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I hate you all...:D.

OK, I don't hate any of you. I have spent the past few weeks reading old threads, Michael Bush's site, watching Youtube and just surfing the web for info in general. HOLY CONFLICTING INFO, BATMAN!

Some questions...

Who is right? I am guessing that my initial success will be determine by local conditions, the nature of the bees (queen) I receive, and my competence. I have ordered two packages of Italians that are due to ship May 7th. I have most of my woodenware already as I intended to start keeping last year but my school/work/family obligations were too much.

Is my plan feasible? I intend to start one hive with 2 deeps, plastic cell, standard bottom board, etc. The other will be all mediums, no foundation, screened bottom board, etc. I ask if this is feasible because while I am going to follow the fairly standard advice of starting with two hives for comparison sake. But, am I starting with too many variables for comparison?

How long can a bee survive with no intake of nutrients?

How far will bees fly on a winter cleansing flight? I figure it may come in handy in determining if there is a feral colony nearby.

Thanks.
 

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As you can see from all of the conflicting information, bees can be raised under quite different management styles. Location is probably a big variable, but your preference is probably the biggest. Most people on here are not wrong, but I keep bees differently than many of them. Just my preference and it works well for me.

You always need to look at where people are from when deciding how to take their suggestions or how to modify them for your use.

Bees can't live too long without food. With a package I would always give them some sugar water even if the weather is nice and they can find their own food. If they don't use it all, it isn't a big $$ loss, but if they need it and get weak from lack of food, many bad things can start to happen.

Box sizes, excluders, tops, bottoms, etc. are simply your preference. The bees can live with any type.
 

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Beekeeping is as much art as science. The only wrong answer is what does not keep the hive alive. The best reason for two hives is not really comparison but having a readily available source of brood and food for the weaker colony. You are not starting with too much. In mild weather bees survive on minimal sustinence. Cold burns calories (honey) and warm weather increases brood production (honey and pollen intake). I have never seen a definitive study of length of cleansing flight. Bees fly the shortest distance to gather what they need and elimminate what they do not. If you live in snow country, everything north of Orlando this year, you will have yellow snow trails from your hive next year. Feral bees and small hive beetles will find your hive based on scent not any foraging/elimination distance. They do not stalk your bees home. If you want to find out who lives in the neighborhood now set out an open dish of honey or sugar syrup.
 

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Ah I have found the same thing to be true, too much info, too conflicting. I finally quit reading everything I could find, and have stuck with the ones that I think make the most sense. Not that I know anything, but got to start somewhere.
Good luck
Michele
 

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read a lot come on the chat everyday between 8 and 9pm.

But most of all do what is right for you and the bees.

Happy Bee keeping

From a newbee
Brooklyn:applause:
 

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I think what you have to keep in mind is not everything you read will work in your scenario. You have to learn to "cherry pick" info you think might be useful...try it and see if it helps....if not, ditch it and try something else. The other day I read a thread from a beek on here that uses onion juice as a natural antibiotic....go figure.
 

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Find a successful local CT beekeeper and learn from her. There are soome good ones in your state.
Ditto! You're right Cascade, there's a huge amount of seemingly conflicting information. I always recommend that new beekeepers find a local mentor, (as Michael suggests, a "successful" beekeeper), and do what they do. Once you've got the hang of things, you can begin to experiment and develop your own style of doing things.

It's sort of like making meatloaf - there are a thousand different ways to make it. If you try to combine every recipe, it'll be awful. Instead, get a recipe from someone who makes meatloaf you like, and follow the recipe. Once you've got that down, then you can begin making changes until it ends up as your meatloaf recipe.
 

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The only suggestion I have, is put screened bottoms in both.
You can always close the slide in board to close the bottom if you want.

If for no other reason, they are a good way to monitor mites.
 

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I think it most important to remember that bees have survived our best intentions for a long long time. What they are facing now as a species is a diminished forage (possible contaminated) and various 'introduced' pests, parasites and diseases.

I agree with MP that your best source of information has to be in your own backyard with a successful BK (or 2, or 3 - for second opinions) to help you decide what is most successful in your area.

Bees essentially have to overcome 2 issues - feed and bug problems (forget weather - if your hive(s) are set up pretty much as they have been for the last hundred years, that seems to be a good track record and we can't do anything about weather).

If forage is light, find out the best way (you think in your area) is to supplement - if parasites or disease is an issue, find out how others in your area deal with that successfully.

Please don't take this as an offence, but the phrase "keep it simple, stup..." probably best sums it up.

There are a lot of 'theories' and 'best practices' and 'scientific information' running around, and as a new keep myself, it was information overload.

KISS
 

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Failure? Time for a name change? You will succeed!

As for your plan, sounds OK, but the first thing you need to know is that packages installed on foundation can starve in a heartbeat.

How do I know? Don't ask. Besides, that was forty some years ago.

You are in good hands and asking good questions.

My advice? If you get three opinions, take the one in the middle.
 

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Oh - by the way, don't listen to me - I lost my only hive just last week, maybe because I was trying to incorporate too many BS ideas, or more probably, just because that is the way it is.
 

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Ah I have found the same thing to be true, too much info, too conflicting. I finally quit reading everything I could find, and have stuck with the ones that I think make the most sense. Not that I know anything, but got to start somewhere.
Good luck
Michele
OK, Now your cookin!!!

Eddie
 

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Listen to what Michael Palmer says and take advice from those you respect. Listen to what others have to say and then go your own way.

"Don't take driving lessons from someone who keeps crashing their car." something my Dad said once or twice.

Also remember, advice is worth what you pay for it. What you do w/ that advice is important too.
 

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Welcome aboard Cascade!

Now, regarding your upcoming packages...
Don't feed them. Feed them until the honey flow starts. Feed them all season long the first season. Now, as Allen Dick says: "My advice? If you get three opinions, take the one in the middle." :lpf:

Seriously now, you gotta have a sense of humor here! What has worked for me in Oklahoma, Kansas, Florida, and Missouri is when I hive a package, or buy a nuc, I feed heavily. The advantage is it keeps the bees from starving as they build up. It encourages population increase, and it helps speed up the building of comb. In my current location I've hived nucs and packages on ten-frame deeps, and by season's end the colony is in two deeps, a shallow of winter stores, and I've harvested 20-35 pounds of surplus honey. Of course I stopped feeding when they started working the extracting supers.

Good luck to you! You won't regret the experiences you are about to have!
Regards,
Steven
 

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My advice is stop reading for now and just start keeping bees. Be prepared to lose some hives as you start out. Learn from your mistakes, find what works best for you. You'll figure it out as you go.
 

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As far as cleansing flights go it depends on the situation of course..i have seen them dart out then back in,some i have seen crawl out then up the side then let go right there.Others i have seen do a few circles then let go then see temps are warm enough then go foraging for water or minerals.....
 
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