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Well, anyone else getting their bees pushed back? Local bee place here says they've pushed the pickup date back to the first weekend of May! Says they have them in overwintering mode still as the area plants have not started blooming yet. Said if I received them now I would have to supplement with feed and may even lose them. Said all the people receiving bees right now are going to regret it.

It seems to make some sense to me, but I thought this sort of thing is typical? ...to have to supplement a new colony in a new home, etc? Sure, it will give me more time to make my hive equipment, but I was looking forward to getting my bees! AGH!!!
 

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Is it typical to supplement a new colony in a new home? Yes. Most People will have feeders on new hives to help them build up. As far as delays, the first weekend in may seems right, we have pushed our nucs pick up dates back to mid may because everything around here is still in late winter mode. Everything in beekeeping is weather dependant.
 

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First bit of advice. you are involved in an agricultural pursuit. get used to it. the weather and climate dictate everything. You don't make your plans by some calendar date picked 6 months ago. You may have a rough goal but you make plans according the the 5 day forecasts. then act and do so quickly efficiently and without error. Welcome farming. That farmer standing in his field looking like he is lazily chewing on a straw. he is not lazily doing anything he is making the most accurate extended forecast of the environment ever made. He is making a soil analysis. calculating soil amendments and as well as losses to pests. taking readings of humidity barometric pressure and wind speeds with his bare skin. He is having a conversation with mother nature on a scale few others ever know is possible much less understand.

Learn to do the same. and you will no longer want those bees before May. The world is just not ready for them yet.
 

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Daniel said it the best. And it's not uncommon at all for your best laid plans and strict itinerary to get moved around. To me, it's what makes it all the more satisfying.
 

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Packages I was to pickup this afternoon are delayed to tomorrow morning. This is agriculture. Bees are not product that can be grabbed off of a shelf. Delays happen - in my case a load was late leaving a supplier. As the temp for the next week or so is likely to be all over the place, I will be feeding fondant. My packages are going onto drawn frames so I am not looking to use syrup to simulate a flow.
 

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I had a nuc scheduled for pick up next weekend. I was notified a few weeks back that pick up would be pushed to may 3rd. This, to my way of thinking, is a sign of a supplier who wants to ensure I get a good start to my nuc. With the lingering winter, you have to figure queen mating will take longer. You do NOT want a poorly mated queen.


GH
 

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I won't start raising queens here until the blackberries bloom. Could be first or last week of may.
Mother nature had to pound on my head pretty hard before I learned this lesson.
 

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Wolfer...just curious: How far north are you of the bootheel? I've seen you mention blackberry blooms as a sign to start raising queens. That usually occurs towards the middle of turkey season here for me. I have one strong hive I'm watching for signs of swarming. Still no drones for me here but I found lots of capped drone 3 days ago in the strong hive. On the other hand, nearly every beekeeper in my area that I know has reported drones walking the frames for about a week. Just trying to get a handle on my first spring with established colonies.

Sorry...I don't intend to hijack the thread.:)

GH
 

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bees dont have watches or calenders. they will be ready when they are ready. feel assured and positive that ur supplier made a good decision in contacting his customers to let them know they are slow and going. they could have easily sold them on the date suggested and took the money and ran. they have no obligations to u once they leave his yard. last years nucs i bought were pushed back twice and i was very pleased with what i got.

just stay the course and ask them many questions :)
 

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Grasshopper
I'm about 20 mi north of Springfield. Probably 50 miles to Ark or 70 mi to Oklahoma.

Sometimes I see blooms while turkey hunting but sometimes not till a week or two after.
I have several drones here at home but my bees at Sparta which is around 40 mi south are just starting to raise drones.
Seems like every little micro climate is a little different.
I'm not sure if it's the lack of drones or the weather or a combination of the two. However every queen I've raised before blackberry bloom has failed before fall. Since I'm always antsy to start there have been several.
 

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Thanks! I'm probably a little south of you. Springfield is pretty well due west from Poplar Bluff, I think. I'd like to try OTS queen rearing this year with the aim of preventing any swarms and maximizing honey production on that particular colony. Just trying to figure out when the week prior to swarming in my area is, lol.

GH
 

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I believe the week prior to swarm season will not be on a calendar. It will be according to flow. It seems to me that I usually have a flow a couple weeks before blackberries. I'll keep the broodnest open until then. Any queen near or over a year old goes in a nuc with three frames of bees. The hive will build one and gather a good crop of honey because it frees up a lot of bees that normally would be tending brood.
I raise most of my queens in late summer and their not prone to swarm the first year. I just keep the broodnest open with them.
Swarming is not something I know much about. I've only had one hive swarm. It was one I left alone just to see what would happen. I believe it was around the first of June.

In talking to local beeks I've gathered swarm season here is mid may to end of June.
 

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Yes, delays are inevitable. Last year, due to an unusually cold spring here in Minnesnota, my bees did not come in until late May.

However, this year our early shipment (there are 2 in this area from this supplier) came in yesterday and I do not know anyone who regrets it. We are all very happy to feed our bees sugar syrup if that means giving them an extra 2 - 4 weeks to get ready for bloom!
 

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Blackberry blooming dates here in central Missouri (Columbia) were: year 2012 - April 16
year 2013 - May 23
This year, my fruit tree blooms are running about one week later than last year.

Wolfer - Yesterday, I picked up 4 boxes of bees w/queen from Fair Grove. I had thought that the guy raised them, but I was wrong. They were shipped in from somewhere.
Charlie
 

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The local bee club got their MannLake packages last Saturday. The timing is right since our early tree blooms were delayed.
 
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