Have not started yet, want to but have questions
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    3

    Default Have not started yet, want to but have questions

    Hi everyone, I've been researching and reading a bit about bees. My wife and I would like to get a Langstroth bee hive, either 3 mediums or one deep and 2 mediums. We want it for the honey and to watch the bees.

    1. I've watched videos about bee's living in people's home's rafters, walls, etc and don't want that in my home. I probably scared myself by watching them but is this a big concern?
    2. How do I prevent swarming? We would like to just have one or 2 sets and not have to keep splitting, etc.


    We live in Central Maine

    Thank you in advance,

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Have not started yet, want to but have questions

    Find a local bee club and join, take there beginners class and you will have a better idea what works best in your area.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,865

    Default Re: Have not started yet, want to but have questions

    Welcome to Beesource, JM82!

    >> How do I prevent swarming? We would like to just have one or 2 sets and not have to keep splitting, etc.

    A bit of explanation: All animals have survival as the #1 priority. Generally at the top of the survival list is adequate food. Once the #1 priority is taken care of, #2 is reproduction. If you consider a bee colony as a super-organism (not as individual bees, but the colony itself is 'alive'), then the #2 priority for that colony (super-organism) is reproduction. For a bee colony, reproduction means swarming. So it is near impossible to stop ALL swarming. Yes there are a variety of techniques employed to reduce swarming activity, but none of them are 100% successful.

    You are better off accepting that colonies WILL reproduce, and making a plan to deal with that. Beekeeper assisted splitting is one possibility. Various manipulations to trick the colony as to their available resources for swarming are another.

    But in the end, some swarms will happen. And instead of worrying about honeybee swarms moving into your buildings, prepare a couple of "swarm traps" where you would like those swarms to move in. And don't worry about having too many colonies as a result of swarm traps, in virtually every part of the US there is someone willing to buy any honey bee colonies that you decide are more than you want.

    As far as those buildings, make sure any possible entrances are sealed up. The sealing can be elaborate (match existing trim etc), or simple (such as a piece of wire screen backed up with spray foam). But whether you have honey bees or not, there are plenty of other stinging insects (like wasps) that would be happy to move into accessible cavities in those structures. Close up any entrances before they become a problem.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,495

    Default Re: Have not started yet, want to but have questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JM82 View Post
    We would like to just have one or 2 sets and not have to keep splitting, etc.[/LIST]
    This right there is a problem.
    Try it, but be ready for disappointment.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    Swarming is pretty normal thing healthy hives do. I see it as a good thing.

    You can religiously check hives every 5 days for swarm cells during swarm session, cull cups and cells. Give plenty of space and move honey away from brood nest. Intentionally kill bees to reduce population. Lots of methods available.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Have not started yet, want to but have questions

    You'll need stacks taller than three mediums to winter well in ME, I think. I'd suggest at least two deeps, possibly three. A winter stack with a mixed-assortment of boxes (i.e.deep(s) plus a medium) although that is very common configuration present an annual management problem at the end of the winter when the bees have brood in both the medium on top and the uppermost deep below it. If they only winter on a single size of boxes, then all the internal architecture is completely interchangeable. Makes life easier. You could use all mediums, of course, but then you need five or six of them, which makes the set-ups more costly since the boxes and frames don't vary much in cost per piece and the larger equipment is almost half-again as large, so you need fewer pieces in all.

    I am in northern NY, I winter in three 10-frame deeps, plus a medium underneath the deeps. My colonies are large, vigorous, and permanent.

    And if your issue is discouraging swarming, then taller, roomier stacks will help there too.

    I put considerable effort into deterring or dampening the swarm impulse in the spring, because I rarely want to make a split to increase my apiary. As a rule I don't have to. It is a myth that you must split, but unless you are willing to make the efforts to needed to manage it, you will have swarms.

    You should plan on having at least two colonies, however, to make managing them easier. Three is a nice small number, and perhaps if you start with two, then you'll have room in the future for an additional one when all your anti-swarming efforts fail one year, and you are forced to make a split at the last minute to keep your bees in their boxes.

    Best thing to do: join a bee club,. And also hang out here reading and asking questions.

    Nan cy

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,137

    Default Re: Have not started yet, want to but have questions

    Welcome to Bee Source. Good advice from everyone, especially joining a local club.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,281

    Default Re: Have not started yet, want to but have questions

    If you really get into bees, you will want those swarms for yourself. I started with one hive last year and now have 18 queenright colonies and another 7 or 8 that are in the works. I've run out of room so I am stopping after the next couple of splits, maybe. Beekeeping is fun and addicting. Order your packages or nucs for next year and sign up for a local beekeeping class.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •