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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was a beginner a few years ago. Those of us that have been around the board for awhile have learned alot. One thing I have learned, Michael Bush is a pretty smart fella when it comes to bees. One thing that Michael has tried to teach us is to keep the bees in a smaller box until they have really filled it before expanding the hive. I just demoted a couple of my slow hives back to a single 10 frame box. I just took the best frames, stuffed them into one box and shook the bees in too. That was 10 days ago. They both had maybe 2-3 frames of brood and maybe a box of bees. Now they both have 6-8 frames of brood and are filling the hive with bees. They are taking off.

Likewise, I started some nucs last week. A couple were in 10 frame boxes, splits really because I had a queen cell. One was a 5 frame with a newly emerged queen. Two were 3 frame nuc boxes with a frame of brood, a frame of stores (honey and pollen), and a frame of drawn comb with whatever. As I checked today, the 10 frames were dwindling slightly and looked lost in the box. The 5 frame was ok. The two 3 frame nucs were stuffed with bees, the queens had emerged, and they looked happy and snug.

Read the board, ask questions, and personally, seek out the posts by Michael and read carefully.
 

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I agree Ross. I do not have bees yet but, from this and another forum see how much MB is well respected and a solid man, one whom I respect. I ask dumb questions sometimes, I know by the answers I get but, I still learn. these forums are so much more valuable to me then any book.
I also appreciate the info. I have learned from you.

Thanks all,
Craig
 

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[Read the board, ask questions, and personally, seek out the posts by Michael and read carefully.]

...and do a search.

When you have a topic that suddenly becomes interesting you, be sure to use the search function to see what has been covered in the past. Often times you will find the answer to your question and several other ideas that you might not have thought about.

The search is a nice advantage, it gets you some instant answers without waiting for everyone to read your post and reply. It also is nice because it is an archive of ideas, and often you don't get the same answers even when you ask the same question.

It is this variety that helps to make all of us (ok some of us) well rounded beekeepers.

The search is nice because it educates you to ask more informed questions. This gains you better respect and focuses more on your specific question.

The search is also nice on slow forum nights.
You can always find something of new interest in the archive.

Jeff
 

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I know a lot of people encourage use of the search function, but sometimes if that doesn't yield some results after a reasonable time, I consider it OK to ask...
 

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Say Jesus, can't you afford to buy bees? Why wait? Or maybe you could collect some out of the wall of a building? Do you have any equipment? What are you going to put your swarm in?
 

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The Search function defaults to searching every single forum. If you have an idea which forum might contain the past thread you're after, limit your search to that specific forum or forums. I usually just Search in "Beekeeping 101" and "Bee Forum." Saves lots of search time!

-Pete
 

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Thanks for the thread, from one beginner who has learned a ton from Beesource.

Which reminds me, I've got to send in a donation. What I've learned here has really augmented stuff I've learned in classes and in the books I've read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Buying bees. If you want to get started, buy. You may go years and never catch a swarm. You can buy a 3-4 pound package and an extra queen. Split the package, installing half the bees and one queen in each 5 frame medium nuc. Feed. By late summer or fall, you can split them again and let the splits raise a queen, or buy a few more queens. For the cost of a package and a few queens, you could start next year with 4-6 hives.
 

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BB
Someone once told me "the only dumb question is the one you didnt ask"
When someone makes it seem like you are asking dumb questions, they are being a "know it all" or just trying to act smart.
You can find many intelligent people here on this forum that will give you a Kind, Smart and reasonable answer, and not indicate it is a Dumb question. if you need answers ask your question someone will come to the rescue.
I agree MB and others here are very knowledgeable about Beekeeping. I learn something new each time I log on to this Forum, and I learn from others questions.
And I too love this forum.

Bill
 

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Ross, although true, I think that aggressive of a splitting season would be a bit too much for a guy who has never kept bees. My recomendation for a newcomer is to try very hard to buy an established hive from a local and require some brain-picking along with the purchase.
 

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Tommy, like Ross says, buy some bees. You could go a long time and not find a swarm. Then again, if your local police station and firestation and county extension know that you will collect swarms you may have some luck there.

One drawback to that method of aquiring bees is that you don't know what you are getting. Which may not matter to a begginer, but it should.

If you buy bees from someone local to you you might just get a mentor also. An invaluable assett, in my opinion. Your
beesource.com "mentors" are nice to have but we won't be able to help you move a colony when necessary.

Best of luck either way.

[ March 22, 2006, 08:34 AM: Message edited by: sqkcrk ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just a thought to make packages look not quite so expensive. I started with 3 nucs from a friend. I now have 18 hives and I haven't bought anymore bees. I have bought a few queens along to try out the genetics.
 

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Catching swarms is like fishing. It depends on the location, the lure, old comb, the number of bait hives you set out. You may get several in one place and none anywhere else, or you may get none at all. The difference is the prime swarm season really only lasts a month or two. You can always go fishing again tomorrow. If you want bees, buy some AND set some bait hives. Maybe you'll get lucky, but you'll have some bees in the meantime.
 

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I set out 3 Nuc sized swarm traps last year. 10 feet off ground in trees. With a lure I made of old melted brood comb and lemongrass.

Saw scout bees checking them out....... But no swarms even though 2 got away from me (rookie) :confused:

Like MB it's like fishing......
 

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Ross,
I sure wish I had this info. a few weeks ago before I ordered my equipment but, I am wondering which way would be best for me to go now.
I have a package coming in 2 weeks. I have 2 deeps. Can I split the package into the 2 deeps or would it be better to wait till after summer and then split them or would it be better to wait till next year to split them. My idea is I want to come away with as many hives as I can with out having to buy anything with in the next month or so, can't afford it right now. I would like to start next year with 2 hive. How can I best accomplish this?

Thanks,
Craig
 

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I would install the package in one deep. (well actually I'd install in in one medium depth five frame nuc but you have deeps). If you do want to split it I would wait until you have it built up to two deeps. One queen with a healthy amount of bees will rear more brood than two queens and a struggling population of bees. Once you hit the point of two deeps full of bees and stores, then you might get more brood with another queen.

You will probably end up feeding a lot in the fall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As Michael said, you need enough bees to reach critical mass for the box size you have. If you can get 4# packages and have small nucs to put them in, I think you can build them up ok. With full sized deeps, don't try it.
 
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