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I was wondering on which type of bees to order and who is the best place to order them. Thanks for the input
 

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HAHA ... live bees .....yeah thats what we are after

but really it has to do with what you want out of your bees

honey? proplis? good temperment? non swarmers?

it sounds like this is your first time with bees - so ....
to make it easy on yourself id would purchace italians - they are the best and honey production, not much burr comb, gental, - they are not very much a winter survivor

if you want proplis then go with buckfast or Russions they are semi aggressive

and the last ones that are common are the Carnies - they are a dark smaller honeybee that does well ( in my area) they seem to have a thing about Drones - they make lots of them ... or i just had a drone layer

BUT remember this

if you are not happy with your bees proformace you only have to change the Queen - then after about 6 weeks you should have all new bees -

the bees that they will have in the packages will be from several hives - so its always a mutt hive the first time around - so having said all of this i hope you will do more reading on Queens then on the bees !!!!! she is in charge!!!!!
 

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I live in the pacific north west and I love Itialan cordoven bees great honey medium propils and mine do very well in the wet climate of were I live.
 

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yeah - the italians are good here is washington - most of us have them
i had one russian hive that liked to proplize everything

the italians are doing great this winter (so Far)

but really its up to what you want out of your bees - like propolis at $50 a pound -
or beewax at $15-$20 a pound
or Honey are $4-$5 a pound
or selling bees and queens are $80-90 a package

or what seems to do well up here is selling a hive set up with bees for $300

if you give us what you are after - more people can help you decide
 

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At this point in the game I'm looking to grow my hives and learn as much as I can. I want good honey production and a growing hives. I'm not interested in selling anything. Who do you all recommend ordering bees from?
 

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my first year i ordered from the internet and got good bees but paid a bundle on shipping - it was like $100 bucks for shipping from cali- Wash

so then i found a local bee parts store and found that they get a large shipment of packages every Apirl- and it was about same cost without the shipping

If i were you id ask around and talk with other keepers - most will be ordering bees anyway and can get you what you need or piont you where to get hat you need -
your local beeks will teach you more then me or any book can because they have tried your area and know what works and what doesnt work

most bees come from Cali or Goregia
but just goggle package bees but you have to acted fast most are selling out about this time
 

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My first package was Minnesota Hygenics. They are a nice docile bee, very clean...lol....and they did produce excess their first year even though i didnt take it from them, so i did some reading and decided for giggles to order2 Russian Hybrid NUCS from Barnett Apiaries.
 

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Another aspect to consider, is if you want bees resistant to mites. Thats my main interest, not into bees to make money.

Russians, NWC, VSH, wild local survivor stock.
 

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my first year I ordered italians through a local beek who gets them from a supplier who travels south to get 5 frame nucs to sell in my state. They were a miserable disaster, very weak, nasty temperament, never really built up, no honey, and 1 of two died off in the first winter. The beek I got them from said his were the same way, and he'd never had that problem before from that supplier. He said they were more like 3 frame nucs and wasn't even sure if he had queens in some of his. He was going to try to get a partial refund, although I never saw any money come back my way. Hmmmm.

Last spring I ordered an 8 frame single with a MN Hygienic Queen from an outfit down by LaCrosse, WI to replace the one that died off. Rather than shipping I drove the 8+hour round trip to go pick them up. The difference in price was about $30 plus my time but what a HUGE DIFFERENCE in quality! Immediate build up, lots of honey and relatively docile for most of the summer, very strong going into winter.

cdykstra
 

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My suggestion is to buy Russian, Minn Hygenics, VSH crosses or NWC so you will have to treat little if any. Get them as locally a you can. Local ferals would be great, too. If you are only going to get 1 or 3 hives, maybe you can find a local beekeeper who doesn't treat and buy from him/her. Many sellers from the deep South and California are getting a bad reputation for low quality. Also, locally purchased bees are proven survivors in your climate-the climate in South Georgia is very different than yours. I have local more or less Italian mutts, but if I was going to start over, I would buy several Minn H crossed with VSH and maybe 2 NWC for early production. Russians have a reputation for agressiveness which a newbee doesn't want. I would think that especially for an beginner, you want bees that are gentle and you don't have to treat to survive well. You are not trying to make money by huge crops and pollination contracts-you want bees you and your family can enjoy.
 

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I have some feral bees at present, and have an order for some MH nuks. I have friends that keep MH's and I find them to do very well here. Also they have great temperment.
 

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I would go with VSH or Russian. Just what i would do .The VSH, and Russian will do as good with honey as the Italian.Russians you do not have to treat.VSH are close to the Russian in mites resistant.Both winter well.Do not take as much stores for winter.I have VSH and Russians in different places.I work them with no gloves or bee suit just vial.
 

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I'm assuming from your question your'e starting new. I'm growing slowly myself. I have done a lot of research over the last 2 years. What I would tell you is to first decide on what type of hives you want (wooden ware). That is your most expensive thing for getting into beekeeping, and once you've spent a lot of money it is hard to change your method. for instance I have langstroth hives with deeps for brood chambers, mediums for supers, and with even some shallow supers. If I could start over I would go with all mediums. Then all of your equipment can be interchanged. The bees can be changed as simply as requeening and waiting. There has been a lot of development by the USDA of the Russian bees of today. There are several people that have developed disease and mite resistant bees. Which is all that I would recommend you buy. I would probably buy what is convenient, close to you. Make sure you dont buy some of the original Italians because they are robbers and not resistant to much of anything. Remember if you ask 10 beeks you are going to get 20 differient opinions. Good luck.
 

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I agree with Valleyman on the woodenware question. I inherited deeps and smalls and then bought some mediums. If I started from scratch, I would buy only mediums. Much more flexibility in your manipulations.

I don't have experience with Russians, but I've read that when they mate with Italians (and they will unless you requeen every year), the cross becomes agressive.
 

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I would go with VSH or Russian. Just what i would do .The VSH, and Russian will do as good with honey as the Italian.Russians you do not have to treat.VSH are close to the Russian in mites resistant.Both winter well.Do not take as much stores for winter.I have VSH and Russians in different places.I work them with no gloves or bee suit just vial.
Olddrown,

Where did you get your VSH? I live 3 hours west of you & I'd like to buy some from someone in NC.
 
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