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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I decided to take up beekeeping last year. Did pretty well up until the winter when my bees died out. Giving it another go this year and I'll be keeping an extra close eye on my hives this year.

I have two NUCs on the way, expected to arrive in April. Hives are set up and ready to go. Although I've been through this once before I'll be happy to learn anything else that I might have missed.
 

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Welcome to BeeSource!

Since I'm sure you would rather prefer that your 2018 bees prosper and make it to 2019, I'll point out that the two most common reasons why colonies die during winter well are varroa mites (early to mid-winter colony deaths) and starvation (deaths usually from mid-winter through early spring.)

The good news is that both of these dangers can be easily reduced by beekeepers' choices during the previous summer and fall.

If you set up a varroa monitoring plan from the outset (and then keep it up all summer and fall), you'll be able to accurately assess what steps to take - and when - to protect next winter's bees well in advance. If you need help getting started on a monitoring program, don't hesitate to ask about that here.

And searching out what the recommended wintering weight is in your area will give you a way to know if your colony has sufficient stores to safely see them through. If not, then you can feed them in the fall to get them up to weight. This is very local information; what I need up here in northern NY (140 lbs total hive weight) would be way overkill for you.

Your new bees will benefit from the already-drawn comb left from their predecessors, but it would probably be a good idea to see if you can get a set of more-experienced eyes on those frames before giving them to the new bees. Most likely they are just fine, but there is no guarantee of that.

I am glad others have pointed you to a local club - it's a very good idea to join one at the outset. You'll likely meet lots of new(ish) beekeepers. (And as a bonus, there will be people just starting this year to whom you will seem like an old pro.) A club meeting is an excellent place to find some one to help you "autopsy" the frames.

Meanwhile keep them buttoned up to prevent mice (or other bees on warm days) from visiting them.

Hope you have a great bee year!

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just signed up for their newsletter and it looks like there is a meeting next week. Provided everything goes well I'll head on over.

Thanks for the help, I'll have to let you know how it goes.
 

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Just signed up for their newsletter and it looks like there is a meeting next week. Provided everything goes well I'll head on over.

Thanks for the help, I'll have to let you know how it goes.
I will be at the Colonial meeting next Tues. Feel free to look me up. I'm on the first 2 rows on the left side. Ask for Ruth.
 

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I am also in va and am trying top bar for the first time several years i tried langstrom but a hurricane wiped me and the bees before i could get them going too far good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's sad to hear. I hope 2018 works out better for you! Right now I have two langstrom hives I have set up for this year. Going to relocate them further from the wooded area in hopes to clear away pests.

Need to get a stand built for both of them to keep them off the ground, already have something in mind just gotta build it.
 
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