Input needed from New England Beeks please....

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bees In Miami, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Hi everyone. Been keeping bees in So FL for a bit now, and my Mother caught 'bee flu' while helping around my hives. We're going to get her set up with a colony (I am trying to talk her into two) in SE Mass this spring. (We are ordering 5 frame Nucs) Her birthday is late March, so I want to order the equipment she will need for her colony. I do not know what flows you have, or when up there, and have absolutely no clue how quickly we should expect to expand her colony. I know I can't apply Florida experiences up there. We will transfer the Nuc to 10 frame deeps...what other wooden ware should I anticipate for the season? I will be recommending she use shallow supers. Any and all input is appreciated!! She will begin going to her local meetings, but can't attend her first until mid Feb. I need to order the equipment before then, but no clue how much she may need for her location. Thanks everyone!
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    If it were me, I would go with 2 colonies (keep trying :wink:) and each would consist of 2 deeps for a brood chamber and probably 2 mediums for honey. If the nucs are of good quality and the season is half decent she may be able to get some honey out of them. If not, she can use the supers next year.
    The first thing we get up here is willow and the first real flow is dandelion. The first real harvestable flow is clover but for a nuc that is asking too much too early.
    Of course each needs its own bottom board, inner cover, outer cover, etc. as well as a smoker, hive tool, veil, etc.
    As far as extracting, the meeting she will go to will probably pay dividends as far as connections are concerned.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Once you receive the nucs, you can indeed install each one into a 10 frame deep brood box. Typically they will take 1-2 months to fill that up and get their population booming enough to add the second deep brood box. In that area it is recommended to always let the bees have two deeps for their brood area, and they'll especially need those 20 deep frames for winter. You take any honey you want from whatever supers you put on top of the two deeps, but leave two deeps for the bees' home.
    If the location is good (put in full sun if at all possible) and the bees are healthy, you may get lucky and be able to put 1-3 honey supers on by mid summer and possibly take some Fall honey. However, many folks do not find their colony is booming enough the first year to be able to fill any honey supers- only the two brood deeps. It all depends on your situation. I was not able to get any honey my first year with two hives started from nucs. Others get nice first year honey harvests.
    I would say you'd be safe in having, per hive for the first year: two deeps and two supers. In all likelihood she would not need more than one super per hive the first year, but maybe she'd be lucky.
    You may want to consider going with 8 frame equipment rather than 10....it's much easier to move boxes, believe me! I'm 58 and it's pretty hard for me to move a full 10 frame deep sometimes, but I manage. She can always remove 3 frames and set them aside before moving a big box.

    In the northeast, it's been harder and harder to get early nucs each year lately. Nucs are ordered and promised for around the end of April-midMay. And then one delay after another happens for so many people I know, and they don't actually get their nucs until late May or even early June. Just so your mother is prepared for these kind of delays that are so common but beginners never expect them to occur. Just know that your mother have her bees by the end of Spring and don't get too frustrated. :) You can't rush Mother Nature sometimes.

    Are you starting her with two hives?
     
  4. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Thanks PerryBee. She has resigned herself to the fact that season one will be building, and not harvesting. I will have her prepared with a couple supers just in case it is a booming season. I opt for single brood boxes down here, so it will be interesting to see how her bees respond to doubles. And of course I will continue trying to talk her into two colonies, if for no other reason but to have resources available if one colony is struggling. Thanks for your input!
     
  5. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Tell her that with average winter losses of 35% over the past few years, you imrpove your chances a huge amount if you go into winter with two hives instead of one. There are few things more agonizing than the looong freezing northeastern wait over winter, wondering if your lone hive is still alive or not and not seeing signs of life. With two hives, I found it was much easier to have at least a little peace of mind during the winter.
     
