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We just bought a ten frame deep beginner hive and we are awaiting our first nuc delivery. I have a couple questions that i havent found answers for yet.

1) my hive has a solid top and bottom board. Would it be a good idea to cut or drill in ventilation holes and then screen them over in either the top or botton? Or both? I live in north Georgia and the hive will mostly be in the shade.

2) the fellow who sold us the hive said we just need to add a honey super and get to harvesting, but every hive i see starts with at least two deep frames before they add the honey super. Should I do that instead?

3) i also see everyone saying that you should start with more than one hive, but everyone is sold out of bees an i can't really afford another setup right now anyway. I do, however, want to try making my own top bar hive. If i did is it possible to add bees later on in Spring or early summer? Does anyine sell them during this time?

Sorry for the weird grammar, I'm posting from my cell phone
 

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1) By solid top do you mean just a flat solid board covering the top of the hive? That would be a little unusual to me, usually the top cover sits down like the lid of a shoebox, which means you can put a shim (a small piece of wood) to prop one side up enough to make a crack for airflow.

2) I would say add a second deep first, its what I do. Otherwise you're going to have to use a queen excluder to keep the queen from laying in your honey super, and that can cause problems (enough problems that many experienced beekeepers simply don't use excluders in the first place except for very specific needs). More brood space typically means more bees, which means bigger/faster harvests. You could go straight to a honey super, but I think you'll encounter more problems and worries than you would by waiting for them to fill out a second deep.

3) I started with one hive, so its definitely doable. Its just easier with two. You're going to have a hard time finding bees this late in the game, most people know to order their bees early because there is always a shortage. I put my orders in back in December. However, there are other options. You could build swarm traps (many different ways of doing that, see the swarm board for more help there) and try to catch your own free-bees from feral swarms. Its not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination, but when it works its free. Swarms should just be starting up in your area, so this would be the perfect time to get some boxes out there.

I've got links to plans on how to build nucs from plywood on my blog (and all you have to do is double the width of the fronts/tops/bottoms to make a 10 frame box). You can get the wood for one for just a couple of dollars at any home improvement store that sells lumber, so they're cheap and relatively easy to build. I wouldn't recommend trying to make permanent hives out of them, but they're great for swarm traps and temporary housing until you can get the money up for a more robust hive setup.

http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com/2014/02/this-is-my-nuc.html
 

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Sounds like my hive here in Aus. We have very hot days and the only ventilation is the entrance. They do just fine. I have gone with 2 brood boxes for my hive as I too only run one hive but many here just have one brood chamber and the rest are supers.
 

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We just bought a ten frame deep beginner hive and we are awaiting our first nuc delivery. I have a couple questions that i havent found answers for yet.

1) my hive has a solid top and bottom board. Would it be a good idea to cut or drill in ventilation holes and then screen them over in either the top or botton? Or both? I live in north Georgia and the hive will mostly be in the shade.
Yes. Holes in BB will allow any water to drain if you cant slope the entrance downward and top vents are very good to have.
2) the fellow who sold us the hive said we just need to add a honey super and get to harvesting, but every hive i see starts with at least two deep frames before they add the honey super. Should I do that instead?
I am not 100% sure what you are trying to ask here. are you asking if you should have a double deep hive before adding supers?
3) i also see everyone saying that you should start with more than one hive, but everyone is sold out of bees an i can't really afford another setup right now anyway. I do, however, want to try making my own top bar hive. If i did is it possible to add bees later on in Spring or early summer? Does anyine sell them during this time?
Sorry for the weird grammar, I'm posting from my cell phone
Generally speaking nobody sells NUCs or bees after June. In Ga I found it more like May as thats when the major flow begins and they are done making NUCs and packages before then.
Two hives are better than one to start with so you have some level of comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A swarn trap sounds awesome! I am going to go check out that forum right now! Thanks!

Thanks to you all for the quick info. You guys set me on the right track for sure.
 

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>1) my hive has a solid top and bottom board. Would it be a good idea to cut or drill in ventilation holes and then screen them over in either the top or botton? Or both? I live in north Georgia and the hive will mostly be in the shade.

