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Hello everybody. I am trying to get a hive this year for the first time. I have been reading a lot mainly on here but have a couple of rookie questions. All help would be appreciated.

1. Do I need to buy a hive stand with the sloped entrance if I am going to elevate my hive on cynder blocks and 2 x 4s ?

2. What is an inner cover for and do I need one of them in S. GA?

3. I have found several posts that refer to a Brodmann feeder not being desirable but can't tell what is.

FYI
I have decided that I want to use all 8 frame mediums for everything. The hive will be located in my back yard.

Thanks for the help
 

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I'm a noob! I recommend a beek club, that being said, here's what we're being taught, ten frame, 2 deep supers, 2 med supers, forget the 8, yes you need an inner cover, if your don't any space bigger the 3/8 of an inch they will build comb, put the "smooth" side down you flip it over when you collect honey no you don't need the sloped entrance, use a top feeder holds quite a bit it's plastic and doesn't leak and has less drowning issues, don't have to mess with the entrance of the hive you come up from the back, install your package in, screened bottom board, 1 deep super, top feeder, inner cover, top feeder, outer cover. no you don't need a hive stand,. blocks work just fine, keep reading everything ask Q's and keep reading and find a beek club in your area. you have Rossman apiaries in moultrie Ga, thats were I got my stuff. if you go with 8 and change to 10 and you will, then nothing matches
 

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Hello Ga. Shooter
Our bee club, Coastal Empire beekeepers meet every second Monday at 6;30 p.m.at Kelly tours on highway 80, your are welcome to attend.
 

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Hello everybody. I am trying to get a hive this year for the first time. I have been reading a lot mainly on here but have a couple of rookie questions. All help would be appreciated.

1. Do I need to buy a hive stand with the sloped entrance if I am going to elevate my hive on cynder blocks and 2 x 4s ?

2. What is an inner cover for and do I need one of them in S. GA?

3. I have found several posts that refer to a Brodmann feeder not being desirable but can't tell what is.

FYI
I have decided that I want to use all 8 frame mediums for everything. The hive will be located in my back yard.

Thanks for the help
Welcome be Beesource! Your FYI 8 frame mediums for everything is an outstanding choice. I wish I had all 8-frame mediums.

Your item 3. I think you mean "Bordman" feeder. This is a feeder that sticks out of the front of the hive. The bees enter the feeder from just inside the hive and walk out to get the sugar water on the underside of the bottle that sticks out of the front. I have never used one of these, but have heard that they tend to incite robbing, which you don't want.

Item 2. That depends. Except for the winter time, what the inner cover does is prevent the bees from gluing the outer cover to the top hive box. I would suggest either getting an inner cover or a screened frame.

Item 3. I do not have an opinion on that. I do elevate my hives on a stand. I make the side-to-side level (important), and back slightly higher than the front.

I hope this helps.
 

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1) No, many people just put the hive directly on top of cinder blocks and do fine. You do want to keep the baseboard off the ground if you can though, for various reasons. Long as you're setting it up on something, you should be good.

2) Inner cover does several things, mostly having to do with insulation. It helps create a dead air space above the colony that helps keep it warmer during the winter. It also helps the bees see the inner cover as the upper limit to the hive, and while they might glue that down, it keeps them from trying to glue down the outer lid. Makes it easier to get into, and easier to place a shim under the outer cover when it gets hot to give them some ventilation.

3) You mean a Boardman feeder, aka an entrance feeder. The biggest problem with these is that it puts the food source right at the entrance of the hive, which if you've got a lot of bees in the area could encourage other hives to come rob yours for food. I personally use entrance feeders on mine and have not had any problems, but just because I haven't doesn't mean its a good idea across the board. It will encourage robbing, but it doesn't guarantee it. Also, these entrance feeders are limited to those little mason jars. I've seen my hive empty one of those in less than a day. Other feeder types typically hold more, so you don't have to refill them as often.
 

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Join a bee group. Read all the posts on here is a good start. Read all you can. There are people that will answer your questions honestly, but the best way is to have someone that you can shadow. you learn by doing. When you take your hive apart, what actually are you seeing. Last year I saw robbing, but didn't recognize it as robbing. Last year I thought swarming ended in August, I lost swarms in October, and they didn't queen back. Last year I lost hives to yellow jackets, but was too late. This winter I lost hives to starvation, but had food on top, but they couldn't access it. I lost hives for no reason I can find. Im fortunate to live in West Kentucky and have a lot of helpful people around. So far Ive learned all the things that can go wrong, this year Im going to put an emphasis on keeping bees alive.
 

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3. I have found several posts that refer to a Brodmann feeder not being desirable but can't tell what is.
Many (most) folks will feed their bees at various times of the year, particularly in the spring while establishing a new hive. The feed is generally just a solution of sugar water. There are a lot of different styles of feeders, including the boardman.

M00826l.jpg

In the typical Langstroth hive application, it is inserted into the front bottom entrance like in this next photo:

DSC00440.0.jpg

An obvious advantage over other types is that you can see how much feed you have without opening the hive. The downside, as mentioned, is that being at a very large entrance it may be susceptible to "robbing" by bees from other nearby hives. There are other feeder types and they honestly each have pros and cons, so do some research and determine what you think works best for you. There really isn't a single right way to do it.
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

As you may have already discovered, there are a variety of opinions as to whether inner covers are needed. One approach to eliminate both the landing board and inner cover is to simply use top entrances with a migratory cover. More on that here:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

The most basic top entrance is simply to use some shims to prop up the lid enough for bees to get in. See photos at the link.

If you use a telescoping outer cover without an inner cover, the telescoping cover can be very difficult to remove if the bees propolize it. But a migratory cover does not have that issue. In the southern US, IMO it doesn't get cold enough for the possible insulation value of two covers to be useful. Note that Michael Bush's bees (see the link) are in Nebraska, which generally experiences significantly colder winters than Georgia.
 

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>1. Do I need to buy a hive stand with the sloped entrance if I am going to elevate my hive on cynder blocks and 2 x 4s ?

No one ever needs to buy one. Bees can fly.

>2. What is an inner cover for and do I need one of them in S. GA?

http://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#innercover

>3. I have found several posts that refer to a Brodmann feeder not being desirable but can't tell what is.

It fits in the entrance. I attracts robbers very effeciently...

>I have decided that I want to use all 8 frame mediums for everything. The hive will be located in my back yard.

That would be my choice...
 

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Total agreement on the 8 frame mediums, with inner cover, without Boardman feeder.
Start reading Michael Bush's site. You can learn so much from his site!

CMYSIX, I think a club instructor recommending as "the preferred setup" 10 frame deeps/mediums is doing newbees a huge (and heavy) disservice. It is a great option for those folks who like lifting heavy boxes--also, I'm told 10 frame deeps will be easier to sell after the newbee's back gives out.
 

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The really good news is that the bees don't really care what you use. Whatever suits you, within reason, will suit your bees.

I prefer a hive stand about 12" high, up to 16" high -- I have skunks, and they won't stand up to get to the hive that way, and the bottom box is enough higher it saves wear and tear on the back. Level side to side, if you use a screen bottom board front to back doesn't matter. If you use a solid wooden bottom board, you do need to have it "unlevel" toward the front by half an inch or so. This will cause any water that gets into the hive to run out the front and not pool. Water always gets in, especially if you don't use an inner cover with a telescoping outer cover.

All mediums is fine. All deeps is fine too, but they weigh too much for me so I only use one deep for a brood chamber and the rest mediums and shallows. Do whatever you like, just stay with standard sized equipment so you can swap it around at will.

Boardman feeders are essentially useless -- they don't hold enough when you really need to shoot the feed to the bees, and since there is syrup right at the entrance, they encourage robbing. This is a BIG issue certain times of the year, and can easily result in the loss of a hive. Use a hive top feeder (I like the one Kelley Bees sells) that prevents drowning. You don't have to open up the hive to fill it and you can feed 4 gallons at a time. Very useful if you need to feed them up in the fall, for instance. Completely sealed from the outside so no bees can get to it without going through the hive.

Division board feeders also work well, but you will have drowning losses and have to open the hive to fill them. If the bees are being very defensive, this can be a chore.

Enjoy your bees! I'm delighted my hive made it through the winter so far -- they were all over the dry sugar and protein patty I added a couple weeks ago. Lots of them in there, should be booming soon.

Peter
 

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I have a related question.. when starting with 8 frame foundationless mediums, how many boxes would you start out with? 2? 3? I have 5 built so far.

also, is it ok to start with top and bottom entrances like Michael palmer. or should the upper be added later on once they are established.
 

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>I have a related question.. when starting with 8 frame foundationless mediums, how many boxes would you start out with? 2? 3? I have 5 built so far.

If you have an idea of what you would do with deeps etc. the math is easy. Two eight frame mediums = one ten frame deep. I think 5 is a good bet for the first year. They may need more or less, but you can't predict the nectar flow or the motivation of a particular colony.
 

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>I have a related question.. when starting with 8 frame foundationless mediums, how many boxes would you start out with? 2? 3? I have 5 built so far.

If you have an idea of what you would do with deeps etc. the math is easy. Two eight frame mediums = one ten frame deep. I think 5 is a good bet for the first year. They may need more or less, but you can't predict the nectar flow or the motivation of a particular colony.
My only experience is with my girlfriends top bar hive. I meant how many to start the bees with (hoping to catch a swarm). my guess is most people start a package with a deep and 1 medium.. so 3 med. to start?
 

