New to bees
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Thread: New to bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Petoskey, MI
    Posts
    6

    Default New to bees

    Iím just getting into bees and am trying to get as much knowledge as I can from books and this forum. I am planning on starting with 2 hives containing 2 deeps each because of my location in northern Michigan and eventually getting 1 super each depending on the flow. The dilemma I am in is that I want to use small cell foundations and cannot find a company that sells the kits with the small cells. I do not want to have to purchase another set of frames and foundations and trash the ones that comes with the kits. If anyone has any opinion on this subject I am willing to learn. Thank.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: New to bees

    Mann Lake has small cell foundation and small cell frames as well.

    Also as I mentioned in your other post, use the search feature, if you type in small cell you will get several pages of posts that discuss small cell.
    Last edited by MichiganMike; 01-13-2018 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Add comment

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Petoskey, MI
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New to bees

    Thanks for the info. I did read somewhere that man lake makes the PF-120 and PF-100 plastic 4.9 frames I just forgot about it. In other posts what I have read was people have put packages in with the 4.9 plastic PF-100 with no problem. What is your theory on the 4.9 vs the standard cell? I have heard of several people using the small instead of the standard to keep the mites at bay. Thoughts? Thanks.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: New to bees

    Although there may be some small impact on mite pressure with small cell foundation it is my belief that on a long list of things for a new beekeeper to consider small cell would be at the bottom. I must admit however that if you search for my earlest post you will see I had the same thoughts as you before I began the journey and asked the same question. I am pleased to see you are aware of the issue of mites. I do not regret my decision to forgo small cell foundation.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: New to bees

    Mich mike has some good advice. Learn how to keep bees alive on large cell, treat if necessary, get your hive counts up and then start playing with regressing cell size. I followed several beeks on their small cell journeys and it’s not all peaches and cream.
    Rod

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Petoskey, MI
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New to bees

    Thanks for all of the advice. If I am starting out with empty hives that I am purchasing from Valley Bee Supply with no frames or foundation and I am going to get the type of frame and foundation that I want which would you suggest since this is a brand new hive not even started yet? is the regression still a problem if they have nothing to compare it to? I understand that if they are already building on large cell and then you regress to small cell it is challenging but I m unsure if it is a new hive. I have read numerous articles about there is no scientific evidence that small cell reduces the mite problem but in my opinion if that what they do in the wild then why mess with it plus you have more brood = more workers. Also whats the opinion on the plastic frames like mann lakes pf-100 4.9 if I were to go that route?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: New to bees

    The kits aren’t much cheaper. I’d decide what you want and buy by the piece. Tops and bottoms are very easy to make if you want to save money. I don’t like the telescoping tops with inner covers. I have one I don’t use. More things to wax up. More places for beetles to hide.

    Order bees soon. They run out early. Local bees if you can find some.

    Swarm traps are fun.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: New to bees

    Quote Originally Posted by jspald1 View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice. If I am starting out with empty hives that I am purchasing from Valley Bee Supply with no frames or foundation and I am going to get the type of frame and foundation that I want which would you suggest since this is a brand new hive not even started yet? is the regression still a problem if they have nothing to compare it to? I understand that if they are already building on large cell and then you regress to small cell it is challenging but I m unsure if it is a new hive. I have read numerous articles about there is no scientific evidence that small cell reduces the mite problem but in my opinion if that what they do in the wild then why mess with it plus you have more brood = more workers. Also whats the opinion on the plastic frames like mann lakes pf-100 4.9 if I were to go that route?
    They have been in hives already, they were already building whatever was in the hive they were in. These are not brand new hatched bees that have never seen foundation, they are just new to you. They might be young bees, but they have still been in a hive before.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Tappahannock Va
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Hello and good luck with your new bees.
    I started out with kits. In my opinion I messed up. I went from 10 frame deeps to eight frame mediums with screened bottom boards in the following year with 4.9mm foundation and foundationless. I also don't care for telescoping covers unless you also want to keep hive beatles and ants.
    Think about box weight when designing your hives too.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: New to bees

    Quote Originally Posted by jspald1 View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice. If I am starting out with empty hives that I am purchasing from Valley Bee Supply with no frames or foundation and I am going to get the type of frame and foundation that I want which would you suggest since this is a brand new hive not even started yet? is the regression still a problem if they have nothing to compare it to? I understand that if they are already building on large cell and then you regress to small cell it is challenging but I m unsure if it is a new hive. I have read numerous articles about there is no scientific evidence that small cell reduces the mite problem but in my opinion if that what they do in the wild then why mess with it plus you have more brood = more workers. Also whats the opinion on the plastic frames like mann lakes pf-100 4.9 if I were to go that route?
    So jspald1, how did it work? what did you end up using and where are you at appx a year later?

    GG

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,885

    Default Re: New to bees

    There isn't much in any of the "kits" that I would even buy...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesoptions.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    2,542

    Default Re: New to bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    There isn't much in any of the "kits" that I would even buy...
    +1
    David Matlock

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