Getting bees [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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Barry
08-15-2008, 08:23 AM
Focus: package/nuc/swarm, breed, etc.

NasalSponge
08-15-2008, 02:42 PM
I am 100% in favor of buying nucs/starter hives from a local source if at all possible.

tedstruk
08-16-2008, 07:32 PM
When you first get your hive you need to know that an empty hive will get no bees. It must have been previously used, or have at least some honey in it to get wild bees to move in. Place a jar of open honey in front of the empty hive, and leave the opening to the large size. If you have a telescoping cover, put the lid on the telescope lip to allow the bees a better entrance to the stores. If you have a plywood lid, put a stick under it to prop it up. The hive should be humid inside but not moist, and warm. All my bees are wild bees. They are a bit agressive but they really produce.

Eaglerock
08-16-2008, 10:09 PM
When you first get your hive you need to know that an empty hive will get no bees. It must have been previously used, or have at least some honey in it to get wild bees to move in. Place a jar of open honey in front of the empty hive .

Ted, I have had them move into an empty that was new. So that is not always true. Chances are it will not happen, but it can (right place, right time).

I tryed the honey in a jar once... Robbers took it including ants, other bees beside honey bees, and honey bees. Again, one never knows what they will do. If it worked for you... great! Never did for me back in the 60's and 70's.

IndianaHoney
08-17-2008, 03:01 PM
To get bees to move in, one the best things that works for me is a frame of drawn empty brood comb. For best success, I have left a dead out hive that staved over winter in its location, and come swarm season, the bees move right in.

Oh ya, don't leave them out if the temps are above 80, like in the summer. Wax moths will get in them and you will lose every single frame.

RayMarler
08-18-2008, 03:05 AM
I put my name on a swarm retrieval list at the local bee supply store, which gets calls from the local 911 system. I got started with bees this way, getting swarms from trees and such. Was easy and rewarding. I found swarms are a good way to start as we don't have africanized bees here yet, the swarms come from hives that have over wintered already so are in good shape. Some of my best bees came from swarms.

Hambone
08-19-2008, 09:01 PM
Here is a link of Bee Suppliers.

https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218154&highlight=Gardner%27s

honeyman46408
08-21-2008, 11:34 AM
ORDER EARLY like December

Ravenseye
08-22-2008, 08:28 PM
Yeah...what honeyman said. Especially with so many new beekeepers, it's best to order early and get your bees reserved. I'd rather end up with an extra package and have to nuc for a while or scramble to buy a hive body then to get all set up with equipment and have no bees to hive.

tecumseh
09-02-2008, 06:03 AM
nuc are an excellent way to start.... definitely superior to a package and much easier to transport than a full size hive.

prior to acquiring check about with any local bee keepers to see if there is a particular strain of bees that works best for your area. if you plan to keep the bees close to populate areas make certain that gentleness takes on a significant place in the selection criterion.

Zane
09-02-2008, 01:05 PM
I like the nuc idea and started w/ that. Costwise and timewise it seemed to be best(ie 5 frames w/ drawn foundation already). I didnt get any honey out of it yet this year and my swarms have just about caught up with it too. The nuc was Minn Hygenics, they headbut alot but are fairly nice. I'll do it again but want to try another strain like Italians or ? I waited too long for my local guy that had nucs but where very very late so I went w/ another guy off Craiglist and got the Minn Hyg in June
On another note I might buy pkg bee's if I have a weak hive after this winter to strengthen it up.
Then there is the "split" thats yet another ewway to get bee's right?

fatscher
09-05-2008, 08:48 PM
...and I have to agree, but there is absolutely no bigger thrill that hiving your first package. Do it just one time, and be done with it, and from then on, get nucs, but you ain't lived if you've never hived a package of 13,000 confused defenseless female worker bees.

Also do this: Don't wear gloves or a suit when you hive them. But DO wear a veil. When you hive packages, the bees are not in a defensive posture. Bees will fly all around you, land on you crawl all over you, but will rarely sting you. If you do get stung (make sure you're not allergic to bee venom!!!!), it will only be 5 or less stings.

