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Hello from Massachusetts!


Well, we are brand new to bees. Literally.
For the last three years, we had some people promising to place bees on our property and care for them, giving us the benefit of pollination and a jar of honey.
Every year they never showed up…
This year i’ve finally had enough of what feels like broken promises and ordered a flow hive beginners set and am currently e-mailing people about purchasing bees.

I’m trying to learn as much as I can in order to keep the bees happy and healthy and look forward to the research! Any advice or book suggestions will be well welcomed!


Welcome Sara. This is a great forum and a good place to learn. You are already asking all of the right questions. :blush: Here are a few suggestions to start:

  1. Find and join a local bee club. Don’t mention the Flow hive, just say you are getting a Langstroth hive. That will save you from traditionalists who think you are not a serious beekeeper if you have a Flow hive. We have been keeping bees for more than 30 years, and still face criticism from traditional beekeepers in our club. Having said that, local clubs are invaluable for sources of local bees, information about local diseases, nectar flow, mentoring etc.
  2. I quite like Beekeeping for Dummies for basic nomenclature and information about many things. Some ideas are a bit outdated, or controversial, but it is a starting place.
  3. If you are interested in bee biology (you should be!), then consider:
    a) Honey Bee Biology by Dewey (cheaper if you buy it direct from Wicwas Press)
    b) Beekeeper’s Handbook by Sammataro (Amazon has it)
    c) Honey Bee Democracy by Thomas Seeley (Amazon again). Actually most books by Tom Seeley are good, and there are some great YouTube videos with him too

Keep asking questions. Expect to make mistakes, we all do. So glad you came here to join us.



Hi Sara! Welcome :grinning: I’m still a newbee myself but would recommend you get started with two colonies, from nucs if available. Good luck and keep posting with your progress!


Hello Sara,
Welcome to the forum. I recommend these online resources for Natural Beekeeping from two of our Flow Forum experts:

Michael Bush of Beekeeping Naturally is a legend in the U.S. for his sustainable beekeeping advice (free)

Hillary Kearney, of Girl Next Door Honey, offers online classes ($), and has an informative blog:

If you can, find a mentor, as nothing beats spending time inside a hive with someone to steepen your learning curve.

Cheers :purple_heart: :honeybee:


Dang…I was hoping to do one this year and add a second next year. Is there a reason for two? Do they work better in pairs or something like that?

I ended up buying a 3-pound package of Italian bees with a marked queen. They had nooks available but I had briefly read that those were for advanced keepers in an article. I guess not lol


Thank you! I’ll get those links saved and take a look tomorrow. There is a local bee-keeper club in town so I might be able to get a hold of someone local, fingers crossed!


Ha, first rule of the flow hive- don’t talk about the flow hive. Got it.
I have a barns and noble gift card so I plan on going crazy next time i’m at the store.

We’re going to be winging this esentually, so I hope we don’t mess it up to badly!

I’m googling like crazy as we just ordered the bees, a package not a nuk so I hope that wasn’t a mistake right there :confused: ugh, but that’s ok! We’ll make it work one way or the other!


Don’t worry, it’s a lot to absorb! I also went for just the one package my first year, thinking more would be too much to handle (even though others suggested I get two!) - Having two gives you a comparison to work with, more to learn from, and insurance: if one colony falters, you can give it a frame of brood from the other hive. Maybe you can order another package still? Or a nuc instead, and really see the differences for yourself.

Just a word about your Flow super - it’s unlikely for the bees build up in time to be able to use it this season, but you never know!


Or as I did today, if one hive is overflowing with bees and food, you might need to do a split. You have a choice of making a nucleus, or instead you could have two strong hives early in the season, even if the other (non-overflowing) hive wasn’t exactly “faltering”, just not stellar. :blush:

btw, finding frames of capped brood with no drones is getting pretty tricky right now! :smile: I may have created a beard while looking for that rare beast… Perhaps. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: