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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new beekeeper. Every book I've read thus far encourages new beekeepers to start with two hives. Several members of my local association think it's a good idea, too. However, my supplier recommends starting with only one. I'd like to hear from you beesource folks. Thank you.
 

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Everyone I had met recommended that I start with two hives as well. I did it and am glad I did. It gave me something for comparison as a novice. For example, you will be able to see the differences such as moodiness, cleanliness and population increase rates. So as I said, I started with two last year. Unfortunately the back-to-back blizzards we had wiped them both out.

This year I'm starting 6 packages. I'm hooked.
 

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yeah start with 2 - for lots of reasons

one is odvious - you can compare the two
two is twice the fun
three is split one you get three hives
four is for twice the honey
five is for if for some reason the queen goes missing you have spare brood right at your disposal and not have to run around looking for a frame of eggs
and last is you will need more boxes anyway so why not put bees in them

also if one hive dies you still have one - so you are still a beekeeper and not a box haver !!!!!!!!

start with 2 and you will be happy - start with one and you will spend 6 months trying to find your boot after all the self but kicking you did
 

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I started with just one hive last year but wish I would have started with 2. One hive was great to learn with but I too would have enjoyed having 2 to learn and work with.
 

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Last year I started with 2 hives for many of the reasons listed previously. Without disturbing the girls, I could just watch and see how they were doing. I never saw a great difference between the colonies, so I didn't have too much concern over their well being (I always have some concern...just the way I am).

You can compare brood patterns, behaviour and the like. If there's a difference, time to further investigate whether or not action is required. Two hives just takes away some of the uneasiness that comes with learning.

Also, if you ony rely only on forums, you'll probably decide that your bees have every disease known to man (and a few that aren't) and are getting ready to swarm every hour on the hour. Looking at them eases that feeling. ;)

Walt
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone! I purchased my second hive on Saturday and placed my second bee order. Now, if I can manage two package dumps, all will be well!
 
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