Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY
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  1. #1
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    Default Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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??

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  3. #2
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    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

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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.
    Rod

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    ... 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.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

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

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    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.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    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.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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.
    Frank

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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
    Lloyd Spear

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by theresalynn View Post
    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
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    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.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by HeadofMeadow View Post
    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.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    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
    Proverbs 16:24

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Peter Borst
    oh ya but your missing the L.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Should I buy an established hive in Oct in Upstate NY

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    oh ya but your missing the L.
    Proverbs 16:24

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