buying nucs or established colonies? - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,475

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Fools rush in, so here I go.

    Large economy size is generally cheaper.
    Rather spend time in the fall talking than in the spring talking.

    Brown eggs are more popular in NE than white eggs. If your local market has a market of 250 for a double and 150 for a nuc it is because that is what the local market does. Many things really do not have to make much sense. "Oh well" really is not that bad a motto.

    blm, the answer really is which will you enjoy.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Bowie, Texas , USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    I think would like the double brood because I can get honey right away and in the future I could split the colonies and make two when the time comes but I didn't know if there was a reason that a beginner shouldn't start out with a complete hive other than not seeing your bees grow.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Traverse City, MI
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Having watched my two hives grow this year has been great, started with two five frame nucs, right now they have two deeps, and a medium on, and they are bursting with bees, I am comfortable working the frames, and doing inspections, but if I was to have started with a hive this full of bees, I would have been more nervous than I was. I think I agree with a new beek starting with fewer bees, a lot to learn along the way. If I was to offer a suggestion, I would say that you need to have materials before you need them, most importantly, the next box, and more frames...I was not in need of, but I didn't expect to need harware as quickly as I did.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaynerdOllie View Post
    If I was to offer a suggestion, I would say that you need to have materials before you need them, most importantly, the next box, and more frames...I was not in need of, but I didn't expect to need harware as quickly as I did.
    Yes indeed. It's amazing how much extra 'stuff' you need, and how quickly the need hits, isn't it ?

    That was the problem I had in my early years, never enough, never on hand when needed, and a mad rush to get it and assemble it.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Quote Originally Posted by blm View Post
    I think would like the double brood because I can get honey right away and in the future I could split the colonies and make two when the time comes but I didn't know if there was a reason that a beginner shouldn't start out with a complete hive other than not seeing your bees grow.
    When I first started I bought 2 aggressive AHB hives in early Fall. In your
    area there are AHB too. Is that why the price is so reasonable? Buying close to the winter time will not let you see the bee's behaviors over time compare to a Spring bought hive. To me it doesn't matter when you buy them just as long as you know how to take care of them through out the 4 season. Each season will have something new to take care of. Lean and grow as people say doesn't matter when you start.
    Since you already have a bee buddy, I'm sure whatever the bee issue is he or she will know or know somebody that know how to deal with it other than the AFB issue. Ask the seller if he's willing to accept a small deposit to lock them in until then. Yes, definitely start with a full grown hive for better management and stability. For the nuc boxes you can either buy or make the equipment yourself. You are thinking in the right direction alright. Another option is to set out some swarm traps to see what will take over. You never know until you try that you don't have to buy bees anymore from now on. With free bees all you have to do is to build the equipment to set them up.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaynerdOllie View Post
    I thought if you move a hive, you should keep it closed up, ventilated of course, for a period of time so the bees will re-orientate themselves to a new location...is this not true?
    Absolutely False.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Traverse City, MI
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    Absolutely False.
    Oh, than I will start to question what Mr. Bush has figured out, and written about.

    Confining them is an alternative to semi blocking them with brush, grass, inner cover, something, which triggers the foraging bees to re- orientate.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,056

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    I think that "Be sure to keep them closed up for at least 72 hours after relocation" is too strong a blanket statement. In general terms closing up bees is very dangerous; I think the odds for losses from closing up are far greater than the few you might lose from failing to reorient after a long move. The distraction of some leaves or brush is probably more serving on a short move within their normal foraging range.

    I have moved complete colonies many times, 300 miles over night and pulled the entrance screen off and let them loose. You see the bees do a few figure eights and head out foraging. They probably know from the jarring of the trip that something is up.

    Mentally questioning any advice is good advice; interpretation of it sometimes skews the intent.
    Frank

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,173

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaynerdOllie View Post
    Oh, than I will start to question what Mr. Bush has figured out, and written about.
    Well....

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Bowie, Texas , USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    So when I get a hive this spring I need to put some grass in front of the entrance the place I am getting them from is around an hour away and any transportation trips?

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    We have many tips on transport with a simple search here. Just in case you don't see what you
    are looking for, I would recommend a ratchet die down for the one nuc box to be placed inside your
    passenger car. Use #8 window wire screen cut to fit over the nuc entrance. Then cover the nuc entrance with
    a big laundry net bag. This should secure the nucs for an hour or so. Be sure to pick a good weather and roll down
    all your car windows. Wear a full bee suit because you will need one for later full hive inspection. There will be a time
    that you will need to fully protect yourself with the AHB in the area. I would suggest to invest in a vented full suit because the weather is hot there. For the full size hive you will need to fully suit up while inside your car except for the face veil. Anything happens along the way you can just put the veil on a zip up. I'm not saying things might happen but you never know just in case, o.k. I like to cover every situation if I can. Then you have to use a trailer for the double hive boxes if you don't want to break them apart. If you have to break them apart then be sure to use the #8 wire window screen attached to 4 wooden sticks to cover the hive boxes. Then secure the screen to the box. You will need 2 wire window screens for each hive box. You will also need a bottom box with an entrance for the small screen for ventilation during the transport. Make sure to bring 4 ratchet tie down to secured them on. Is this clear enough infos?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  13. #52
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    If you want to keep bees and raise your own replacement bees buy two nucs. Get two hives with brood chambers and honey supers set up for them when you get them next spring or whatever. If you can swing it keep the two empty nucs because you'll need them at some point.

