Getting a late start for this year is an early start for next?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Flint, TX, USA

    Default Getting a late start for this year is an early start for next?

    Hello all! I'm not keeping bees yet, just reading everything I can and planning, and getting out into the wood shop and building what I can scrap together. I was introduced to the idea of beekeeping by a good friend who lives in central IL, and thought that maybe I could give it a run down here in the edge of the Piney Woods of East Texas.

    I haven't bought/caught/acquired bees, I'm just reading and going to meetings and reading. Watching videos.

    I asked a local pro what he thought about going foundationless to start and was told it's not a good idea: he learned beekeeping at his grandpa's knee and is a former president of the local beek association, so presumably knows what he's talking about. That said, an expert opinion is still one expert's opinion. I'll gladly hear contrary opinions, and at some point I'll try it anyway, but maybe I'll do it with some forewarning about why it's stupid here in Flint, TX.

    I'm pretty convinced I want to run all medium everything because I can get 1"x8"x8' cedar boards from a sawmill here for ~$9 and that's a super, plus the time cost in the wood shop out back. I've got access to a full setup machine/fabrication shop when I need it, so I can do fancy work too with some planning. I'm not sure I want to mess around with making my own frames, though, they seem fiddly. Other than the fact that deeps are 3/2 the volume, is there a legitimate benefit to deep boxes that beats the lighter weight of mediums?

    Just thinking, planning, etc. I'm never going to do this full time, because I've got a regular job 9 months of the year and a battalion of kids at home the rest of the time. But God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll have two hives out in the back of my lot come next summer. If I can get some honey from them, praise Jesus! If I can't, then by the grace of God maybe I'll learn something.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    NW Florida

    Default Re: Getting a late start for this year is an early start for next?

    I prefer all mediums for versatility and the easy to move them.

    As to going foundationless, you will hear beeks holler on both sides of the issue. I started with foundation and recently switched. I've had very few issues with the switch and have been able to spin them out.

    You might want to wait to start. Check with your local beeks, but your area may be heading into dearth soon and the bees will require feeding for new hives. You also want to ask about what the fall flow is like in your area. Will the bees have time to build up before the winter? Is it worth paying for a hive now and then losing them over the winter and needing to buy another hive in the spring? Many reasons to lose a hive over the winter and some of them are keeper error.

    That is an awesome deal for cedar boards.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Cecil County, MD

    Default Re: Getting a late start for this year is an early start for next?

    My first year keeping bees started with a cutout about a week before the end of our spring flow. I had to feed a lot to maintain them through the dearth, but they were free bees, so it was no real loss if they died out. Either way, I saw it as a good start to next year. I think I might have felt differently if I had to pay for them.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Getting a late start for this year is an early start for next?

    You may want to go to your profile and add your location. I know you stated that you are in Flint, TX but you don’t want to have to repeat that with every post.
    I have found it difficult to get bees to draw new comb when there isn’t a natural nectar flow. Even when I’ve fed the daylights out of them, they mainly tend to backfill any existing comb and become honey bound. The queen has no place to lay eggs so brood rearing ceases.
    The natural nectar flow has ended here so I’m guessing that the same may be true for you.
    My advice would be to continue to read and learn. Maybe join a local bee club and meet other local beekeepers. Order your bees for next spring as early as possible and you are more likely to have a successful experience.
    Good luck with whatever you choose.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson


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