2, 3, 5, or 35 What are the least practical to get out of buying bees every year? - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cutler IL
    Posts
    1

    Default

    We built swarm traps from plans off of horizontalhive.com and currently have 18 hives in our 3rd season. Have never bought a nuc or package. The bees are free except we bought 2 local queens from a friend in local bee club last summer as two hives were queenless. We built equipment except for frames and two hives we bought empty from a relative no longer keeping bees. We have bought 2 horizontal layens insulated hives this year to avoid heavy lifting. One is currently occupied as a colony moved in after it was set up. The other is ready for a new swarm. My advice would be to join local bee club, catch local bees and enjoy.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,926

    Default Re: 2, 3, 5, or 35 What are the least practical to get out of buying bees every year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Emphasis could, LOL. Could have been better, could have been worse.

    Unless you have very good skills, pathogens such as N. Cerana can be near impossible to diagnose. A hive with N. Cerana can appear totally normal. Solid brood pattern etc. just, it slowly dwindles and eventually dies. Such things can be a complete mystery to new players. And even to old players LOL.
    Well, I learned a good lesson - which is better to have fewer but stronger units even if this means loosing some queens.
    For my location making this hard decision is very important.
    Must knowingly sacrifice few units so that the program as a whole stays afloat.
    Nothing new, really.

    Not really concerned with N. Cerana.
    Not going to worry about things I don't know about (which would make the life generally unbearable - forget bees).

    Indeed, diarrhea killed two of my very good units in late winter 2019.
    I found significant amounts of non-floral honey in those hives later on as I went through the dead-outs (which I reported about).
    So that incident was explained as far as I am concerned.
    Last edited by GregV; 05-28-2020 at 08:44 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Pinellas, Florida, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: 2, 3, 5, or 35 What are the least practical to get out of buying bees every year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
    So the rule of thumb that I see offered so many times is "start with at least 2 hives" And, only when pressed for why do you get, well you can compare and help one with the other and this and that.
    First determine how fast you can or are willing to run around chasing your tail the first year or more.LOL

    Seriously, I would have to say at least 2 and that's so you can help the other (if needed). But for me it was the feeling of being behind the bees for the first 3 years of beekeeping. Buying boxes and frames, and making everything else was tough for a new keeper. Also, not having anyone but a phone a friend mentor made it even harder. I'm now at 18 hives and it's no longer as much "fun" as it was in the beginning. So I'm trimming down until I feel it's more doable as a hobby.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 05-29-2020 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Fix quote

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,371

    Default Re: 2, 3, 5, or 35 What are the least practical to get out of buying bees every year?

    IMO sustainability begins at six hives, a working mite management program, gear to make three to four nucs as needed, a swarm trap or two. Mating nucs are helpful but not required for sustainability. You don't have to get there all at once. Start with three if you can afford it. Try and catch a swarm. Build to sustainability knowing that you might need to purchase some bees on the way there.
    Zone 6B

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,737

    Default Re: 2, 3, 5, or 35 What are the least practical to get out of buying bees every year?

    Your skill level is what makes or breaks you. learn how to make nucs control your pests what your flows are. if you are good you can start with one.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,371

    Default Re: 2, 3, 5, or 35 What are the least practical to get out of buying bees every year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Slight aside from the main topic, but me, for the most part, I don't agree with combining weak hives.
    I hope you mean unplanned combining. These are the end of season combinations of a nuc that was holding an old queen as a backup and to make brood bombs, recombining my cell starter, or combining mating nucs with other hives. With spring swarm prevention splits I have more hives than I want and am allowed on the property. One is queenless. To keep it from going laying worker I plan to split it and combine with two others this Saturday, making two super hives and putting me back down to ten. All of these combines are planned.
    Zone 6B

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    1,167

    Default Re: 2, 3, 5, or 35 What are the least practical to get out of buying bees every year?

    4 if you can afford it

    GG

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