    If you just want to have bees buy the $250 hives.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,268

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Free advice is worth what you paid for it. So...buy the hive. You get 20 frames and two brood boxes, a top, inner cover, and a bottom board. Not to mention a crap load of bees. During the winter, buy or build at least three complete nucs (double deeps). As soon as the spring flow starts, buy three queens and populate the nucs from the hive. Then you will have 4 hives for about 375.00 in bees and the original wooden ware. Figure another 150 for double deep nucs if you purchase premade. Not a bad deal.
    You get to see hives grow and mature, and if you make a mistake on one, you don't get wiped out.
    Downside is that four hives requires work.
    Upside is you might still get enough honey for your family the first year if you start early enough.
    TIFWIW
    PS.At some point you will still need to upgrade to full-sized hives, about 8 weeks after the splits if all goes well.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Bowie, Texas , USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    When building a nuc box do I need to find untreated wood and what type of paint do I need to use?

  16. #55

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    Getting close to the time for you to do some research blm. Untreated because you dont know what it is treated with and the better the paint the longer it lasts. Many paint it all but most paint just the outsides or what will come in contact with weather or sun.
    I dont think anyone has said it yet but buy a nuc and a hive and enjoy the best of both worlds if you can afford it. Also not mentioned was have an inspector, if you have one, inspect the bees before taking delivery. I believe your laws state that anyone selling bees has to have them inspected. Large operators in some cases are allowed to sign off on their own. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Many great options have been given to you.
    As to Michael Bush he doesn't even paint his hardware so there you go. Youtube says use a fogger with outstanding drinking alcohol and Ox acid to take care of mites. I doubt it kills the mites but if it had some success it was because the mites got so drunk and happy on Everclear they forgot to be mean to the bees. Had a mean wife that would do that on Everclear too. Loved it when she drank that junk and left me alone. Had I thought of it I would have fogged her often.
    Bottom line is whatever your final decision is you have to live with it.

  17. #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Bowie, Texas , USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    I think I am going to do like JWPalmer said and build some nuc boxes and then I can have both.

  18. #57
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,268

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    You're gonna have a lota of fun. I build all my hives to match Brushy Mountain equipment. Dimensions differ slightly among manufacturers. There are plans and how to videos on YouTube. Pick one that matches your skill set and have at it.

    20170904_190432.jpg

    These are two double box nucs I built Labor Day. Started off as 2- 112+10's, plus a little scrap I had laying around. Nice little project to stay busy. I paint the exteriors with Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint/primer. The little sample jars from HD will do the whole hive. I get the ones marked down to $.50
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Bowie, Texas , USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    I will look and see what I find. I just talked to the guy that is selling the hives he treats for mites every year and has an inspector come out every year also and said he should be coming before long.

  20. #59
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    807

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    From what I've been told (in my 2nd year), any ol' paint'll do (basic latex, for example). I get the "off-cans" at Lowe's for dirt-cheap. Don't need much, and the colors are kinda funky, so it's a conversation-starter for people seeing my hives. Gray, yellow, green, blue. The bees -- so far -- don't appear to have an opinion as to color scheme for their digs.....

    Mitch

  21. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: buying nucs or established colonies?

    >Be sure to keep them closed up for at least 72 hours after relocation.
    >I guess I got the 72 hour thing from From Mr. Bush.

    I was simply listing the things that trigger reorientation. Confining bees for 72 hours is almost always problematic. In hot weather it is usually fatal. If you can keep them in a cool dark place like a basement, it could work and people often do this with mini mating nucs, which is why I listed it as a cause of reorientation. Any colony that has no water coming in for 72 hours is likely to have issues even in a cool place like a basement other than a handful of bees with no brood in a mini mating nuc... I would never move a full sized hive in warm weather and keep them confined any longer than it takes to get to the new location.

    If you are buying a colony, the ideal thing to do is close them up with screen wire after dark, move them to the new location, open them up and put a branch in front of the entrance. The branch is not really necessary if the colony is more than 2 miles from it's original location, but I think anytime you move a hive it's a good idea so bees don't fly out without thinking about where they are. If you are moving a colony between 1/2 mile and 1 1/2 miles you will lose a lot of bees no matter what you do because they know where the old hive is and they will spiral out from there to find the new location and those spirals get really big at 1 1/2 miles... Reorientation isn't such a big deal as long as you moved them more than 2 miles...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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