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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry but I've never even seen a beehive before , never been close. Last night my daughter and I drove two hours to a apiary and the owner loaded my boxes on the back of the truck ,frame by frame from her nuc boxes! What an education and scary as hell! I couldn't believe how involved the frames were and the shear numbers! Again Iam very new, like eight hours new! Wow wow wow. Anyway I got a frame by frame introduction and for starts I could only see a few things she was talking about. I couldn't see eggs, I couldn't see anything but warm fuzzy bees! I did find one queen and got a atta boy but I think Iam screwed! One nuc was queen less and I got to see a nuc box that had a bunch of queen cages in it- crazy, row after row of caged queens. The lady put her in with my frames and closed it up? Hope it works out? She didn't like my foundation less frames , she said they would encourage drone comb so she sold me frames with foundation?! Was kinda embarrassed because she kinda scoulded me for not bieng on the ball. She also didn't like my mason jar top feeder I built but after not bieng able to fit her frame feeders and all the other frames said," I guess you'll have to use your little feeder thing " made me laugh that I was a tourist! Any way ,wow, she said feed them and put on another eight frames with foundation in three days if nice weather or five if not nice!?? I read somewhere to add when 70 percent? **** o dear, that's what they where when she loaded them in. Five teaming frames in eight frame boxes!? So in closing my daughter had a blast and thought it was a great adventure and WOW what an amazing insect!!!! Err.... I'll be posting a lot!! Just thought I'd share thanks
 

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Congrats

That lady sounds like a beekeeper stuck in her ways

Foundationless is fine bees only make the drone cells they need

Frame feeders are **** top feeders are better

Don't feel intimidated you'll do fine :)
 

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I agree with garyprunty, frame feeders are a pain. I use top feeders on all my hives and love them. If not a mason jar on an inner cover hole, then an actual no drown feeder. Everyone has their opinions in this hobby/job. The one thing you'll figure out as you go is that there's much to learn and many diff ways of doing everything. The trick is to find what works for you and your bees and stick with it. Congrats on the new hives beekeeper!
 

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Rule #1 in beginning beekeeping, Just because someone does it one way does not mean your way will not work just as well if not better. We have a member on here who has scoffed at both TBHs and foundationless hives in the same post, doesnt mean he's right considering my Top Bar hive is much more fun to play with than that lang I cant wait to be rid of. In fact I have half a mind to sell the thing if it wernt for the fact that its easier to do cutouts with.

Oh, and I have a mason jar in my TBH as well, no bees killed and they like it just the same, and I DONT have to open the whole hive just to check on it or refill. Point is, Mason Jars work just as well, Foundationless frames work just as well (if not better, makes it easier to cull comb) and bees will draw comb FAR faster without foundation than with.
 

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Congratulations on joining the beekeepers of the world!

Like the other posts above state, there are lots of different ways to do things but one thing I found out when I first started keeping bees is that it is best to follow the advice of experienced beekeepers in your area. Be conservative at first by sticking with traditional methods used by beeks in your area and as you get more experience and knowledge then you can experiment.

You should also buy a book called, "The Hive and the Honey Bee", and read at least a chapter every three days. The information in the first several chapters is very important so don't skip that area. When you get finished reading the book then read it again. This book has a lot of valuable information and after getting a good understanding of a large part of it you will be able to develop a management strategy for hives that you can adapt as required.

Other good books you should read are by C.C. Miller, Harry Laidlaw, G.M. Doolittle, and Brother Adam.

Make sure to purchase your personal equipment and know how to properly use it. - I like to use a hat/veil/jacket combo for general use and a suit combo for tasks like robbing honey, moving hives, etcetera. You also need a good smoker, hive tool, bee brush, and special bee gloves.

Learn how to light a smoker so that it will stay lit all day long.

Have a plan ready for how to process the honey when you rob the hive. You can use an extractor or use a crush and strain method.

Big Decision! - Decide whether you will treat or not treat your hive.

