Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

View Full Version : Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY



theresalynn
10-03-2019, 06:15 AM
Hi, a local is selling some of his hives, I am new to beekeeping and had planned on purchasing bees in the Spring. I have hives but no bees
As I said a local bee keeper is selling some of his hives, but knowing how difficult it is to winter bees in upstate NY I am wondering if it is a wise move to purchase one of his hives. The set up is two deeps and two supers for $250
Your thoughts??

wildbranch2007
10-03-2019, 06:42 AM
You would be better off waiting until spring, you have a bee club in your area that you may want to join address is [email protected]

if you do decide to buy one better questions would be how old is the queen, when/what mite treatments were done, was the hive inspected this year, have them do a mite count before buying. Normally in the spring there are enough nucs/packages available in your area, being a new beek you may want to start out with the smaller amount of bees and learn as they grow.

theresalynn
10-03-2019, 07:18 AM
I also was wondering if it would be worth the purchase even if the hive didn't survive the winter, just for the hive and drawn comb?

COAL REAPER
10-03-2019, 07:31 AM
i will add that as a new beekeeper you will not want to be responsible for moving that hive. if fed up properly for winter it likely weight over 200 pounds, and it should be at this point. if i were you i would have the seller deliver and place.

theresalynn
10-03-2019, 07:51 AM
i will add that as a new beekeeper you will not want to be responsible for moving that hive. if fed up properly for winter it likely weight over 200 pounds, and it should be at this point. if i were you i would have the seller deliver and place.
good suggestion, thanks

rwlaw
10-03-2019, 08:02 AM
It would be worth it if the mite treatments are done, supers are full and he’s a standup guy. Ain’t nothing worse for you than to have a complete disaster come spring time and then having to spend another 150 bucks on a package to replace the bees.

COAL REAPER
10-03-2019, 08:15 AM
H E double hockey sticks, if the two supers are full of honey (not sugar syrup) you can buy a package in the spring and still have doubled your money.

sjj
10-03-2019, 08:38 AM
... if you do decide to buy one better questions would be ... How many frames are covered with bees: once seen from above and next seen underneath. This assessment of the colony strength can be done in the morning after a frost night. Food stores situated above the frames with bees should be known too.

crofter
10-03-2019, 09:31 AM
As Wildbranch suggests, if it is a winter ready colony which has had good mite control I would jump on it.:thumbsup: 4 frame nucs here are 200-225$ I paid 250$ nine years ago for a single deep 10 frame complete, in the spring though.

psm1212
10-03-2019, 10:04 AM
4 frame nucs here are 200-225$

Good Lord!! I sold 20 five frame nucs for $115/nuc this past spring. Either I am a sucker or . . . ok, I'm just a sucker.

COAL REAPER
10-03-2019, 10:51 AM
Good Lord!! I sold 20 five frame nucs for $115/nuc this past spring. Either I am a sucker or . . . ok, I'm just a sucker.

i wouldnt think so. can you transport 20 nucs without fail across 1300 miles for $2k? perhaps, but not much left for profit.

crofter
10-03-2019, 10:55 AM
And drove 600 mile round trip to pick them up! Probably could have hooked up with someone bringing bees North but sometimes that turns into a fiasco.

Where you are there is competition with being able to catch swarms: not an option here.

10-03-2019, 12:30 PM
This sounds like a great bargain, BUT the key is mite control. If the hive has not been properly treated for mites, and the bees die in the winter, you will have gone from a great bargain to a so-so investment. To evaluate:
1. Why is the person selling? She is unlikely to tell you anything negative, such as 'the costs have been much higher than I expected'. If they are tired of the stings, that's ok. If it is a person that has been keeping bees for 30-50 years but feels they are too old, that's ok.
2. What were the mite treatments during 2019? If 'none', run, don't walk, away. If no treatments after April/May, run, don't walk, away. Same if the only treatment was in September/October.
3. What does the equipment look like? Well painted, no holes in wood or gaps between boxes is best. Gaps and holes everywhere, do not purchase.

The equipment in good shape by itself is probably worth $150. Anything over that is very questionable at this time of year.

Good luck, Lloyd

westtnbeekeeper
10-03-2019, 12:54 PM
Drawn comb is valuable if it is clean... IE - Generally free of harmful chemicals. If the seller is a "stand up guy" it should be.

I would have loved to have drawn comb to use when I was just getting started but after 4 years and a croaked hive or two along the way... The issue now is how to protect the comb that has no bees on it.

