I am starting my first hive this spring in Juneau Alaska. My wife supplied me with my equipment under the Christmas Tree this year and this is all that I can think about. I have been wanting to try bees for 2 years now and spring will not come fast enough. Winter has blessed us with 70 inches of snow so far and at least 5 inches of rain as well.
To my knowledge I will be the only person in Juneau Keeping. I can only find one other person keeping bees in all of Southeast Alaska and they are 240 miles south (more rain and but warmer winters).
I am planning to use the Olympic Peninsula as my reference because they appear to have a similar climate to ours, but I am still concerned that I am trying something that is just not going to work and want to limit my risk (hive/bee loss and financial loss).
Everything I read says start we at least 2 hives or as many is you can afford. I can afford more than one but if bees just wont keep here I will have wasted approximately not only the cost of supplies but the bees as well. Other than having nothing to do until the next season if the hive dies what are the disadvantages of only one hive and benefits of 2 or more hives?
The second question somewhat applies to the rest. When I read the description of the 4.9 cell it says that this should only be tried by experienced keepers which I am not. The flip side is if the research is true and it helps with pest control that might aid in the success of my hives. Does the smaller cell truly create a problem for the bees especially if they are introduced from the start?