Learn how to make splits, the different ways of making splits, and when to make splits. Google for YouTube videos of Michael Palmer, listen to what he has to say, read more, and then watch his presentations again. His message is all about being sustainable. Nucleus hives are always useful to have on hand.

Spend time on Beesource. There are individuals that make contributions to the beekeeping industry almost daily by providing comments and advice on here. Micheal Palmer, Jim Lyon, Michael Bush, fat/beeman, and Oldtimer are a few that I can think of that I stop to see what they have to say when reviewing comments on here.

Have a plan on how you are going to overwinter your hives. Because of where you live this is a very big deal!

Other important things I've learned by trial and error are to build quality equipment, maintain it and drawn comb, and give it some thought about where/how you'll set up your hives. A lot of people are in a rush to just get the bees going but after the bees are in the equipment its not so easy to maintian or alter. Properly gluing, wiring, nailing, and painting your equipment before you put it to use is very important. Having an overall strategy with your beekeeping plans is important too since it has a big impact on what type of equipment you will need. For example, I keep multiple small apiaries at various places so I move hives around sometimes. Having migratory style bottom boards and migratory top covers work great for me since they can all be loaded in a very compact manner where they won't shift. But, telescoping covers provide better protection for the hive but are more troublesome if you are moving a lot of hives. You also need to consider what hive body depths best fit your plan. I like to use all deeps since it makes my equipment more interchangeable and I don't mind the heavy lifting yet. But, a deep that is full of honey weighs about 90 lbs which creates a problem for a lot of people. You need to consider what type of foundation you want to use. Plastic foundation coated with wax is very, very durable. The bees really like wired wax foundation and its traditional. Or maybe just using a starter strip and letting the bees supply all of the wax. This decision will go hand in hand with how you plan to extract your honey and how much abuse (traveling, heat, repeated extracting) your frames will take.

But most important, have fun!
 

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Personally I think you should do exactly what you are told by this lady, at least till the bees are established.

Yes, she is stuck in one way of doing things. However my feeling is she has found a way that works for her, and wants to ensure you also succeed.

The reason I say this is personal experience. I sell bees, that's my job. Often I sell bees to raw nubees like yourself. They come in two flavours. Those who listen keenly to my advice, and follow it, probably ring me with the odd question down the track, and they do well, I ensure they do. The other flavour of customer also know nothing about bees, but I can see they do not like my advice, they have read something on the net, and know better then me. I can see advice is not wanted so just let them drive off with the bees. If I hear back they have normally had one disaster after another. Sometimes these folks do call me later and ask me to drop by to fix some problem, and it is sometimes unbelievable to see what a series of screw ups they have committed on the beautiful hive I sold them.

Don't get me wrong though, we must all find our own way. But at the moment, this lady knows exactly what she has sold you, and how they should best be managed. As long as she is not advocating using drugs I would follow her instructions till your hives are at least expanding nicely and looking to do well.

Beesource is a mine of information with some of the worlds best beekeepers freely dispensing advice here. So use this resource, just, walk before you run.
 

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Foundationless is fine, if the bees draw it it right, but it's literally 50/50. You will get too much drone comb too, foundation is better to start with unti you understand the basics.
 

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I kind of like my little feeder things... my inverted quart mason jar feeders in a hole in my top migratory covers. No need to put an empty box on top, I can see the level of feed right away without opening the hive. I have 3 small holes poked in them so they get a slow steady trickle of feed. In the late fall if I need to build up stores for over wintering, then a frame feeder or top feeder works well as then they can take as much syrup as they can/want very quickly to back fill the combs for winter stores.
 

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Sting on your first week . means you will have a successful season.,
 

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I'll have to second Oldtimers advice. The lady you bought bees from wants you to succeed.

As others have mentioned, there are lots of ways to skin a bee. I am one to try new ways. More and more I find myself doing things the way commercial beekeepers do things. Beekeeping has become easier, except for the fact I have more hives to take care.

