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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello out there!

I am new and very happy to join beesource forums and trying hard to join the world of beekeepers. I am currently building a top bar hive and I live in a nice suburban area in Laredo, Tx. I would love to join a local club but the closest one to me is 2hrs away. So I'd like to ask if anyone knows if it would be better to aquire bees from Texas or out of state. Ive spoken to a few people not in my city and most say that of course there will always be issues with the africanized genes here in TExas but there are some good sources, I was given b weaver and r weaver, but I have heard and spoken to the few beekeepers I could get ahold of that they have a bit of a reputation for being aggressive. There is also a man in a small Amish community here in south Texas that has an apiary and offers bees and trys his best to keep them docile, he has been recommended as well. I understand that all bees have there good and bad days, no worries, I just dont want it to be too much as in to run into issues with neighbors and the community. So out of state or in state, that is the question? And of course sources. I was hoping for some opinions and maybe some other sources down here in Texas. Thanks for reading me out and hope to hear from some of you.

thanks and trying hard,

JHR
 

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Whenever possible, you should always try to get your bees from a source close enough you can drive to pick them up in person. Shipping bees can be hit or miss, and UPS in particular has adopted a policy of "its not our fault if we kill your bees in transit". Which means its not the seller's fault, its not the shipper's fault, you just lose $100+ and get nothing to show for it.

Picking them up yourself is highly preferable.
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

My preference was to buy relatively local bees when I bought bees several years ago. I found what I wanted with bees raised in the Knoxville area, about 60 miles from me. I still believe that was the right choice.
 

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Welcome

I think you should support the "man in a small Amish community" maybe he can give you a little more time than the others and will appreciate the custom more. But thats just my way of thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome

I think you should support the "man in a small Amish community" maybe he can give you a little more time than the others and will appreciate the custom more. But thats just my way of thinking.
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for answering, and the few beekeepers that I have spoken to says he has some good bees and recommend him, honest and trustworthy. I did have a chance to speak to him, asked him about any issues with africanized bees, said he has had some issues but works his colonies extensivley and requeens often. Apparently he has supplied many beekeepers from all over south Texas. My only quam is that he only sells nucs, and at a good price mind you, but I am building a top bar hive and dont think I can get those frames in there. He also told me that I can take him the TBH and he would stock it for me, for just a little more. Anywho, im a bit at a standstill trying to decide what to do and where to get some bees at. But I have been wanting to visit them as well jeje
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Rader, I agree as well, Id like nothing more, something I can go pick up, it would save me on shipping fees, Im just would like some good docile(as docile as they can be I suppose) bees. One man actually told me, if your in Texas then its best you get something from out of state, but he also recomended the amish fellow to me or a private beekeeper who would be willing to part with some bees.


Welcome to Beesource!

My preference was to buy relatively local bees when I bought bees several years ago. I found what I wanted with bees raised in the Knoxville area, about 60 miles from me. I still believe that was the right choice.
 

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He also told me that I can take him the TBH and he would stock it for me, for just a little more.
He will do that for just a little more... sounds like a steal to me. Having a good relationship with a supplier is worth its weight in gold. Just think of what you can lean from this guy.
 

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Along with your fullsize TBH, build a shorter length version "nuc" to accept the same bars. Then take the nuc to the local nuc seller and have him stock it. Once you bring it home you can transfer the bees to the bigger TBH.

You can then use the nuc as a nuc, if you choose, or use it as a swarm trap. You will find a use for it. In the long run you will be more successful as a beekeeper if you have at least 2 hives.
 

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He also told me that I can take him the TBH and he would stock it for me, for just a little more.
Trouble I see with that is trying to transport new comb that is unsupported. New comb is fragile and too much of a jolt will have it all crashing down. Couple of suggestions: build a topbar the same width of a standard frame so that you can put the frames across the hive like a bar until they build on the other bars and gradually rotate the frames out. Or, make your own frames that fit the shape of your TBH. Do a search, someone here has built them in the past. You could also treat the nuc as a cut-out and cut the comb from the frame/cut the frame and tie the comb to your top bars. Then you can reuse the nuc box for a swarm trap or something.
 

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I am not a TBH keeper, but in response to the worry about having new comb drop off the frame in transit, perhaps you could devise some sort of caging device to hold it place even if it falls off the support.

