Hi PA folks! Really excited to see more local Flow adopters. I'm looking forward to sharing info & learning more as I get started. I live in Oreland, a suburb just NW of Philly. I have a complete flow hive and my package is coming this Saturday. After researching I decided to buy another deep, and also a regular 3-medium hive setup for possible swarm increase. I know that having two sizes of equipment isn't ideal, but I'm also considering overwintering strategies. I'm in a class where the instructor is knowledgeable but very ag-industry orthodox, so I'm taking in all I can & weighing it against natural beekeeping sources like Michael Bush's site & Honey Bee Suite on the web. Decisions I've made so far:
I'm going with foundationless frames & might make a top entrance.
Will feed as needed & try to avoid more, and be conservative about harvesting
If my bees don't make it this winter, next year I'll make sure to find a local supplier (a bit shocked to learn that my 'local' apiarist who's also the class instructor drives down to GA for the packages he sells)
Finally, I'm still unsure if I'll go with the typical 2-deep winter setup, or if 1 deep & 1 medium would be good for heat conservation & still hold enough stores. I'm assuming I'll remove the Flow box & keep it clean & dry in the house after letting bees move stores down to brood boxes.