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If I don't have drawn comb and just foundationless frames I usually put them in five frame medium nuc boxes. I wouldn't buy the five frame nucs just for that, but I already have them. Since you probably don't have those, I would put them in one box to start with. If you catch a swarm and it doesn't fit in one box, then give them what it takes to fit the swarm inside. Then in two weeks you'll probably need to give them another box.
 

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If I don't have drawn comb and just foundationless frames I usually put them in five frame medium nuc boxes. I wouldn't buy the five frame nucs just for that, but I already have them. Since you probably don't have those, I would put them in one box to start with. If you catch a swarm and it doesn't fit in one box, then give them what it takes to fit the swarm inside. Then in two weeks you'll probably need to give them another box.
I actually built a somewhat ghetto (but effective) 5 frame nuc yesterday. So put them in that.. once they draw that out put them in a single medium. i'll definitely review my bee life cycle to know when population numbers will go up.
 

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Sure. I would put them in the smallest box they will fit in for the first two weeks and then move them to a larger box. That two weeks is a significant time as the weather warms up a lot in two weeks in the spring. It takes heat to raise brood. It takes heat to work wax. It takes more heat in a larger box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hello Ga. Shooter
Our bee club, Coastal Empire beekeepers meet every second Monday at 6;30 p.m.at Kelly tours on highway 80, your are welcome to attend.
Thank you for the info. I am on Wilmington Island and get off wok at 6 pm but I will try try to leave early and make one.

Welcome to Beesource!

As you may have already discovered, there are a variety of opinions as to whether inner covers are needed. One approach to eliminate both the landing board and inner cover is to simply use top entrances with a migratory cover. More on that here:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

The most basic top entrance is simply to use some shims to prop up the lid enough for bees to get in. See photos at the link.

If you use a telescoping outer cover without an inner cover, the telescoping cover can be very difficult to remove if the bees propolize it. But a migratory cover does not have that issue. In the southern US, IMO it doesn't get cold enough for the possible insulation value of two covers to be useful. Note that Michael Bush's bees (see the link) are in Nebraska, which generally experiences significantly colder winters than Georgia.
Thanks for the links. WOW THAT IS A LOT OF INFO. After reading I will go with top entrance.

>1. Do I need to buy a hive stand with the sloped entrance if I am going to elevate my hive on cynder blocks and 2 x 4s ?

No one ever needs to buy one. Bees can fly.

>2. What is an inner cover for and do I need one of them in S. GA?

http://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#innercover

>3. I have found several posts that refer to a Brodmann feeder not being desirable but can't tell what is.

It fits in the entrance. I attracts robbers very effeciently...

>I have decided that I want to use all 8 frame mediums for everything. The hive will be located in my back yard.

That would be my choice...
Thanks for your input and thanks for all of the info on you website.

The really good news is that the bees don't really care what you use. Whatever suits you, within reason, will suit your bees.

I prefer a hive stand about 12" high, up to 16" high -- I have skunks, and they won't stand up to get to the hive that way, and the bottom box is enough higher it saves wear and tear on the back. Level side to side, if you use a screen bottom board front to back doesn't matter. If you use a solid wooden bottom board, you do need to have it "unlevel" toward the front by half an inch or so. This will cause any water that gets into the hive to run out the front and not pool. Water always gets in, especially if you don't use an inner cover with a telescoping outer cover.

All mediums is fine. All deeps is fine too, but they weigh too much for me so I only use one deep for a brood chamber and the rest mediums and shallows. Do whatever you like, just stay with standard sized equipment so you can swap it around at will.

Boardman feeders are essentially useless -- they don't hold enough when you really need to shoot the feed to the bees, and since there is syrup right at the entrance, they encourage robbing. This is a BIG issue certain times of the year, and can easily result in the loss of a hive. Use a hive top feeder (I like the one Kelley Bees sells) that prevents drowning. You don't have to open up the hive to fill it and you can feed 4 gallons at a time. Very useful if you need to feed them up in the fall, for instance. Completely sealed from the outside so no bees can get to it without going through the hive.

Division board feeders also work well, but you will have drowning losses and have to open the hive to fill them. If the bees are being very defensive, this can be a chore.

Enjoy your bees! I'm delighted my hive made it through the winter so far -- they were all over the dry sugar and protein patty I added a couple weeks ago. Lots of them in there. They, should be booming soon.

Peter
Thanks for the explanation of the different feeder types. That is what I was really trying to ask is people's experiences with the different feeders and which wok the best.


Thanks for the warm welcome to the site. I hope you bear with me as I have a lot to learn.
 
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