I think you'll find they do better in the sun. No need to drill holes.

> 2) the fellow who sold us the hive said we just need to add a honey super and get to harvesting, but every hive i see starts with at least two deep frames before they add the honey super. Should I do that instead?

Most people in the far North run two deeps for brood. Most people in the center run a deep and a shallow or a deep and a medium. Most people in the deep south run one deep for brood.

> 3) i also see everyone saying that you should start with more than one hive, but everyone is sold out of bees an i can't really afford another setup right now anyway. I do, however, want to try making my own top bar hive. If i did is it possible to add bees later on in Spring or early summer? Does anyine sell them during this time?

There is a big market of packages in the spring. After that you have to negotiate with your local beekeeper...
 

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3. Build your top bar hive, melt some propolis from Hive 1 into the bottom and around the entrance. instant swarm trap where you don't need to re-install the bees. seems to be swarming season down there already so you might get lucky.
 

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I live in north Georgia and the hive will mostly be in the shade.
North Georgia? Start reading about small hive beetles. Look on google for some pix so you get an idea of what you are looking for. SHB are the bane of Southern beeks like us. They can destroy a new hive in weeks. Put your hive in full sun. Get some beetle traps. And read, read, read. I've lost hives to SHB whereas I have never lost a hive to varroa!

Bees are FUN! Hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine!

:thumbsup:


Rusty
 

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Buy or build a screened bottom board. You can cut out all the bottom except for an inch all the way around to tack screen to. Don't cut too far forward as the landing board must remain solid. Then tack a 1 1/2 strip flat on to the bottom rails of the bottom boards except for the back. Makes a place to slide in a solid board to close it off. You will wish you had when you learn more. That said, bees have been kept in hives like yours for years. Reason for screened bottoms is for treatment of mites and hive beetles and being able to check for both of those without going into the hive, as well as for ventilation.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unfortunately, I kind of HAVE to put it in the shade. My entire lots is covered by tulip poplar, oak, and mulberry trees. The only full sun parts are close to the street (where there is a kid's bus stop), and next to my front door. I don't think either of those is a good idea.

And now I read from Mr Bush up there that I don't need a second deep for brood, that I can just put the honey super right on? I am so confused.
 

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>
> 2) the fellow who sold us the hive said we just need to add a honey super and get to harvesting, but every hive i see starts with at least two deep frames before they add the honey super. Should I do that instead?

Most people in the far North run two deeps for brood. Most people in the center run a deep and a shallow or a deep and a medium. Most people in the deep south run one deep for brood.
I'm in the deep south and I use double deeps. Always have, even when I was in Florida. I like having the extra resources available.

JMO

Rusty
 

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I live over in Rome, I only run single deeps and the rest mediums. I'm in my third year, so I'm still learning myself. I have some screened bb and some solid, in time I'll decide what works best for me. Also plan for SHB, and I would place your hive with more a.m. / early afternoon sun.

Good luck
 

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3) i also see everyone saying that you should start with more than one hive, but everyone is sold out of bees an i can't really afford another setup right now anyway. I do, however, want to try making my own top bar hive. If i did is it possible to add bees later on in Spring or early summer? Does anyine sell them during this time?
I started late last summer with just one top bar hive. Found a local beekeeper who put the bars in his Lang hive to get the bees to draw out the comb on 4 of them before I brought them home. And then I fed them syrup all summer. I was very happy with the arrangement because it gave me time to become confident in what I was doing, without 60,000 bees to deal with. I will say a second hive will come in handy when you have issues that you really want to be able to "steal" a frame from. But if you have 1 Lang and 1 TBH, you won't be able to do much stealing unless your Lang is foundationless. So definitely get started with the one you have. Read, read, read. And then practice what you have read. Best advice the beekeeper gave me was "expect to lose your first hive". That set my expectations and gave me something to shoot for. They came out of winter just grand (and then had some queen issues in Feb, where I learned an awful lot thru observation).

and I really like my top bar hive kit that I bought from Beeline Apiaries. $165 including shipping and a metal gable roof.
 
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