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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

I am a new (as yet to be) beek, and I am starting my first TBH in SE Wisconsin. I plan to build 2 TBH of 48 inches.

I am undecided if I should order one 3# package w/queen and use the second TBH as a split later this year? Or order one 4# package with 2 queens and put half in each hive? (Carniolan's, if that matters)

What do you think? (I am trying to keep costs low, but not trying to set my hives up for failure) I just checked with the supplier, I can still order this weekend, but I gotta make up my mind quick :)

Thanks

Brett
 

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A first year hive would have a very difficult time building up enough to be strong enough to split this year. The idea of starting with 2 hives is sound. That gives you a point of comparison between the hives. How many hives do you want to end up with? If more then 2, start with 2 this year, and do a split next year when you have drawn comb and bars of honey to work with. That will make the odds more in your favor. Goodluck

Wisnewbee
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A first year hive would have a very difficult time building up enough to be strong enough to split this year. The idea of starting with 2 hives is sound. That gives you a point of comparison between the hives. How many hives do you want to end up with? If more then 2, start with 2 this year, and do a split next year when you have drawn comb and bars of honey to work with. That will make the odds more in your favor. Goodluck

Wisnewbee
my biggest concern is to whether or not two pounds of bees is enough to start a hive and will there be a problem if the 4 pounds of bees are shipped with 1 queen and I split them and introduce a new queen?
 

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Ordering 1 4# package of bees and an extra queen will work. However, there will need to be additional introduction time for the additional queen. The package bees have had time to get used to the queen in the package so there should be very little introduction issues with that queen. The additional queen is foreign to the package bees, so she will need time for introduction. That means keeping her caged for a few days until the bees accept her. Not a big issue at all. 2# is kind of small to start with, but it can work. I'd prefer a 3# package myself to start a colony. Another option is to start the 4# package and then try to capture a swarm in spring. They're easier to catch then you think.

Wisnewbee
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I decided to go with one 3# package and hope for a potential swarm to fill the second hive. Building the hives today, pretty excited. Have a plan for one piece topbars with integrated comb guide. More work on the saw initially but hopefully worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The single piece topbar design looks like it will work out well but they are a lot of work to cut!

First meeting with the local beekeepers group....hopefully its good info and connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I went the beekeepers meeting and added another package of bees for April! Now that means I need to alot more topbars to fill out the second hive. But better to start them together and see how it goes. Prolly gonna visit Dadant in Watertown and see what supplies I can score!
 
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