the first 2 months they made 62 pounds of honey and have thrived. I plan on telling all of my local friends and family to tell me if they see any swarms this year, as I hope to increase my beeyard through catching more swarms.

    Believe me, if you get the opportunity to get a swarm, give it a try. They are easy to deal with (moreso than you can imagine) and I think it is a great experience to get you started in beekeeping!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Getting my bees

    Get some bees. You can always requeen later...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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