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too late to start this year?

3233 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Naturegoods
hello all, first post here.
10 days or so ago, we had a swarm rest on the doors at my workplace. It rekindled an interest in bees that I've held for several years now. A local keeper came and took the majority of them but after a weekend, many remained and despite my pleas, they were exterminated.
At that time, I wished I could've taken them 'home' and given them a chance to thrive in the backyard. Since then, I've been reading about bees and beekeeping, found beesource several days ago... I'm entertaining the idea of beekeeping.
My backyard is somewhat 'natural'; what the neighbors might call a mess. but that's how I like it.. We have all manner of wildlife that enjoys the yard. We have plenty of sun and shaded area which is sunny during the AM that I think would be a suitable place for a hive. In fact, during the years I have lived here, there have been a couple of wild nests in the yard under the trees which have done their thing and never bothered us.
This, by way of background leads me to my question for you. Is it too late to start this year? I am in SC and this last few weeks has seen the end of what for us has been a long winter (though nothing in comparison to other states, I'm sure).
I know I should be able to get a 3# package and queen up til mid-may. Is this too late for SE USA? I can probably have the hive ready within 2 weeks. I'm considering an 8 frame or maybe extending a 5 frame nuc type.
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I wouldn't call it too late. If you can get a package, the equipment and the spot, I say go for it!
I started my first hive from a 3# package on April 22 a few years ago in central PA. They were on new foundation so I fed them until they had comb drawn in two deeps. Acutally got about 35# of honey which is not typical for a first year colony but shows it's probably not too late for you right now.
On the West Coast the packages just got sent out. I just hived mine a week ago.
Last year I started in Sept with two nucs, they did not survive the winter. My inexperience, wrong race for my area and not enough stores built up was a recipe for disaster.
You may want to start with two hives. you can compare their progress, swap bees, brood and/or eggs as needed.
Good luck, you'll pick it up right away. A very addicting hobby! You have also found a great resource with this website.
It might be too early to find any to buy. Shop around, put in your order and stop dreaming about beekeeping!
Its the right time. Many bee suppliers are still shipping packages. Might have to look around to find one, but they are available.

Get yourself some equipment because its swarm season. A local bee club might have people who have caught more swarms than they know what to do with, check with them.
It might be too early to find any to buy.
Too early? :scratch:
Put up a couple of swarm lure boxes. :)
Try as Omie suggested or get listed on some swarm lists.., or Unfortunately the "remaining" bees had nowhere to go. But its defiantly not too late to start a hive in SC! Its the right time!!!!
This is the perfect time to start. I would not wait to much longer but, go for it now. I have 20 more packages coming next week for an expansion to the 9 I have from last year. I really enjoy building boxes and frames. :popcorn:
Go for it! You might not get a surplus this year, or not much of one, but it will be a good learning experience. And next year! Wow! you'll be glad you started this year!
thanks for the encouragment everyone!
fingers crossed, I can get going this year. will update of course.
Here in NY late June is considered pushing it for package starting so you have plenty of time. There are plenty of package bee suppliers in GA who will mail a package or two (recommended) right to your house (or perhaps your mailman would prefer the local post office for pickup). I found a listing of them with phone numbers at the Dadant site.
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