The rush of having 300-600 honeybees crawling all over your hands and bare arms is like no other. People look at you like you're crazy, but you know what's in the mind of a honeybee.

The thrill of hiving a package matches the time you woke up Christmas morning as a kid and got that special Christmas gift.

newbeemike
01-25-2009, 04:24 PM
Last year, first year, we go a package of Italians from Georgia (I think). They were great! My wife always used a vail but I rarely wore much more than a baseball cap to keep them out of my hair. I only got stung once when I accidentally squished one with my finger.

My main question is, I've heard Russians are a little hotter but, how much hotter? I would like to get some nuks from a local guy (http://newenglandfarms.com/), but he only has Russians. He says they're pretty mild but I've never handled Ruskies before.

Opinions?

chillardbee
02-16-2009, 10:30 AM
Focus: package/nuc/swarm, breed, etc.

I believe nucs would be the way to go. It's so much simpler to put in the hive and not having to worry about releasing a queen, since the nuc has a laying queen and brood in various stages, it's so much farther ahead the 2-4 pounds of bees with a queen that won't be laying until 4-6 days after installation.

For a beginer any bee thats gentle would be fine, Italians would be what I would suggest, they are a high maintainence bee but a few hives are easily managable.

Putting your name into the fire dept. and pest control companies in your are for swarm removale is another way to start. it's not a garentee that you'd get a swarm call and if you did you might pick up more than you bargained for ( disease, ill tempered bees, ect) though most of this stuff is treatable.

indypartridge
08-14-2009, 09:48 AM
Along with getting bees, figure out where you will get replacement queens, because you WILL eventually need to get a queen. Maybe next week, maybe next year, but don't wait until you're queenless and then start a panicked search.

Find a local queen producer, or ask nearby beeks for recommendations, but determine in advance who you're gonna call.

Whitetail
03-30-2011, 09:33 PM
If you're buying, get nucs. They're already ahead of the game with comb built, brood, and stores. They're more stable. Local is always a good thing as long as it's quality. Swarms are always good, because they are free. To me that makes them even more beautiful, cuz I'm tight. :)

virgiea68
09-17-2012, 08:54 AM
I've read all of your tips on how to start. I'll take notes of these all since I'm still on my experimental stage. Thank you very much.

AUXCOM
09-23-2012, 01:46 PM
I sent emails to local universities that provide beekeeping studies, asking if anyone had hive to donate...and was rewarded with a nice double deep hive with an Italian queen that was registered and had been inspected within the last month!

Ask, and ye shall receive.

JKipp
01-07-2013, 07:14 PM
Hey guys, 2013 will be my first year keeping bees and I'm wondering if anyone out there knows of a good source for package bees in my area. I'm located in the south central Missouri Ozarks. If not in the immediate vicinity are there any sources in the region that are better than others. I've looked over the list of bee suppliers but I really don't know where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Joe

Joel
01-15-2013, 09:07 PM
Is there anything more exciting than ordering that 1st package of bees, waiting for months in anticipation building equipment and reading and watching video's, getting that early morning panic call from post office on a cold April morning, rushing to the post office and being a little kid for few hours before you shake your 1st 13,000 bees into your new hive??
I'm all about nucs but everyone should start with a package!

Patrickshmoe34
07-28-2014, 06:54 PM
I have a friend with a wild hive living in the wall of an old shed. As i have just finished buillding my first hive, he was telling me i could have the bees out of it. I know this is a bit off subject of Nuc vs package, but is this a bad way to go? Is there a bad time of year to move them to my TBH? I was simply thinking this could get me started now instead of waiting till next spring.

also a question on NUCs can you use them on a TBH?

Barry
07-30-2014, 07:36 AM
This section is not for general discussion, but I kept your post here for a point. I have since changed my position on this topic. I have always been an advocate of packages for the beginner. Years ago this worked well. In recent years, I have found packages to be very unreliable. A high percentage of queens get superseded. Putting your name on a swarm list (http://www.beeremovalsource.com/) and starting with a swarm is by far the best bees to start with, but you have to be willing to wait for that day to come. Nothing out performs a swarm.

