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Langstroth hives. As many as I can.
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The books and classes I have taken all tell me to join my local club. Then a lot of others say don’t bother. With the huge surge in new keepers over past few years all the clubs are just a bunch of newbies confusing each other. Besides the local experience, I feel that I am getting all the info I can handle already. Do by trying and learn from mistakes or consume more time and money into a local club?
 

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Do a local club. That is where you will find a mentor and then follow their advice. Make sure the mentor has successfully brought hives through a couple of winters to make sure their advice is competent. I know I would have lost every hive I had in my first year if not for the advice of my mentor who told me I should feed my bees during a particularly rainy summer. I thought it was summer and there was plenty of forage. He knew my hives were light and needed food desperately.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I would also suggest spending a few dollars and joining the local club. It is true that there will be a lot of new beekeepers there, and some will act as if they know it all because they have been watching some videos, but there will also be a core of seasoned competent beekeepers who should be willing to share their knowledge. One other advantage of belonging to a good club is group discounts on beekeeping gear and bees. We have a mobile beekeeping supply company that comes to our meetings (pre Covid) with a good supply of Mann Lake equipment for sale. I have made several friends at my club and we share equipment in emergencies and sometimes swap bees for genetic diversity.
 

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Santa Cruz, CA
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I say give your club a try. Most let you visit for free so it never hurts to get a feeling for the vibe.

I've been to clubs where it's a bunch of old dudes unwilling to help anyone because they "own" the area. Almost like an old boys club.

I've been to some who are very welcoming to new keepers and simply want to help.

I've been to others who are run by a big company and just want to sell you their stuff.

But I do agree with you at some point it's more of doing it than learning about it. You'll be fine just don't overwhelm yourself by expecting to know everything. We're all still learning and just when we think we learned our last lesson, the bees throw us another one.
 

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While I did learn a good amount from my local club, I also wasted quite a bit of time there as well.

I'd recommend one of those clubs that actually goes out to someone's bee yard, and does beekeeping. Otherwise it can sort of just be a social gathering and good old boys club.
 

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2-10 frame deep Langstroth
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In any club I’ve been involved in it’s always been 10% of the people doing 90% of the work, you get out of it what you put in. While I’ve only formally met two members of my new club, my experience has been positive with zoom meeting, webinars, news letters, magazine subscription and an online class through a university extension. I’ve been studying for about a year now, and have lurked here for a few months, all to my benefit.
 

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4ish langstrom hives
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Another thing that may be useful with a club is some have loaner extractors and/or honey houses you can use. There may also be other loaner equipment available (OAV wands, tbd). I think it is 25/year for the club I am with, and I get free rental/use of a motorized extractor. It would take me many years (10+) of membership fees to cover the cost buying a decent extractor, and then I would have to deal with storing it.
 

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SABA is a bit out of your way. CMBC is a pretty good club in windham and I believe there is a TF club in new paltz. I am sure there are others I have not heard of. I trust the folks at hudson valley bee supply know the local clubs. And nowdays almost any club is on zoom so they are all local of you are into that....
 

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A local club isn't that significant of an investment. Ours is $20 per year and a one hour per month meeting.

It gives you the opportunity to learn from other peoples mistakes, rather than just your own. It puts you in contact with local hobbyist and maybe a couple of commercial level pros.
 
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