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Beginner to Honey Bees


#1

Hello all. I have been researching honey bee hives and I am very interested in giving it a shot. I was going to do traditional beekeeping until I ran across the honey flow. How do I get started? We have a local beekeeper that sells nucs. Would these nucs for traditional beekeeping work with the Honey Flow system? Also, can the Honey Flow system be shipped to the US? The state of Georgia in particular? I am very, very interested in this system. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Remember, I am attempting to start beekeeping so, I’m trying to absorb all the information I can in simplistic form. THANKS in advance for your help!!!


#3

I am also very new (5 minutes old) so I will be following along also- very anxious to get started.


#4

Hi, welcome :slight_smile:
If you are serious about bee keeping you need to join a club and learn all about bees.
It is not as simple as buying a bunch of bees and putting them in a box.

Have a read around here and do some research. Bee keeping is not for everyone.


#5

Yes I am figuring that out now lol
I wish I would have started this a long time ago
Thanks


#6

I plan on going to a beekeeper meeting in a few days to gain more knowledge about beekeeping. I currently own a cattle farm, so I’m pretty comfortable with the outdoors and wildlife. I’ll make my decision to purchase after I attend my first meeting. I just hope that if I do decide to move forward, I’ll be able to get the hive and nuc for the Spring season.


#7

Hi, welcome to bee land :slight_smile:
Yes we ship to the US. All our shipping info is here - http://www.honeyflow.com/shop/shipping/p/25
You will find our complete product range here - http://www.honeyflow.com/shop/flow-hive/p/129

In relation to the nucs that are sold near you - The Flow™ Hive has been specifically designed and tested for use with the European honey bee (Apis mellifera).

We believe the Flow™ frames should work well with most if not all subspecies of Apis mellifera, although we have not had time to trial this.

It would be good to get in contact with this local bee keeper and see if he can help you out with setting up your hive, some training, etc. They will be able to tell you if you need to register your beehive and other local regulations about keeping bees.

There is a section in this forum about connecting with locals in your area - just do a search in the top right hand corner with Georgia for example and see if there’s someone near you.

Have fun, have a look through our bee keeping basics section - and if you can’t find the answer, post your question and one of the experienced bee keepers on here will get back to you as soon as they can :slightly_smiling:


#8

Welcome, welcome, welcome…

@BBerry
@Bunkeyboy

It’s an addictive hobby (you have been warned) and one where being lax on pest/disease control can have far-reaching and devastating consequences…so new, keen, thorough and ethical bee keepers will always be welcome on this little planet we all call home.

As you journey through this forum (…and what a great place it is) you will notice that there are numerous bee keepers who have varied opinions on philosophy, keeping practice, pest control, disease management, hive set-up…the list is endless…AND you will also come across passionate disagreement in some areas.

The common theme however is a desire to do our best by the bees and our desire to ensure that bees remain healthy on this planet…and we like honey…

Combined there are centuries of experience floating around this forum and, most likely, already typed will be the answers you need as you begin - do take the time to explore everything.

Read, listen, ask (there are no silly questions) and Miss Valli is right - find a local bee keeping organisation and take on board as much as you can for your area and its specific requirements.

…in case you both missed it: Welcome!


#9

Hi there, BBerry,

You have a lot of great answers above, but I would like to add a bit to fill in some info.

  1. Valli made some great suggestions, but I would also suggest some books. No book is perfect, and in time you will outgrow them all. Beekeeping for Dummies is a pretty good starter (with discount coupons in the back for major suppliers of equipment etc), although it has some dubious advice in it too:
    http://tinyurl.com/h6pkndt
    For bee life cycle and biology (truly essential to understand), I like this book, but imho, they use far too many chemicals:
    http://tinyurl.com/zpnvhqp
    Michael Bush has an excellent web site focussing on natural methods at http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm but you will need some basic knowledge of bees before it will really make sense. He also publishes a book which gives the whole website in paper format.
  2. Traditional nucs certainly work with the Flow hive. Most nuc sellers in the US provide their bees on deep frames, so this would be perfect for installation in a Flow hive, as the Flow hive brood box is a Langstroth 8-frame “deep” box. The Flow hive only comes with one brood box. Many beekeepers in the US work with 2 deep brood boxes (double deeps) below the honey “supers”, so you may want to buy another deep box and a few frames from www.beethinking.com, who actually manufacture the Flow hive. In fact, if you haven’t a Flow hive ordered yet, I would suggest getting a whole hive kit from BeeThinking.com if you want to start this year. The bee season starts in Spring in the US, and this is the best time to start a new hive, so that they can gather supplies for the reduced (or absent) nectar flow of winter. If you order a Flow hive right now, your delivery window may well miss the beginning of the season, and you might have a weaker hive to overwinter.
  3. The Flow hive is really only new way of harvesting honey. You can absolutely use traditional methods of beekeeping with it. In fact you will need to inspect and manage your bees in exactly the same way as in a non-Flow hive.

