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Discussion Starter #1
Well this is my first post. I am getting into this because I want to bump up my fruit orchard production and have the satisfaction of producing my own honey. I purchased a starter hive pre assembled and I will be getting my nuc colony in a couple weeks. Any advice on where to buy good quality bee suits, gloves, bee tools, and protective gear would be helpful. :)
 

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Welcome to the forum. I have been using Mann Lake for most items there is also 4 bee supply companys located in Ar. As far as bees go find a local bee club and see if they know or have anyone with Nucs for sale. Where is Emerson Ar near?
 

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Dadant has branch in paris texas is a good one or you might call Hummer and Sons in Bossier City ,La they are a dealer for Mann Lake and that would be closer for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the warm welcome and thanks for the good info!:)
Emerson is on the southwest boarder of Arkansas and Louisiana.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a 5 medium frame nuc coming the 3rd week in April. I have a 10 frame, 2 deep and 3 medium hive to work with. Please give me a suggestion on how I need to set up my first hive! Would love some direction so I don't screw up just starting out. I want honey production but my priority is for the bees to work my fruit trees hard.
 

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Would be a little easier if the nuc had deep frames. Just put the 5 frames in the nuc in a 10 frame medium with five more frames of foundation and sit it on your bottom board. Then put one deep brood box above it. When the queen has moved up into the deep, remove the medium and put it on top of the deep. Add the second deep when the bottom deep is 80% full of brood, pollen and nectar.
 

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Why would you put the queen excluder between the 2 deeps? I was going to put it between the 2 deeps and the 1 med I was going to put on top when the 2 deeps were about 70%. Just wanting to know. I am ignorant with the different processes and trying to make since of it all!;)
 

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Why would you put the queen excluder between the 2 deeps? I was going to put it between the 2 deeps and the 1 med I was going to put on top when the 2 deeps were about 70%. Just wanting to know. I am ignorant with the different processes and trying to make since of it all!;)
You don't. it goes above both deeps. Don't put both deeps on at once, wait until the 1st one is 70% full before adding it. Once both Deeps have brood and 70% full, put on queen excluder and your first super.
 

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Maybe I'm missing that you want to use one deep as a honey super. Is that correct. Better off using both deeps as brood boxes and use mediums as honey supers. You DO NOT want to have to handle a deep full of honey! You will not be able to take honey off them this year., Next year maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was going to use both deeps as brood boxes. So I will not get honey from the medium I put on later or I just Dont need to take the honey from the bees this year.
 

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First thing they have to do is draw out the brood foundation. That takes a lot of honey or nectar. They have to feed the brood, that takes a lot of honey and nectar, They have to draw out the super foundation. That takes a lot of nectar. Then they have to store themselves enough honey to live on next winter.

Then, next year, they don't have to draw out brood foundation or super foundation. What they make will go to feed themselves, the new brood, and they store the rest. THAT is when you may be able to take some, depending on how much they make. I always leave at least 2 full mediums of honey on for them to make the winter on.

However, I have seen times when all conditions were right and a beekeeper will be able to take a small surplus of honey off the first year, if you were able to keep adding supers the first year. But everything has to fall in place.
 

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Welcome. Others have given you good advice.

First pick a good site to set up your hive. You want FULL SUN. No shade as small hive beetle thrives in shade, again FULL SUN. The bees may have to work a little harder but it's that or lose them to beetles.
Your site should ideally be facing south or southeast to catch the morning sun to get them awake and working early plus in the coldest months sun helps. Do not site the hive in a cold pocket or at the bottom of a slope. Cold air pools and if the hive is in a cold spot it makes them work harder in winter to maintain cluster warmth, they eat more honey as a result.
If your can find the ideal spot that also shares a windbreak so much the better. If not you could add a windbreak if you get cold winds in winter.

If you can detect I think winter is your goal this first season. You have to think of the colony as a perennial and it can only be perennial if it survives it's first winter. To survive they need to get off to a running start that allows the queen to lay as many eggs as possible to have as many workers as possible to store as much honey as possible. This stored honey is the only hope for surviving the winter. Once they have a good store and are strong can you switch over to encouraging a surplus of honey the next season for harvest.

Just to walk you through installing the nuc. You'll probably bring them home late in the evening or at night. Just set the nuc on the same stand you will put your hive and open the entrance. The next morning after the bees are flying you will move the nuc to one side and set a medium super on a bottom board on the stand where the nuc spent the night. Now using light smoke open the nuc and starting with an outside frame you transfer the frames one at a time to the medium super in the exact same order without turning or reversing the frames. Fill out the rest of the medium super with frames with foundation. Leave the nuc open and empty in front of the hive and any stranglers will move to the location the nuc was last, where the hive is now. Immediately start feeding a light sugar syrup 2:1 water/sugar. Do not boil or cook the sugar when making the syrup.
Keep feed in front of them as long as they will take it, maybe even all summer.
Make plans to check weekly but you need to make your first check on day four. Since you may have difficulty locating the queen, even if marked and I recommend having her marked, the day four check allows you to look for eggs. Since eggs hatch on the third day after being laid a day four check will tell you if you have a laying queen. If you do not find eggs, which look like tiny off white jelly beans at the very bottom of the cells, you may have a problem. If you do find eggs you have a laying queen so close her up and check in a week. If no eggs consult with your nuc supplier he/she may ask you to check again in a few days or if local may schedule a time to look themselves. Also be aware that a strong nuc may be in swarm mode due to crowding so any large peanut looking cells either in the center or more likely bottom of the frames could indicate a potential swarming situation. If any or all queen cells found are already capped then it is to late and a swarm has already issued or will issue within hours.
If queen cells are found there are things you can do but I am hesitant to advise as it's often a judgment call. This is where having a mentor or advising beekeeper is very important. Call your local county extension agent to find the nearest beekeeping club. Go to the meetings and find a beekeeper to lean on until you get a feel for what you're doing.
Next as others advised when you see that 70-80% of the frames are drawn out add one of the deep supers with frames with foundation directly underneath the medium super. Continue feeding heavily.
The reason for underneath is the bees store honey and nectar at the top and as they plug out the upper portion of the medium it will push the queen down into the deep. When you see eggs and capped brood in the deep and again 70-80% of the frames are drawn add the second deep underneath but only if there is enough time left in the season to get it drawn, there should be if the queen is laying well and your still feeding heavy.
By fall you should have three boxes of drawn comb with eggs and brood in at least one of the deeps, ideally the bottom, and the other two and any empty space full of capped honey.
Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the info guys! Y'all gave me a leg up raising the bees and I feel that I can now be successful with my first hive.
This queen will not be marked so I will have to look for eggs on the forth day to see if the queen is there and laying. One problem I have is I don't have a spot in my yard that has full sun. I have lots of trees and that will be a challenge. If I do get a bettle infestation, what is the best way to handle them? My ex father in law raises bees in our town and he told me today that he has problems with beetles so I need to try to prevent them the best that I can.
 

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Beetle traps, imo, should be mandatory year round in any area with beetles. There are pesticides that are labeled for them but I will not use hard chemicals inside my hives.
The country rubes style bottom board oil pan is the best, imo. Expensive but the best. Next is the freeman. This snags most as they cross the bottom then add one or two between the frame style traps to each box and you have a system in place.
 
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