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Completely New to Bee Keeping and need some pointers

Hi guys,

I’ve literally got zero experience when it comes to bee keeping, but I feel now the time to start, before I do though, I have some questions I’d love to understand.

I live in Stockholm Sweden, and I’m thinking of placing my Hive around my summer house in the archipelago.
We’re talking an island couple of square miles, close to the ocean with pretty stark weather half of the year.
And so I’m wondering, what kind of weather can the bees handle?
Can I assist them in any way to make their life easier?
Is it even possible to leave them over the winter in a climate life this one, where it’s drops below zero for a couple of months every year?

And also, a very newbie question, how to I get the bees in there to begin with after having set up the hive?

Silly questions but I thought I’d go straight forward and just ask them.

Kindly,
Stefan

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Hiya Stefan, welcome. Lots of advice and support are yours to be had here, but do try to connect with a local beekeeper or group in your area to get more specific info related to your climate - plus hands-on learning if possible.

Your summer house sounds idyllic! You might succeed with keeping bees there with appropriate wintering strategies, like a bee shed the way @Doug1 in Canada does, or possibly some heating source as one fellow from Finland said he provided. The key question I have is whether there’s adequate forage on your island for honey bees. What’s the vegetation like on your island?

Regarding how to get bees, you’ll want to find a reputable supplier to buy a small starter colony - either a box containing a mated queen and around 10,000 workers, called a ‘package’, or five frames of drawn comb filled with brood and honey and covered with workers and a mated queen, called a ‘nucleus colony’ or ‘nuc’ for short. Easy to look up more info on how to install either one when you’re ready.

My advice is to confirm foraging resources on your island first, then contact suppliers in your area where you can get bees and the invaluable local beekeeping input. Good luck and let us know your progress!

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Sound advice from Eva, the major consideration is the availability of a regular supply of nectar and pollen on your island. That is something you have no control over.
A second consideration is your climate and there are things you can do to help a colony in that.
Welcome to the forum, lots of reading here and some folks keeping bees in a similar cold climate.
Cheers

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Please dont get bees until you do two things;

  • Make contact with beekeepers and find out how its done in your area
  • Do a beekeeping course and get some hands on experience in handling bees.

Sweden is near the extreme edge of beekeeping territory and you get some hard winters. Beekeeping is very possible there but you need local knowledge.

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Great advice from you all, thank you.
I’ve gotten in touch with a few bee keepers from around the area and will take the next step after discussing it with them!

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