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Hi, My name is Mike, I live in ND. I have been beekeeping for 4 years. 2018 was first try doing it full-time. My son-in-law and I bought out a beekeeper and took over his territory in addition to what we had. Honey production was OK, but dry weather hurt in July and August. We lost a high percentage of colonies at the end of the year and many were reduced, in part, I think by cold weather. We had a severe cold snap (10 degrees overnight for roughly a week along with a blizzard, close to a foot of snow) before we had a chance to ship them to California. Looking to build numbers back up this spring, looking for alternatives to buying too many packages. A friend suggested buying 2-3 frames of brood comb (for each colony) and a queen and give that a shot. any suggestions?
 

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Welcome. Might want to post in the commercial forum there’s a lot of beeks that want to sell their colonies after pulling out of CA and FL. Line some queens, and make starts from there.
 

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Brood works. Packages are cheap at 2 pounds of bees since you have drawn comb already. Got to feed them heavy. We do 2 frames of brood with cells in Louisiana in early March with one drawn frame and two foundations. Usually have a gallon of feed in them but there is light flows going on as well. They build fast but we babysit them for the first two weeks. By mid April they are moved to boxes or they swarm. Any cells that dont take are replaced with mated queens. Seems to set them back 2 weeks. Coming out of almonds I dont see why you would need to buy brood. Surely most colonies could provide 2 frames.
 

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Hello! I have a chemical free cut flower farm in Illinois and I'm looking forward to starting two hives this spring. Doing my research, lots of reading and watching videos. I think it's essential to rub elbows with fellow beekeepers to hold my hand on this adventure. We have a lake behind the property and a ton of bees on the property... I'm crossing my fingers to attract a natural swarm. :)
 
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