Also heavily populated hives can be a chore to inspect especially this time of year. Might be better for the newer folks to start small and work up. The drawn comb will happen with a few splits and some timely checker boarding.

Tim

wildbranch2007
10-03-2019, 01:07 PM
I also was wondering if it would be worth the purchase even if the hive didn't survive the winter, just for the hive and drawn comb?

if you join the bee club above, and the person selling the hive is from Ithica one of the members probably can give you a run down on the person, and possibly the person belongs to the club. very helpful members, one may even be willing to check out the hive for you. Peter L. Boarst(sp) is a member ask him

HeadofMeadow
10-03-2019, 02:08 PM
There is always risk in everything. At this time of year you may not learn much because inspections are ramping down. Depending on if you are on the list for early packages this may give you a good jump next year. That is a very reasonable price if the equipment is in good condition and has built comb. (Buyer beware). If you look on Better Bee, two deeps, two suppers with bottom board, queen exclude, entrance reducer is $213.95. As long as the equipment is not beat it maybe worth the risk.

westtnbeekeeper
10-04-2019, 12:41 AM
There is always risk in everything. At this time of year you may not learn much because inspections are ramping down. Depending on if you are on the list for early packages this may give you a good jump next year. That is a very reasonable price if the equipment is in good condition and has built comb. (Buyer beware). If you look on Better Bee, two deeps, two suppers with bottom board, queen exclude, entrance reducer is $213.95. As long as the equipment is not beat it maybe worth the risk.

Very true...

At this point in my journey I have sworn off used equipment. There is american foul brood cruising around west tn. If I even catch a swarm from anywhere except my own yard it gets quarantined 3 miles away until I feel confident there are no surprises. Its most likely nothing you should need to worry about. I can't say I haven't taken risks and I have been lucky. That is... admittedly a great price if one could get it transported. 200lbs was mentioned above and I would think that would be a conservative estimate. Moving that as a unit is very awkward as I have found but it is the most efficient method. My son and I move hives occasionally with the mann lake two person scissor lift bar. I think they call it a hive carrier. Better than nothing but still awkward.

The best bargain I've ever found around here was a man out in Buena Vista offering the same set up for 300 dollars. I never bought any, mostly because his bees were predominately russian for mite tolerance and they were spicier than I wanted to be working regularly.

The value is undisputed. Around here a 5 frame nucleus colony is in the 160 to 180 range, and some producers include only 4 drawn frames and one frame of foundation for "expansion". To me, a purchased nuc should be ready to expand into a 10 or an 8 frame deep with no hesitation.

Whatever path you choose,
Best of luck to you.

Cloverdale
10-10-2019, 04:47 PM
if you join the bee club above, and the person selling the hive is from Ithica one of the members probably can give you a run down on the person, and possibly the person belongs to the club. very helpful members, one may even be willing to check out the hive for you. Peter L. Boarst(sp) is a member ask him
Peter Borst

wildbranch2007
10-11-2019, 04:41 AM
Peter Borst

oh ya but your missing the L. :shhhh:

Cloverdale
10-11-2019, 06:15 AM
oh ya but your missing the L. :shhhh:

:rolleyes:

grozzie2
10-11-2019, 09:09 AM
I always tell folks, in the spring starting with a full size colony puts you much farther ahead than starting with a package or nuc. OTOH, in the fall, what you are buying is winter risk, and it needs to be priced appropriately. Prices vary by region and time of year.

There is huge advantage to starting with drawn comb. OTOH, there are potential huge disadvantages to starting with old diseased comb. A newcomer to beekeeping probably cant tell the difference between brood comb drawn this season and comb thats been in the hive for years.

So as in all things beekeeping, correct answer to the original question is, 'It depends...'

gnor
10-13-2019, 07:52 AM
I think the best advice on here is join the club. I think that's a very good price, but in my experience, you get what you pay for. You may be buying someone else's problems, and being new, you wouldn't know until it bit you.
Join the club, find a mentor, and go from there.

Saltybee
10-13-2019, 08:09 AM
What's the law in NY? Is an inspection by the State inspector required prior to all bee sales?

wildbranch2007
10-13-2019, 08:41 AM
What's the law in NY? Is an inspection by the State inspector required prior to all bee sales?

no, we are lawless :applause: only have 2 1/2 bee inspectors, and registration is optional, but you can request an inspection, since the commercials are leaving for nicer weather, I would expect the inspectors would be busy with them, if they are still working