I am looking for beekeepers in central Illinois to share information with. Please join me.
I am in SoCal, so not exactly central Illinois, but welcome to the Flow Forum!
I understand that you are new to this, but you already know that many traditional beekeepers are suspicious of Flow hives. (This is a forum and I trawl many threads ) Your insight is a great start.
By way of an introduction, let me say that I have about 30 years of beekeeping experience, and 2 seasons of Flow hive experience. My husband is an avid beekeeper too, and we are both scientific biologists, although not entomologists by training. I still have a mentor myself. Much of my beekeeping has been in a different climate, and with different hives, so his input is helpful.
I would suggest that you try to get a local mentor from a bee club near to you. I would not mention Flow hives at the outset, but say you are setting up an 8-frame Langstroth (if you have a Classic Flow hive). The methods for success are the same with both, it is only the honey extraction which is a little different. If they use 2 brood boxes for over winter (highly likely), you should too. If they insulate their hives, you should too. Etc. You get the picture.
Any questions about general beekeeping or the Flow hive, we have hundreds of people here who are willing to help you. Any questions about local methods, your local club is the best source. Not wanting to scare you off, just saying it is good to blend both sets of skills.
All the best for the holidays.
New to the Forum? Introduce yourself!
Thanks. That was the approach I was planning for the most part. I do have a friend who has grown up with beekeeping and is an hour away. She is excited to see my hive and help me place it. I know she will be a big help to me. Am hoping to find another flow hive keeper or two in my area as well.
I think there are one or two, but they mostly keep pretty quiet.
There are plenty in the Northern US though, including NJ, NE and WY. They won’t know about lake effect weather, like you do, but they will still have similar climates and local flora/nectar sources. You might also like to look at the Bee informed Partnership - you can tap information from shared hive scales on likely local nectar flow.
You have made a great start, and I would like to follow your experience with great interest.
I am not sure I understand you “Be Informed Partership”.
I am actually mid way down state so don’t get the lake effect weather. We have an 18 acre lake all to ourselves with a nice area of Illinois prairie on and next to our property. I feel like we have a perfect place for bees. They should have great foraging area without having to go far.
This is the website. It is a collaborative effort between academics, commercial beekeepers, hobbyists and (shudder) government. The intent is to share information to produce healthier bees and better understanding for all beekeepers.
My hive is the one you can click on in San Diego.
Here is a screen shot of the closest hive scale to you which seems to be active right now. They change all the time, so don’t give up on the map :