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Hi all!! My name is Brad and I live in a small town called Aroma Park Illinois which is located about 60 miles south of Chicago. I am Firefighter/Paramedic, married and have 5 daughters. I've just received my first bee hive from betterbee.com and have it assembled. I have a location and am ready to go. The one question that I have is that it is now the first week of August... is it too late in the year to start a colony? Keep in mind the type of winters we have here near Chicago. If not can you guys point me in the right direction as far as where to get a nuc colony to start mine? Also what is everyone's opinion on using a queen restrictor ? I've heard both good and bad. Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

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"The one question that I have is that it is now the first week of August... is it too late in the year to start a colony?"

Welcome. I would start right away. Going into late fall, I would keep the space in the hive small in relation to the number of bees and make sure that the hive is protected from wind from the north and west.

"Also what is everyone's opinion on using a queen restrictor ? I've heard both good and bad."

It really doesn't make much difference. In your situation, I would buy one to have around and try out. My mentor uses queen excluders so we use them on most of our hives. An excluder can give a beginning beekeeper some confidence about where the queen is (and is not) when they are working in the hive. Later, excluders can be quite handy in certain activities related to collecting swarms and raising queens. In large operations, some say they speed up pulling and processing honey.
 

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Welcome to BeeSource! I think starting now is too late in the year for the bees to draw comb and store enough food for winter.

If you can economically justify replacing the bees next spring starting now will give you some drawn comb to work with. I also think you will have a hard time finding bees now. And, just maybe, the bees will over winter fine!

If you are bound and determined to start now I encourage you to think about purchasing a complete hive with drawn comb, stores and bees. Have someone who knows bee diseases look at the colony and the hive they are in BEFORE you purchase it.

{Queen excluders are a piece of equipment and work well in certain situations. I never use them (in Maine) when drawing supers of foundation.}
 

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I would lean towards it being to late. I have a nuc that im gonna checkerboard with 5 foundationless frames when i move them into a 10 frame deeep this week. I'm hoping we have a good fall flow but I'm sure I'll be feeding thru the winter. I'll worry about them all winter espically if its as bad as last winter.
 

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Welcome to BeeSource! I think starting now is too late in the year for the bees to draw comb and store enough food for winter.

If you can economically justify replacing the bees next spring starting now will give you some drawn comb to work with. I also think you will have a hard time finding bees now. And, just maybe, the bees will over winter fine!

If you are bound and determined to start now I encourage you to think about purchasing a complete hive with drawn comb, stores and bees. Have someone who knows bee diseases look at the colony and the hive they are in BEFORE you purchase it.

{Queen excluders are a piece of equipment and work well in certain situations. I never use them (in Maine) when drawing supers of foundation.}
+1, and welcome from NE Kansas Brad!
 
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