Once you become more comfortable start to try different ways.

Have fun,

Tom
 

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I have to echo Oldtimer...It sounds like she has the game figured out for your area. Beekeeping is VERY regional. Until you know enough to know different, follow her lead. There are many 'right' ways to do things in bee keeping..."Ask ten bee keepers the same question, you'll get eleven different answers!". I will put it into my own words, but as Oldtimer as said...there is nothing more annoying that trying to help someone, and having them (especially as newbees) buck your advice, then come running back in a crisis because they didn't listen. It sounds like she is trying to do right, by you, AND the bees. Embrace her advice. No beekeeper steers anybody wrong on purpose.

Word of caution...and no offense, but you sound a bit scared. Somebody that's been around bees for many years tend not to use protection. USE PROTECTION! It is not a question IF you will be stung...It's a matter of how many you will get at once! Suit up, and eliminate some fear from the equation. Better to shed gear later, than start with fear. Just my advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks , all good advice! Iam following the apiary owners advice, I actually called her and asked her to just give me orders and I'd do it her way. Dad used to say its hard to argue with success .i did buy a veil jacket and I have heavy jeans for welding and my tig welding gloves! Should be good ! As far as bieng scared, it's true ! More of brutalizing bees or a innocent bystander bieng stung a lot! I think I'll be ok though I've got lots of books, bush bees web site, some good friends and beesource!!! Thanks again and if any of you want to help I'll buy the beer and burgers!!
 

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The hive that you described as queenless, not sure just what happened but sounds like she introduced a caged queen at the time you collected it.

You will need in a few days time to check this queen has been accepted successfully by the bees. What actually happened? Did she put it into the hive in a cage, or what?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The hive that you described as queenless, not sure just what happened but sounds like she introduced a caged queen at the time you collected it.

You will need in a few days time to check this queen has been accepted successfully by the bees. What actually happened? Did she put it into the hive in a cage, or what?
When she got the nuc open she looked and looked for eggs and the queen but said she was having trouble seeing , it was dusk. Another of her employs was looking too and said "all you have to do is listen, their queen less" they were audibly more loud and kind ov a uniform buzz compared to the others. so they finally put a mated caged queen( in a little plastic deal) in between two frames at the top of the box and said there you go now their happy. She said they would chew her out and she would be great, she was proud of her queen stock. She didn't tell me to do anything special I just assumed to take it out and then look for signs she was laying when I did inspection. She said 3 days good weather 5 bad and we've had a mix so I was going to do it tomorow day 4 ?
 

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At that time you could see if they have let her out of the cage, but she will probably not have started laying eggs yet.

If you do choose to look at this time keep disturbance to the absolute minimum as the queen will be new and riling the bees up could cause them to attack her.

If the queen has not been laying a while because she was in a bank it can take her a while to start laying eggs, as long as 2 weeks in extreme cases, but generally if all has gone well you would expect to see eggs at around the 10 day mark since the cage was put in, from a banked queen. If you cannot see eggs, get some cheapo reading glasses. Being able to see eggs is an important skill when various complications arise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
At that time you could see if they have let her out of the cage, but she will probably not have started laying eggs yet.

If you do choose to look at this time keep disturbance to the absolute minimum as the queen will be new and riling the bees up could cause them to attack her.

If the queen has not been laying a while because she was in a bank it can take her a while to start laying eggs, as long as 2 weeks in extreme cases, but generally if all has gone well you would expect to see eggs at around the 10 day mark since the cage was put in, from a banked queen. If you cannot see eggs, get some cheapo reading glasses. Being able to see eggs is an important skill when various complications arise.
She told me to add a box in 3 or 5 days? Iam confused I don't want to bother them if I don't have to? 5 full frames in an eight frame box, what do you think? I have a extra deep with mason jar feeders on top now and was planning on pulling off feeders and top cover replacing box with frames and walk away?
 
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