Hi my name is Veronica. I’ve loved bees ever since I’ve been a little girl and now that I’m fixing to get my own place I’ve been wanting to buy a Flow bee hive that i have had my eye on for years. Before i get my hive i would love to learn as much as I can about the bees and how to work the hive. What are some things you would have loved to know before you got your hive? Should i buy bees or see if i can catch a swarm? There’s not any bee keepers around here that i know of so im Kind of on my own on this one.
Hiya Veronica, welcome to the forum.
I’m a newbie too having only kept bees fro the last 3 years. So much to learn and absorb.
Read, read, read.
Much more work and cost that I wasn’t expecting when I started, had I known I may not have begun. But a rewarding hobby nevertheless.
Well I will be spending lots of time at home so I will be in desperate need of a hobby and yes I love honey so im sure ill be enjoying that liquid gold
If you are lucky enough to catch a swarm of bee having to experience with bees it would be nothing short of a miraculous. I’m not trying to talk you out of trying but you would be much better off reading about beekeeping and getting all the information you can get. Join a local bee group. Watch some of the clips on you tube. Find a local bee keeper and ask if you can watch and help where you can. If you find a mentor he would be the one to ask about setting you up with a colony of bees when you get your own hive.
As Skeggley says it is expensive initially to get all that you would need but it is a satisfying hobby providing you can adapt to ‘bee time’ and are happy to just sit back and watch the comings and goings. Don’t even think of getting you bees before next Spring and even then it is likely you will need to feed them for a while.
You will see so called “Flow Hives” for sale that are junk that is produced in China, don’t waste your money on them, only buy a “Genuine Flow Hive” and be happy to pay the extra money.
Welcome to the forum where you will find lots to read, if you can’t find the answers to question that you think of by all means ask. If you don’t know the answer to a question it isn’t a silly question, ok.
If you are handy or know someone that is you could build some swarm boxes. If your area of Texas is anything like where I live in Louisiana you will have bees move in. I catch around 20 swarms a year by scattering boxes around the area at friends houses. Swarm season here starts around March 1 and ends around June 15. For you it may be a several weeks later. It is a good way to build an apiary fast if you live in the right area.
Well theres thousands of bees around here all through out the year. I will have to do some research and see when swarm season is out here. I will definitly look into it thanks!
One word of caution. Texas has quite a lot of Africanized honey bees (AHB), so if you do catch a swarm, they may not be the nicest bees on the block. Around 70% of swarms in San Diego, CA are AHB. I have quite a bit of beekeeping experience, and have had quite some experience with AHB, and they are very challenging. They can even sting through thick gloves and bee suits, and they do it in large numbers. Plus they are not fun for me, and the neighbors hate them. You can always try to requeen them if they are a problem, but if they are very Africanized, they frequently reject and kill an introduced European queen. I don’t want to put you off, just let you know that it is worth thinking carefully.
If it was me, starting out as a new beekeeper, I would try to buy a package or nucleus with a known mated queen. It looks like there may be a bee club near you in Paris, TX. You might want to look into joining them and getting some local advice. They may even have bees to sell next Spring (the usual time to start beekeeping).
Hope that helps.
Helped alot. i didnt think there was bee keepers near me but i found some
Great, glad to hear it.
I don’t know if you are considering a Flow hive, but if you are, I would suggest that you don’t mention it to the club until they know you. Just say you are looking at starting a “Langstroth hive”. Flow hives are Langstroth hives, so it would be true. Traditional beekeepers still have a lot of prejudice against Flow hives, because the original marketing message recruited a lot of people who just wanted “honey on tap” without caring for the bees.
Everything about a Flow hive is exactly the same as for the traditional hive, except for the honey extraction method. You should manage any bees in a Flow hive in exactly the same way as your local beekeepers manage their bees in Langstroth hives. You will just have a much easier time extracting the honey.
Yeah Ive seen alot of hate comments about it but i will be deciding what type of hive i think would suite me the best thanks for the help Do you know if you can get beeswax from the flow hive too?
You can if you rotate frames out of the brood box, but I wouldn’t rely on doing that for a year or two after you start. Also brood frames don’t give much wax, nor high quality wax. If you want lots of wax, you need to consider a “crush and strain” method, rather than a Flow hive. If you want really high quality wax, then a traditional Langstroth is the way to go. The cappings from spinning the honey out of super frames is some of best wax available.
OK well i would love some beeswax too since its so good for you just like honey so i planned on using some of the beeswax as well
Just a quickie Dawn, and anyone else. A queen that produces a hot bee strain whether Africanized or just down right nasty. Do you think with new queens from that hive they tend to get worse with each generation?
The hybrid Flow super has both Flow and traditional frames and is their ‘happy medium’.
Beekeeping over there looks to me from far, as a lot of work, varroa, shb, ahb, foul brood, wasps and more to deal with. Even the most experienced seem to have hic ups, seems to be a tough gig.
We get people advertising free honey if they can put a hive on your block. They do all the work and pay a sweet fee.
Tough question, @Peter48, and I think my answer will be annoying. It depends…
- If they are AHBs, my experience is that the more AHB genetics they get, the nastier they get.
- I used to keep bees in the UK, and purebred Buckfasts were wonderful to work with. However, the F1 daughters were often a bit testy, and F2 granddaughters cold be downright evil. Not AHB-evil, but would chase you 200 meters or more from the hive.
So I think it is complicated. Unless you get an II (AI) queen (Instrumentally Inseminated or Artificially Inseminated = same thing), you will never know the genetics of her offspring, or the queens that result from her eggs. Some combinations are fantastic, others are evil.
If I lived in Australia on a decent-sized plot of land, I would probably let my hives breed their own queens. However, I live in California in an urban setting on 7,000 square feet of land, so I can’t afford to have bad-tempered bees upsetting my lawyered-up neighbours.
You also have a very good supplier of bee equipment (for all the other things that you will need besides the Flow hive) not too far from you, in Paris. Dadant They would be able to help you with knowledge and equipment.
Hey Veronica! Welcome to the forum, this place has been a godsend for me as a newbie Case in point, all those great answers you got already
Our old pal @Martydallas isn’t exactly close by, but If he pops back on sometime he would be a great resource to you as a local Flow hive owner/operator. I’m really glad you found some beekeepers in your area - having hands-on support and local experience with weather patterns, etc are really important to your success.
Sorry for throwing a ‘toughy’ in there. I did of lot of thinking about whether a queen that was genetically bad tempered would produce even nastier bees. I have done a lot of research but found no answers.
I guess your answer
is as close to confirming that could be the case that I have read.
I have no problems at all with my own hives but one I have looked after has always been a problem. Jeff and I did a split and terminated the queen and added frames of eggs from my own hives so here is hoping they produce a new queen from the frames I added. It was so agro that I even got full on aggression before I got close enough to smoke them.
I will be sure to go check them out thank you very much
If i get a langstroth bee hive and i harvest the honey and the bees wax do i have to put new frames in there immedietly or can the bees wait till im done extracting the honey from the frames ?