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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This Saturday my wife and I are going to a bee class and picking up our first hive. We don't have any bees yet. Good thing cause we don't have a hive.:lol: But we will after this weekend. What all things in the hive should I start with? I was thinking 2 deeps and maybe 2 supers, screen bottom, hive stand, hive top feeder, telescoping cover. Anything else?

Jason
 

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At some point you will need suits, smoker, hive tool(s). If you are getting a telescoping cover you will need an inner cover as well.
Congratulations! :thumbsup:
 

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Depending on the distance to your supplier. You likely won't need the supers this year, so you may want to hold off on them for awhile. You may also want to get an extra bottom board, deep super, frames and foundation, inner lid and outer lid. Chances are 50-50 you will be offered a swarm this year or early next. It isn't fun to watch free bees fly off because you have no place to put them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm going with the telescoping cover, inner cover, reducer. I forgot to list those things. Can I expect any honey at all this year or did I get started too late?

Jason
 

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Honey this year will be food for the overwintering girls, 40-60 pounds depending on numbers.
Still not late, depending on location. We're barely into season up here and dealing with hard frosts... temps in the teens at night.
 

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Can I expect any honey at all this year or did I get started too late?
I always tell new beekeepers not to expect surplus honey, but each year is different with respect to bees, blooms and nectar flows, so it's not unusual to have a harvest. As for being "too late", it might be more the case that this spring is "too early"! Blooms are running about 4 weeks ahead of "normal".

I didn't get a bee suit for several years; just used a helmet & veil, jeans and some old white shirts I got at the re-sale shop. I don't usually wear gloves, but always keep some handy in case the girls are testy. I like the disposable nitrile ones. One of my bee buddies likes playtex dish gloves.

I recommend getting a smoker with a guard, and practice with it BEFORE you get your bees. Practice lighting it, try different fuels, see if you can set it down for 10-15 minutes and then still have it lit.

A feeder. A lot of people don't like Boardman feeders since they might incite robbing, but you don't have other bees nearby so likely won't be a problem if you go that route. Top feeders are my favorite. Since your bees will have to draw comb out on two deeps, you'll want to feed.
 

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Only put your bees into one brood box at first. Wait until they have 80% filled that box up before you add your second brood box. It's not good to have too much empty space in the hive- let them grow their way into the next box. Keep the entrance reduced to no more than 1" for a while until they get settled in and strong enough to fend off robbers. New hives are more vulnerable to robbing.
No need to enlarge the entrance until it gets hot enough or crowded enough to start causing traffic problems. Once it's hot out and the bees are booming you can open the entrance up wide, and maybe add a top entrance too if you like.
Have fun with your new hive!
 
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