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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just started watching a Beekeeping show (I think it's from the late '80s as a University of Georgia Extension program with Keith Delaplane) on RFD tv and I'm now interested in doing it myself.

I've been looking over the message board here for a week or so and at other sites.

Do you have to wait until the spring to actually install bees or is that just when the shippers actually gear up to sell them?

I've contacted the state division of plant industry to get the info on hive registration for my state.

I'm still looking over the different hive setups deciding on what type I want to make.

Thanks for the great site and message contributors.
 

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hi b. hive
i am a newbie ( that means i can't help you much at least not yet) but i was curious about the rfd tv show. what time is it on? it sounds interesting. I read alot over the winter about bees and ordered a couple of videos before buying my 2 package bees this spring. Brushy mountain has a great in depth beekeeping video. I loved it!! I think they did a really nice job in getting out alot of info on the video and showed various ways to install package bees. some videos show only one technique.
 

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>Do you have to wait until the spring to actually install bees or is that just when the shippers actually gear up to sell them?

There is an old saying with some truth to it. "A swarm in May is worth a load of hay. A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon. A swarm in July isn't worth a fly."

While I would take a swarm in July, the saying illustrates the decreasing value of a swarm through the yeat. By August it's getting pretty late to get a hive established.

That's why the package industry does not ship in August. That and the heat will probably kill the bees.
The heat is why they won't ship them in July.
Pretty much you need to arrange to buy them in about December to be delivered in April. They don't ship them much past May, and the earlier the better.

>I'm still looking over the different hive setups deciding on what type I want to make.

Keep in mind what you want to lift. A typical setup with deeps and mediums is not what I want. A deep full of honey weighs 90 pounds. A medium full of honey weighs 60 pounds. An eight frame medium full of honey weighs 48 pounds. I already converted to all mediums (cutting down all the deep boxes and frames) and now I'm in the process of converting them all to 8 frame boxes. It's much easier to start out with what you want.

Then there are long hives or Top Bar Hives.

For pictures of a lot of these check out my web site:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
>> but i was curious about the rfd tv show. what time is it on? it sounds interesting.

The new show each week is on Mondays at 4:30pm, replays Tuesday 12:30 am, 8:30am. It's an 8 part series.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
>>Keep in mind what you want to lift.

Yeah, I was just reading about that yesterday and looked over your site too.

I'll be getting out to my table saw in a month or so to make whatever I finally decide on.

I do want to go the smaller route to start with.

I read that the bees can forage up to about 2 mile radius so I'm guessing it doesn't really matter too much where on my 5 acre property I put the bees, is that the case?
 

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>I read that the bees can forage up to about 2 mile radius so I'm guessing it doesn't really matter too much where on my 5 acre property I put the bees, is that the case?

From the point of view of forage, no, it doesn't really matter. From the point of view of people, traffic, sunlight and saving labor, it might matter a lot. You CAN move a hive once you have it established, but it disrupts the hive a lot and they are confused for several days, so it's better to get it where you want it to start with.

I'd try to put it somewhere you can drive up next to it to get supers or move equipment. Again a full medium 10 frame super is about 60 pounds. One hive might have several of these and you have to get them to the house. Carrying them is not as practical as it might seem at first thought.

I'd try to put the hive(s) somewhere that people don't have to walk right by the entrances to get anywhere. I'm not saying they have to be a mile away from the house, just that you don't want to be walking within 10 yards of the front of them on any regular basis. If they are in a bad mood, and some days they may be, you want a little distance between them and regular paths used by people or animals.

I get more honey and healthier hives with the hives in full sun. But the hives winter better with some wind break. And the hives are easier to work in the heat when they are in the shade. So all of that is a trade off. If you get chaulkbrood you'll want them in the sun.

Another issue in FL is Small Hive Beetles (SHB). These seem to be less when the hives are in the sun as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
>Another issue in FL is Small Hive Beetles (SHB). These seem to be less when the hives are in the sun as well.

I've got about 3 acres of planted pine that border about 2 acres of swamp next to me. There are probably 200 or so sugar maple trees in the wetter portion of the property. I was thinking of putting the hives in the pines and using my pull behind trailer for my garden tractor for transportation.

In the winter where I am it can get down to 20 degrees at night for maybe 5 days, normal average day temp is around 55-60. In the summer at night it's around 75-80 and day 90-95 (heat index today was 102-106). If I put a hive in direct sun can it get too hot in there and melt everything?

Do the hives need to face south or is that just for climates where it actually gets cold?
 

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If you are going to run only a few colonies I would go with 8 frame medium boxes for everything. As Micheal said weight can be a factor.

If you go out looking for existing colonies then they will most likely be in 10 frame deeps.

Small Hive Beetles are something I hope to avoid up here in the tundra. Take all steps you can to minimize them in your set up.

I've wondered if mounting the hives on a pipe in a large white cement slab would help since the majority of their life cycle in ground.
 

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It gets into the 100's F at times (occasionally 110, but that's really rare) here. Usually 100 temps only last a week or so around here. I've never had a hive melt down from the heat. I HAVE had combs collapse in a top bar hive so I usually put them in the shade.

Kim Flottum (author of the above mentioned book and who by the way is the editor of Beeculture and a very nice guy) is a proponent of eight frame hives. But it looks like the picture on the cover is still deeps. :( I'd go with the mediums all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
From reading around here I will be doing the mediums since most people seem to say they wish they had started with that in the first place.

Are the 8 frame mediums a regular 10 frame medium size with just 2 frames removed for added spacing for the remaining 8 frames?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
>PS....... You must be in Tupelo country???

Not that I can identify. Around me are sweet gum, sugar maple, palmetto, various types of clover.

How do people know what type of honey they have? Like "Gallberry Honey" when it could be all sorts of things the bees visit.
 

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You have to be "plugged in" to what is in bloom and move hives to that location. When the bees are done working tupelo you pull the supers and extract.

In my opinion, varital honey is the way to go for the smaller producer. High $$ for specific honey's.
 

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<Are the 8 frame mediums a regular 10 frame medium size with just 2 frames removed for added spacing for the remaining 8 frames?>

No, 8 frame boxes are narrower and will hold a max of 8 frames and you can run 7 in honey supers after they are drawn.
 

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b. hive -- Find a local "old timer" to ask -- or maybe your county extension agent (some are better than others when it comes to beekeeping). Not sure where you are, but I spent several years in Gadsden county -- northwest of Tallahassee. Too far north and too high for the prime swampy tupelo areas down closer to the Gulf and way too far north for citrus. We were surrounded by several thousand acres of what used to be row crops (tobacco, peanuts, etc.) that had grown into a young forest with lots of underbrush (mostly gallberry I think). Made huge quantities of good honey there.
 

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>Are the 8 frame mediums a regular 10 frame medium size with just 2 frames removed for added spacing for the remaining 8 frames?

A ten frame Langstroth box is is 16 1/4" wide. An eight frame box from Brushy Mt is 13 3/4" wide.

I'm in the process of cutting down all my ten frame boxes to eight frame boxes now. I'll try to post pictures of the process on my web site soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
>A ten frame Langstroth box is is 16 1/4" wide. An eight frame box from Brushy Mt is 13 3/4" wide.

What is the advantage to using 8 frames in an 8 frame box instead of 8 frames in a 10 frame box?

Do you only use 7 frames in an 8 frame super?

I'll be making the boxes myself.

When I make the frames do I need to do anything different with them or are they standard dimensions for a medium?
 
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