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Discussion Starter #1
I have the opportunity to buy a Hive that was caught wild in march. The guy told me that he would take $150 for the Bee's and the two deep broodboxes with bottom board. I went and looked at the bee's and the hive is just now making it's way up into the top brood box. Is this about how far along they should be or are they behind? Does this sound like a good deal?

All thoughts will be appreciated.

Josh
 

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I have the opportunity to buy a Hive that was caught wild in march. The guy told me that he would take $150 for the Bee's and the two deep broodboxes with bottom board. I went and looked at the bee's and the hive is just now making it's way up into the top brood box. Is this about how far along they should be or are they behind? Does this sound like a good deal?

All thoughts will be appreciated.

Josh
I would snatch it. You figure 45$ worth in the 2 boxes and bottom board if they were installed in new ones. That is 105 for 10+ drawn out frames and a well established hive. You can not buy a 5 frame nuc for that price.
 

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Sound like a good deal to me. Nucs in my area are $115 which is a little on the low side. I've seen them for $150. That includes 5 frames, which I don't have to replace, but no woodenware. The value on the woodenware that you're getting is about $60 brand new.

It does seem like they are behind. Is it 8 or 10 frame? I caught a softball sized swarm in April, very much on the small size, and they have drawn out almost three 8 frame mediums which is roughly the equivalent of 2 deeps.
 

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I'd check the brood for diseases then snatch it up if things look good,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well this would be my first hive if I buy it. What diseases should I look for and what should I be looking for when checking for diseases.

The bees are drawing in the upper brood box with about 10 to 20% complete. Also the hive has a inner cover and outer also.
 

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If you know the guy fairly well and know he's not a crook go ahead and buy them. If the wood isn't rotten with the pieces falling apart and there are lots of bees with open brood I would think it's a good deal. Were these bees actually a "wild" swarm, one that came out of a bee tree or somewhere else and *not* from one of his hives or someone elses hives? Ask him if this was a feral/survivor swarm. Feral/survivors make good bees! Of course, if it came from one of his hives and he keeps good bees, well, these oughta be good bees, too! ;)

As others have mentioned, you're basically paying for an upper priced nuc of bees but getting lots more.

In regards to disease, that will be a tough one for someone new to figure out (I've been keeping bees for three years and it would be hard for me, though I'd figure it out by studying some) Basically, the big things are chalkbrood, American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood, mites, and small hive beetles. Look for cells with white, chaulky looking dead bees in them for chaulkbrood. Ooey, gooey, sticky, black stuff for AFB...stick a stick in it and if sticks to the stick and makes a string/rope as you pull the stick out it's pretty much going to be foulbrood. I'm not sure about EFB. Mites...if they're bad you can actually see them stuck on the bees, you can find them in sealed drone brood (which isn't highly unusual), but you can tell if it's really bad and that the hive is in danger if you spot bees with deformed wings which represent "Deformed Wing Virus". Beetles are invevitable in the south, there are probably some in the hive...be prepared for them....have a couple of Beetle Jail Jr.s or Beetle Blasters to put between the frames inside the hive...use some mineral or vegetable oil in them.

Apprently you've been in the hive...were they calm bees? Defensive? Calm bees are *really* nice to have...especially just starting out. :)

Ed
 

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Also the hive has a inner cover and outer also.
That ups the ante. The woodenware is worth about $100-$120 brand new. I didn't factor in frames and foundation with my first response, and now there is an inner and outer.

As intheswamp mentioned, survivor bees are very desirable if that's what they are. I'd ask why he's getting rid of them. I'd be looking for $200+ and probably wouldn't even sell them if they are survivors.
 

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I am not sure what is available in TN, but here we can have a provincial inspector check for disease at no charge. It's required before moving/selling bees. Might be worth looking into if this is your first hive.
 

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I just sold an 8 frame complete hive with 5 medium boxes yesterday. It was a strong hive with bees all the way up in to the 5th box. one box of honey and the brood up into the third box. $330. So there is a comparison price.

A brand new bottom board. ten empty fraems, deep box inner and outer cover form Mann Lake is $75. You can ad another $13 for the second deep and a buck a piece at least for the additional frames. So for me it would be nearly $100 in equipment alone adjusted for it's condition.

As for the population you are describing. It sounds to me like the bees are behind. This could be for many reasons. My colonies range from thriving and making some honey to barely hanging on. we found one dead out yesterday in an outyard. I suspect supercedure to be the main reason for the weak colonies. Leaving the colonies with populations to low to effectively forage in the drought conditions. I also suspect the weaker colonies are being robbed by the stronger ones. The strong colonies are managing to store honey. So far not enough to harvest.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
These are survivor bees. They are caught from a wild swarm on the side of a building. He does not feed his bees anything so maybe thats why they haven't moved up further IDK. I think I am going to get them tomorrow night I think it will be a good hive to start with.
 

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These are survivor bees. They are caught from a wild swarm on the side of a building. He does not feed his bees anything so maybe thats why they haven't moved up further IDK. I think I am going to get them tomorrow night I think it will be a good hive to start with.
Would be foolish not to. But they may not be survivors being that they were only a swarm.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He says he catches a swarm every year there he said no one has bees around there so they must be from a bee tree or an old building or something I guess.
 

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He says he catches a swarm every year there he said no one has bees around there so they must be from a bee tree or an old building or something I guess.
Could be but you never know who has a hive somewhere. After you get them keep a eye on how they do and her laying pattern. Test for mites and if all is well i would leave the queen alone. If shes not up to par i would buy a new one. If you decide to replace the queen i would recommend http://www.mikesbeesandhoney.com/ I buy the ones i do not make from him. His hives are treatment free and probably one of most intelligent people in the bee keeping community. He is not fast but i never have to worry about the quality of the queen.
 

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These are survivor bees. They are caught from a wild swarm on the side of a building. He does not feed his bees anything so maybe thats why they haven't moved up further IDK. I think I am going to get them tomorrow night I think it will be a good hive to start with.
You can't KNOW this for a while yet. You don't KNOW where the swarm came from. What you are buying could be a pig in a poke or the best thing since sliced bread.
 
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