  6. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Omie: Thanks so much for your thoughts...my Mom has nearly two decades on you (and I am pretty close to you), so the 8 frame is a great suggestion. That's why I was going to recommend she use shallows instead of medium supers. She is in NO way frail...heck, she's in better shape than I am...maybe medium 8's instead of shallow 10's is a better option. I am trying to talk her into two, but she seems pretty set on just one colony. (I still have a few weeks to work on her...:wink:) I was guessing two brood boxes with two supers, so thanks for the reassurance. She is certainly handy enough that if she sees a super filling, she can order and assemble additionals if needed. Thanks again!
     
  7. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    All the above and also I will add Keep the bees stimulated so they keep drawing comb by feeding syrup until the 2 deep brood boxes are drawn out giving the queen maximum ares to lay. and if she doesn't see lots of bees coming in with pollen may want to feed pollen patties as well.
    First send her the link to this forum and tell her to come aboard and introduce herself. She can use the handle; Bees In Miami Mommy, Mother of Bees In Miami, Bees In Mass, she can decide. Looking forward to welcoming her to this forum.
     
  8. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    There are a number of keeps up this way that use three mediums in place of the two deeps.
     
  9. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Yes that is a very good option especially for older beekeepers, Papakeith. 3 medium boxes (either 8 or 10 frame size) could be used as the basic brood box area instead of two deeps. But the brood area is not for honey harvesting, so she could keep another 1 or 2 medium or shallow supers for honey just in case.
    A conservative approach would be two 8 frame deeps and 1 medium super or 2 shallow supers to start with. It's fairly rare that someone up north here would need two honey supers in the first season from a nuc, but it can happen if all factors are perfect. She could do just fine the first year with having only one honey super though- she can leave the rest for the bees to store for their first winter.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I understand the idea of 3 mediums for a brood chamber but I have resisted (so far). I guess in my mind I figure that I am rarely moving the brood chambers around anyway, and if I have to they are seldom filled with honey. I am betting that on most occassions my mediums (filled with honey) weigh more than my deeps (filled with brood). In the fall once the deeps are full of honey I'm not carrying them anywhere anyway.
    If starting out I might consider 8 frame gear though.
     
  11. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Cost time are the reason to choose deep the cost of labor to build deeps and Dadants are the same so it will take 30% longer to assemble and 25% higher cost for 3 verses 2 boxes. the advantages if your brood chamber becomes honey bound you can move frames up out of the brood chamber.
     
  12. Hawkster

    Hawkster New Member

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    I am up on the north shore in mass so I have pretty much the same weather. The spring flow for me starts early April with the trees, although this year it was mid march! Usually a summer dearth starting in July through mod August. After that we do get some aster, golden rod and loosestrife usually finished by end of September.
    I usually start feeding if needed by the last week in September hoping to be done mid October by then we are getting frosts and its time to wrap em up and get ready for winter.

    YMMV
     
  13. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Thanks to ALL for the input! I think we will go with the double deeps, and just make sure we set them in a weather safe and logical place so moving does not become an issue. I guess we'll start her with medium supers, hoping she may have a good first year. I do like to stagger my harvest of honey as I am NOT set up for a bulk harvest...so maybe if she just pulls a few frames at a time, it will be a non issue. I sure hope we can have her Nucs on site prior to the mid April start! (Still working on the two colonies vs one! :beg: ) Thanks again everybody!
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Just "accidentally" order too much wooden ware. :wink: "Might as well put bees in those extra deeps!" :mrgreen:
     
  15. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Go with 4 deeps and accidentally order 2 packages. Oops good thing we have enough deeps to start! We will gave to order some supers, good thing we have lots of time to assemble them.
     
  16. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Sheesh!!! Between PerryBee and ApisBees, she's gonna have a full bee yard in NO time!!! I have to be honest...I can't say the same thoughts didn't already cross my mind though!! :rolling: :thumbsup: My bro has bought in on this as a 'split gift'....so she just may end up with two colonies much to her protests! :lol: Thanks again guys.
     
  17. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Spending your money, that's what we're here for! :mrgreen: