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Too late in the year to get started?


#1

So its springtime here in the Gulf Coast of Texas…

Is it too late to get started this year as a beginning beekeeper, keeping in mind the ordering of hive equipment and the like?


#2

Not at all, if you start it right now. If you want a nucleus, you may be a bit late. However, your local bee club might be willing to sell you one. Many package suppliers will be delivering soon and in your area, some may already have package bees available. You other option is a swarm, and they are available for catching from February to October in your climate zone. Again, your local bee club can advise.

Mann Lake beekeeping supplies deliver hive parts usually in less than a week, and they are cheap plus good quality. For a Flow hive, you may have to wait a little longer for delivery from a Flow distributor, but I think they are a lot faster than they used to be. Even if you start with a non-Flow Langstroth hive, that would be fine, as you will need to build up the brood box before you add the Flow super, and that will take quite a few weeks.

Join a club, get a mentor if you can, and you can probably get well-established this year.


#3

Will a Flowhive fit on top of a Langsroth? I guess I should ask that differently: What size Langsroth would be desirable if I want to put a flow super on top?


#4

If you are buying a complete Flow hive, they are all 8-frame Langstroths. If you buy a Flow super, they come in both 8 and 10-frame Langstroth sizes. :wink:


#5

Michael, the other possibility is that a retiring beekeeper might sell you an entire functioning hive - you can put the bees in a flow hive down the track and keep the original boxes to use as well.


#6

I was actually thinking of starting off with a nuc from beeweaver (just purely based on trolling around on the web), but that would be a great idea too!

Of course, starting off with a nuc like that means a deep langsroth box to start with, but that’s not a huge problem…


#7

And you don’t need a “Flow Hive” just to use Flow Frames. When you buy frames, they provide a template for modifying a standard Langstroth deep box. There is also a video or two available on the subject on YouTube.

So, if you find a retiring beekeeper, you can just super with the Flow Frames.


#8

if you have a local beekeeping society contact them and ask about Swarms. That’s what I did and I got given two- and could have gotten another 3 or 4 if I had had hives ready to house them. At my society there are swarm catchers who get more swarms than they know what to do with. The trick with obtaining a swarm is to be ready when one comes along! Build it and they will come! One chap caught 18 swarms in 12 days- basically he had to find people to take them as soon as he got them. Both of my swarms are doing brilliantly- I just harvested another 5-6 kgs off one of them- they have been my most productive hives this year.

You could also try putting out a swarm trap or three yourself.


#9

Michael,

I’m guessing your a young buck/ guy … So depth n width not an issue. Meaning: depth is usually “deeps” n “medium” thus widths of boxes: 5 (Nuc’s), 8 frame. (Usual Flow-hive n super), n 10 frame (normal full Langstroth.

As Dawn said already, it sure isn’t too late :exclamation:️ So I’d get your hives purchased, carefully (if you’ve not built n assembled hive or still good idea) make a dry run so you know what part goes where n if it fits okay. If it doesn’t you have a bit of wiggle room to touch up with wood rasp or gritty sandpaper or get a replacement piece shipped. Depending on your choice of woods (usually pines or cedar) time for Tong Oil or exterior primary n paints to dry n cure a day between coats for long life of finishes.

I have all sizes ( 5, 8, n 10 frames) hives in
my apiary up here in Washington state SE of Seattle. Spring is still fighting with winter but Spring is slowly winning. I have a full 8 frame Flow-hive n one 7 frame Flow-Super I will add to the top of one of my 3 10 frame Langstroth hives. Counting my Flow I also have three 8 frame Full cedar wood hive … I also have three full 5 frame double deeps for back up swarm n splits but that’s way past you for the moment.

Moving ahead: get your Flow ordered, here n ready. Also get your bees ordered too. Keep that cardboard Nuc box around for a temperary backup box … Having one or so of those Nuc boxes is alway convient …

As could others mentioned … Hookup with a locate bee group n mentor ! You will be more than glad you did. The learning curve is easier n quicker ! :wink::exclamation:

Happy beekeeping bro !
Gerald


#11

Swarms are great because they are wax drawing maniacs! Being on the gulf coast of Texas, make sure the swarm isn’t Africanized.


#12

Im buying a nuc from BeeWeaver… it will be here the last weekend of the month…