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This will be my first year starting with a nuc and a 3# package. My question is how many boxes will I need? Right now I have 4 deeps and 6 mediums I know it will all depend on many variables but should I start thinking about more acquiring more for this year on hold off till winter. Thanks
 

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Ace, he does have a nuc AND a package. :D By my count that IS two hives. And I didn't even need to take off my shoes for that! :lookout:

I'd say that the boxes that you have may be adequate for two first year hives. If you are a member of a local club, they should have better local information as to what is likely in terms of nectar availability / honey stored.

I don't know your circumstances, of course, but in your place I would be keeping my eyes open for free/cheap materials to make some woodenware. :)
 

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Agreed. You should have plenty. Maybe things will go really well for you & you will need more. Wouldn't that be great!
 

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Ace, he does have a nuc AND a package. :D By my count that IS two hives. And I didn't even need to take off my shoes for that! :lookout:
It is good that you don't have to take your shoes off. Just count your feet. He has enough equipment for two hives. He could stretch it to 3 hives but with different size boxes he might run out of one or the other if things go well.
 

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Assuming you have TWO tops and and TWO inner covers and TWO bottoms, you've got the basics.

I am just coming out of my first winter and here's what I added in my first year (list in chrnological order of when you'll need them):

Hive top feeder arrangement for each colony to feed syrup during establishment and later in the year to make sure they have enough juice for successful over-wintering; this can be an actual hive top feeder box (which some people make) OR an extra deep to go around an in-hive feeding arrangement. I have the Bee-Max styrofoam feeders and was happy with them: easy to use/refill w/o disturbing the bees and no drowned bees. Needed when you get your bees.

Screened bottom board/varroa monitoring arrangement (one per colony); most important thing NOT on your list, IMO! Needed by mid-summer, at the latest.

Shallow or comb super to make a quilt box for each colony you plan to winter (don't need until after Columbus Day), plus a ventilated shim, rim or eke (it goes by several names) to place above the QB for through-ventilation during the winter;

Additional shim to put above your uppermost box - and below the quilt box - to provide space for fall protein or emergency/winter feeding of sugar, and then later in the winter to feed pollen sub patties to your hives.

Nice to have (for convenience and the unexpected): a spare/extra solid bottom, any size box, and simple top. These items will simplify moving whole boxes of bees around during inspections. Makes early inspections easier, less fussing for the bees and you. You can consider these items a down payment on the equipment you'll need for next year. And you never know when some free swarm bees may fall into your lap, so having an set consisting of bottom/box (I would get an extra deep for this reason, but then I use deeps for my brood chambers, if I was all mediums, then a medium would be my choice)/top to spare is always handy.

At least ONE extra hive tool. (They are extremely devious about hiding.) I started with just the inexpensive, simple lever ones, but recently got one of the ones with hooks on the end -- a quantam improvement.

A yard of bee-proof hardware cloth (8 squares to the inch) to make things with. It's uncommon and usually has to be procured from bee suppliers. Bees can't get through it and there are times when you will want to have an opening the bees can't get through. For instance, a piece cut to exactly match the size of a box can be set on top of your upper most box (when not feeding above). This will allow you to open the lid without letting the bees escape and fly up at you. Very useful for novices who just want to peek in at their bees like new parents tip-toeing into the baby's room to check on the bassinet.

I don't do honey, so I can't help you with that part of the deal.

I hope you have as much fun as I had - though it often didn't really feel like fun - in my first year. Bees are wonderful creatures!

Also as far as clothing: get the protection you need to feel comfortable because that's half the battle right there, but I wouldn't advise the most expensive gear until you are sure you really love your bugs. I find I am reducing the protection level as I get more at ease, rarely wearing my full (simple, not the ventilated kind) bee-suit. I mostly wear just my jacket because it has a veil attached. I might try a simple veil this summer. I often don't use gloves even on inspections deep in the hive. But my girls and I have come an understanding: I find I squash fewer of them because of the clumsy gloves as long as they don't mess with my bare fingers. Sometimes one or the other of us breaks the deal, however. Oops!

enjambres
 
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