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Hi. Deep winter here but I'm eagerly awaiting spring and my first real season as a beekeeper. I got my first two hives last year (mid July) and focused on getting them strong enough to survive the winter. Didn't harvest any honey that first season but they got to keep it over winter. Hopefully it'll work out:)

This year I'll try and start 4-8 new hives and maybe change frame-size. I'm running a swedish size now that's easy and cheap to buy used but looking at a longer perspective, the Langstroth measures might be cheaper and a better choise if I'll decide to scale up this hobby.


/Michailov
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hejsan :)

I started out last summer with two nucs that I hope will survive the winter. This year we got a really hard winter compared to what it usually is, so I just hope they have enough supplies to hold out until spring (mid April something).

The idea is to split these two hives into 2-4 each and get them strong enough for next winter. I don't focus on any honey surplus yet but more on expanding. If I have a total of 6-10 hives next winter I'll be satisfied. And I could always buy honey from friends ;)


/Michailov
 

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Hello and welcome,
What variety of bees do you and your countrymen/women prefer? Do you like Italian or Buckfast ?

Thank you,
 

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Welcome! I got my first bees last year too! Wish you much success with your expansion plans. Have been reading the forums for quite some time now, all here are extremely nice and there is a wealth of knowledge you can't buy with money with these folks. Good Luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you :)!

Regarding races: Traditionally we kept the Nordic race - I think it's closest related to the Russian bees. It's characterized by it's low consumption of supplies during the winter, it's a slow starter concerning brood in the spring and it can survive in areas where there's no really good nectar source that dominates - it's more of a survivor race. But if you have good nectar sources you often choose another race. Like the case in most other countries, the Italian bee was introduced late 19th century. I'd say that from the 1980s and later the Buckfast bee has taken over more and more but there's still some Italian enthusiasts that praise the race. I guess it's based on the character of your main nectar flow which race is the best. If you have an early flow like oilseeds the Italian race is more common but if you have a later flow the Buckfast or the Nordic bee is better. Some beekeepers focus on the autumn heather-flow and for that the sturdy Nordic race could be very good. There are some that use the Carnica but they're not that many and they still have some work to do to convince people to switch race.

Our "problem" is more on the material side since we for decades have been using 2 different frame sizes, typically Swedish. They are not compatible with anything so you can't mix frames etc. The trend now is that medium/bigger/new beekeepers use Langstroth while the "oldies" hang on to the other two sizes since all their material is based on that. As a beginner you can get hold on cheap material when a beekeeper is switching from an old swedish size to Langstroth. But the downside is that the market for extractors etc is very small (read expensive equipment).




/Michailov
 
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