When to begin

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by JoeB, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. JoeB

    JoeB New Member

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    Hello, i just gained posession of enough hiveware for three hives and all of the gear needed to maintain them. When is a good time to launch a new hive? I am in western PA, just north of pittsburgh. No experience, just started reading. Best to wait for spring?

    Hate having to wait to start. I read swarming is a higher probability in the fall. Is this actually due to space issues toward the end of the season? I'm wondering if it might be a good time to check with local beekeepers to get some overflow to start with.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  2. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    If you have drawn comb I might try it. In fact I am going the do some cutouts soon. But I am a long way south of you and we are getting abnormal amounts of rainfall so we have clover blooming still etc.

    The drawn comb just makes it easier for the bees to catch any late nectar flows. With foundation only it takes a lot more effort by the bees and resources available from feeding or natural sources. The bees expend much more energy building a pound of wax than a pound of honey. Of course a pound of wax builds a lot of comb.

    I would consult the local beekeepers about late summer nectar flows or plan on feeding both pollen and syrup to get them ready for winter. Goldenrod is a late flowering species that grows in many areas.

    Swarms in the fall are not too common. Usually the bees swarm in the spring and at other times only when conditions sort of force them into it. There is a good discussion of this in a website called Scientific bee keeping. The discussion is archived under a 9 part topic about hive population dynamics.
    JoeB likes this.