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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy all,

I picked up my first hive yesterday, which is a full-strength colony. Due to a scheduling error, I haven't been to a beekeeping class yet and so am winging it the best I can with YouTube and books until I do.

I have a deep hive body only at this time. I've opened the hive to get a look at everyone and poured in some syrup into the division board feeder to keep them happy until I figure out what I'm supposed to do next. Hopefully the pictures I linked to below show up, because it looks like my girls are building comb on the underside of the top board and the tops of the frames. I think this means I need to get a super on there pretty quickly to allow for the start of honey-flow and prevent swarming, but that's an amateur guess at best.

Also, as far as an established water source, I was thinking of using a gravity feed water and tossing some wine corks in the basin to give the bees something to perch on.

Any advice y'all could give at this point would be great. I'm going to the local Austin, TX meetup tomorrow evening and will be asking advice there as well.

Thanks!

Pictures:
https://flic.kr/p/nnU1DX

https://flic.kr/p/nE6Q76



 

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Congratulations!

Gravity feed waterer is a good idea, but lots of wine corks - almost covering - they always seem to be falling into open water. And don't be surprised if they decide the neighbor's leaky faucet isn't a better source! The bees will build comb anywhere where there isn't "perfect" bee space (according to them), or fill it full of propolis. The don't look like they need a super immediately, but it won't be long. Any bee meeting is a great place to get info, but you could also start reading the "How to start beekeeping" section, right here - tons of good info.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a drip irrigation system close by that will provide an alternative and get them used to my small garden area as well. I've been researching as much as I can, but I'm feeling the information overload at this point. The bees are a present from my wife, which is something I've wanted for years, but also a surprise and the pick-up date was let known to me about a week ago, so I've been scrambling to learn as much as possible. I see this question over and over again, so forgive me asking it, but would it be better to go for a second hive body or a super at this point? I'd love to get honey this year, but I'd love to keep them alive more.
 

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don't feed it, mouse guard on in the fall, keep your frames centered, get ready for small hive beetles since you are in the south, get another hive because you need a backup in case things go bad you can use a frame of eggs from it, start off using latex gloves because you need the extra dexterity they provide handling frames while you are new, if you get stung on ring finger take off your ring, don't burn the state of texas this summer when it's dry out since embers from a smoker can start fires. wax moths are not near as bad as SHB but I wanted to mention SHB again! get one nuc box and learn what they are for. get an extra hive tool because you will loose the first one. just use one kind of frame style, better yet just one style of box!
 

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I can't stop laughing...all too true!

Relax PPD, bees have been figuring things out for beekeepers forever. It's not really as complicated as it sounds. Lots of things can happen but usually only a few do. You learn to deal with them one thing at a time. And this place is a fountain of information.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice, all.

Looks like I'll need a telescoping cover with inner cover, an extra hive body with frames, and probably two supers with frames to have everything they will need. Also going to get a brush, as I saw that recommended quite a bit on for forums. Am I missing anything vital?
 

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Plan your escape route for that one and only time you drop that frame full of bees.

I have a bee brush. It still looks like new. Maybe because I used it once in ten years. When you want the bees to move, blow on them. When you want them off the frame of honey so you can steal it, shake them in front of the hive.
 
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