Please keep asking questions. You will get lots of answers, some of them conflicting at times, but it will give you a place to start working out your own way of managing your bees.

Dawn


#10

Thanks so much for the info Dawn. I’m like a sponge, soaking in all the info I can. I do have a question about the “double deeps”. Would I need two queens, one for each brood? Or, does the double deep provide more room for the one queen to reproduce? Sorry if this is a silly question, I’m just entering this fascinating world of beekeeping. Thanks again!


#11

No such thing as a silly question! Double deeps only need one queen - just gives more space for the queen to lay and for the bees to store honey for overwintering.

Dawn


#12

One more detail. When you start from a nucleus, you don’t want to put a full hive on top right away.

First you install the nucleus into the middle of one deep, and put a lid on top with no more boxes on top of that. You feed as needed and inspect weekly until this first layer is “bursting with bees” and all of the comb is drawn out. It will take anything from 2-6 weeks to reach that point, depending on season, feeding, nectar flow and queen productivity, among other things. At that “bursting” point, you can add a second brood box to make a double deep. You don’t put a Flow super or traditional super on top until the second brood box also has mostly drawn comb. Hope that clarifies a bit. :wink:

Dawn


#13

Where the Flow Hive was invented and tested (northern NSW, Australia) - we only used one brood box and one super with Flow Frames.
I guess it depends where you are, and you beekeeping practices.


#14

Dawn, you can’t imagine how much clarification you have provided Thanks so much!!! This means that I can order my nuc from my local beekeeper and a double deep from beethinking.com and be ready for the Spring season. Sounds like I won’t need the Honeyflow system until later in the season. I will order the Honeyflow system now as well as I have been reading that there is a delay in shipping.

You are awesome! Thanks again.


#15

Exactly @Faroe. In the UK, we ran our hives mainly on one deep, so it was a shock for us to find that many US beekeepers use double deeps, particularly in the more southern states.

The best advice is what @Valli said - find a local Beekeeper Association, join it, and ask the members about their local practices and experiences. I would be willing to put money on most Georgia beekeepers using double deeps :wink:

Dawn


#16

My local group run double brood but they use Nationals so for me that would be brood and a half on a Langstroth

I’m not keen on brood and half so if I do go that way I would do double brood. My Emerald should be well up for that job she is a good little layer. I think Sapphire will do well also but they will be in 8 Frame Flow Lang’s so will probably do double brood over 16 frames, 20 Frames may be a stretch.

So sometimes you also need to know your own bees and what they are like. How old is the Queen and how they cope with adverse weather.


#17

There is also the problem of lifting a full brood box if you are on double brood.
I think Langs and 14x12s are ample for the bees we get in the UK.
I had one colony on 14x12 and a shallow last year…a prolific Buckfast and the queen went straight up into the top box, the bees ignoring half the bottom box !


#18

What do others by you run?


#19

Most folk are on BS Nats and a shallow.
Our association apiary have their bee-making colonies on double but they are used to make nucs, not honey.
Strange blooming" box the National. Perhaps it suited amm in the past but it certainly is too small for all the fancy bees available in the uk.


#20

Also if you read the current BeeCraft, it tells why the hives are no longer double walled, perhaps the National was also an upshot of shortages


#21

Where are you located in Georgia? My husband and I just received our Flow Hive a couple days before Christmas. We, too, are from Georgia and brand new to the process of bee keeping so I was wondering where the meeting is being held?