I don't know about timing in Kentucky, but I would sure do everything I could to get those bees.

SeaCucumber
08-22-2014, 08:42 PM
You might want to wait a year. This isn't the ideal time of year. I still think packages are a bit pointless.

In the meantime, make your bee yard bee friendly. Grow flowers that bloom during dearths.

Make a vacuum thing, and do the cut out next year.

Here's what I use to make swarm traps.
cardboard boxes
a $13 4'X8' sheet of plywood (~12 traps)
bungees
staples

If you don't catch bees with these, it means you probably didn't make the lemongrass lures right. The traps (without the bungee cost) are about $1.15 each. The lemongrass oil (lifetime supply) is $5. Try to go foundationless when you can. Your first box should have all foundation, or checkerboarded comb. Follow the foundationless rules (keep things level, etc.). Use all deeps. If you don't want to lift 100 lbs, use all mediums. Don't put different box sizes on the same hive. Never treat. Exterminate sick bees. Use a SBB.

Scrambles927
03-22-2016, 04:48 PM
Is there a consensus on the breed of bee best for beginners?

kilocharlie
04-18-2017, 12:27 AM
Best breed of bee for what area? It is very different in the North than down South, for example...
That said, Buckfasts, Italians, and Caucasians are usually considered excellent for beginners, although Caucasian bees do make a lot of propolis. Russians, mutts, VSH, Carniolans, and German Black bees can be challenging for a beginner, although many a beekeeper has begun on every race of bees, and has perhaps become a better beekeeper for having started with somewhat more difficult bees.

************************

OK, so there are 9 common ways to get bees. Each has pluses and minuses.

1. Capture a swarm.

2. Buy a complete hive. Perhaps the very best way to get started. You'll likely harvest honey your first year. The breed will be known.

3. Buy an over-wintered nucleus colony. Considerably less expensive than buying a complete hive, but you likely won't harvest honey the first year. They are also very unlikely to swarm the first year (some races, notably Russians and mutts with some AHB ancestry, are exceptions).

4. Buy package bees.

oops...out of time. Will continue tomorrow. - kc

hagane
07-22-2019, 02:42 AM
Quoting the post above here;

You might want to wait a year. This isn't the ideal time of year. I still think packages are a bit pointless.

In the meantime, make your bee yard bee friendly. Grow flowers that bloom during dearths.

Make a vacuum thing, and do the cut out next year.

Here's what I use to make swarm traps.
cardboard boxes
a $13 4'X8' sheet of plywood (~12 traps)
bungees
staples

If you don't catch bees with these, it means you probably didn't make the lemongrass lures right. The traps (without the bungee cost) are about $1.15 each. The lemongrass oil (lifetime supply) is $5. Try to go foundationless when you can. Your first box should have all foundation, or checkerboarded comb. Follow the foundationless rules (keep things level, etc.). Use all deeps. If you don't want to lift 100 lbs, use all mediums. Don't put different box sizes on the same hive. Never treat. Exterminate sick bees. Use a SBB.


This seems like an amazing idea...

WOW. I want to try it.

But maybe you could point to how you cut up and arrange the boxes and plywood? For some of us beginners I'm not sure what to build the formatting into...and if the boxes are cardboard would they need corner pillar reinforcements inside going vertically also?

And do you need to arrange the lemongrass oil in any particular way, or blend it with other things, or just scent the box with it? (And after you scent the box with it, do I need to periodically come back and renew the scent?)

And is there a list or something somewhere of flowers that bloom all year round?

In my yard I swear it looks like radish plants have flowers on them for a long time after they go to seed...but I haven't seen bees on them in the last couple weeks, but maybe that's because I get a lot of wasps in the garden.

Are wasps in my yard driving off the honeybees out of my garden? And how do you tell? At any given time I swear my garden has at least 5 to 10 wasps during the day. Is this going to be a problem for them?

Thanks.