When my bees were dug out of the wall I was really surprised to find that their comb was just chopped up into slabs and chunks and held in (regular, Lang-style) frames with rubber bands. The bees sorted this out easily, attaching the pieces securely to the frame even without any foundation to back it up. (And I had many amusing hours watching the bees organized into chain gangs trying to pull the semi-detached sections of stretching elastic band out of the hive after they'd chewed it partially off.) What I'm thinking might work is a sort of wire mesh (1" mesh would be fine, or a bit bigger if that's what you can lay your hands on) clam-shell sort of cage that's the right depth (ask your supplier) that fits all around the comb that your nuc bees are on, shaped to fit the slope of a TBH comb, and and attached to the top bars after the comb is fitted into it. Even if it's smaller than a full-sized TBH comb, once the bees get to work they will extend and embed the wires into their newly drawn comb and all will be well in the long run. And it's a brilliant idea to build a nuc-sized TBH of the same propotions to use for the transport from the supplier to your house. A nuc box has lots of uses.

And Welcome to BS!

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi guys, thanks for the replays,
@Stephen- I agree, I'm leaning more towards getting bees from the Beeville Texas Amish community,plus for the price it really isn't bad, 5 frame langstroth nuclear for a $100 and if I take my top bar he will stock that for $120. It would be nice to make a relationship with the supplier who's in my part of the state

@Rader,NC and Enjambres, the Amish fellow, David, sells only Langstroth hive nuc, so build a nuc top bar so he can stock it or buy his langstroth nuc and try to get the frames in my top bar at home? By the way if I would buy his nuc wouldn't I just haul it back home and not worry about the comb since they are on standard langstroth frames? He's 179 miles from my city.

I have still not heard back from the nearest bee club, 2hrs away, and haven't heard of anywhere else in Texas to get bees. Question to you all, should I worry about Texas bees and possibility of a little more aggression because of the AFB? Let me know your thoughts,


Thanks everyone!
 

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i think the NUC TBH idea is a good one. I'm just not sure how your Amish guys plans to get bees in there, unless he will do some cropping and chopping himself.

In the vertical plane the combs are pretty strong. Riding in a car might not be too bad...riding in the back of a pickup prolly worse.

Have you considered maybe finding a way to place the NUC over your TBH until the Queen moves down? Sorta like setting it on top as a miny super?
 

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I've had BeeWeaver bees from the Weavers and I did not find them at all hostile. Huge honey producers, normal propolis deposits and good layers. I've had bees with Russian queens that were almost like Africanized.I've dealt with angry bees before and I used to hit em with 21% Nitrogen fertilizer in the smoker. Just a few granules would calm the meanest outa em. But you will most likely learn when to visit the hive. High noon and full sun is best time to inspect when most of the foragers are out. But always use smoke even for just a quick look. Check with the State Ag guys and they may be able to help or your county Extension offices for beekeeps and possible bee sources.
 

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Makes the same gas dentists use to smooth you out!
May be bad bad but it works as long as your smoker is hot.
Don't beathe or the bees will take advantage of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i think the NUC TBH idea is a good one. I'm just not sure how your Amish guys plans to get bees in there, unless he will do some cropping and chopping himself.

In the vertical plane the combs are pretty strong. Riding in a car might not be too bad...riding in the back of a pickup prolly worse.

Have you considered maybe finding a way to place the NUC over your TBH until the Queen moves down? Sorta like setting it on top as a miny super?
thanks brettj777,

Im going to throw one together this weekend, Nuc tbh, not sure how he would either but he said he could and isnt a nuc better than a package?? I read a thread that if I got a reg nuc I could make a whole on top and one on the tbh connecting the two and cover the entrance on the nuc, that way the queen moves up or down, whichever and establishes in the tbh. Id rather go in my car, smoother ride than my old pick up, its almost 200 miles, so close to 400 in a day is rather taxing in a bumpy ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hey mgstei1, thanks for your info on the weaver bees, I was still looking for someone that had actually kept some. they still have packages and nucs available, but Im really leaning on the amish fellow, he sells nucs for $100, not too shabby from other places ive seen. thats really interesting about the Nitro, I wonder what kind of after effect it has on the bees when used, will do on the high noon, but I am really wanting to put my hive under my trees, the heat down here in Laredo is really hot, especially right after spring, many many months of over 100 degree weather. Ive read that its not a good idea to have them under shade, but I think the opposite might prove detrimental to them. I also called my local extension office to see if they have any info but as far as Ive been able to tell no beekeepers down here, yet
 
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