Bee newbie

Wandercreek

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I know this is probably the most basic of basic questions, but...how do you get bees to move into a hive?
I noticed a ton of bees working the bull nettle patches in my back pasture the other day and it got me to wondering whether I could use them to start a hive. I have one of The Flow hives still in its shipping box stored away that I can assemble to use if that is appropriate for this purpose.

I've had plans to learn beekeeping from the bee people down the road http://www.beeweaver.com/
but so far the classes have been full. Another option is to have someone from Bee Weaver come to my place and teach me one on one. I may go ahead and do this, but I'm curious about timing and such. Is there a certain window of time to start a hive?

Thanks
 

soarwitheagles

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I know this is probably the most basic of basic questions, but...how do you get bees to move into a hive?
I noticed a ton of bees working the bull nettle patches in my back pasture the other day and it got me to wondering whether I could use them to start a hive. I have one of The Flow hives still in its shipping box stored away that I can assemble to use if that is appropriate for this purpose.

I've had plans to learn beekeeping from the bee people down the road http://www.beeweaver.com/
but so far the classes have been full. Another option is to have someone from Bee Weaver come to my place and teach me one on one. I may go ahead and do this, but I'm curious about timing and such. Is there a certain window of time to start a hive?

Thanks
Wandercreek,

Welcome to BYH's bee portion of the website! Wish you well in your beekeeping endeavors.

I will share what most professional beekeepers told me when we first started...

1. Read as many books on beekeeping that you can [notice I said, books, as in plural].

2. Join a local beekeepers club and get connected to successful beekeepers.

3. Try to find a qualified mentor with whom you can actually work the bees.

4. Join Beesource.com and read, read, read.

5. Understand the true cost of beekeeping [both financial and labor] and the very real dangers that come with beekeeping, and then count the cost.

6. Start small to see if it is something you really want to do.

7. If you begin to experience success, stay diligent with hive inspections and the vital ongoing work that needs to be done [some of the best beekeepers have lost their entire population of bees due to neglect].

Good luck and hope this helps!
 
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Red the butcher

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Best advice ever right there! Read read read! Understanding them makes it easy. Good documentary to watch is "more than honey". Also i went to a class given by the author of beekeeping for dummies and it was very good. Bees fascinate me to no end!
 

soarwitheagles

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Best advice ever right there! Read read read! Understanding them makes it easy. Good documentary to watch is "more than honey". Also i went to a class given by the author of beekeeping for dummies and it was very good. Bees fascinate me to no end!
Red, the book, "Beekeeping for dummies" has been a tremendous asset to us. I have read and re-read different parts of the book a number of times. To be honest with you, I still refresh my mind by reading it as much as I can.

Here's a website with lots of free beekeeping books:

http://strathconabeekeepers.blogspot.ca/p/the-beekeepers-library.html

Here is another site:

http://bees.library.cornell.edu/b/bees/browse/a.html

Here are my two favorite books:

The Hive and the Honey-Bee

The ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture


PS Heads up: I have probably read over 120 hours worth [3 full work weeks] of bee articles and books and yet still consider myself not even out of preschool when it comes to a beekeeper education. I am not joking...there is far more involved than meets the human eye...

Hope this helps!
 

Wandercreek

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Awesome! Thanks so much for the resources!

I'm more than willing to read and learn, as well as take classes or hire a mentor. Can anyone tell me though, if starting a hive is a seasonal thing? I ask because if it is a spring time project, I need to get to learning fast, or if it's say...an end of summer thing, I can sign up for a later class and read a bit more leisurely in the meantime.

Thanks to you both @soarwitheagles @Red the butcher
 

soarwitheagles

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Awesome! Thanks so much for the resources!

I'm more than willing to read and learn, as well as take classes or hire a mentor. Can anyone tell me though, if starting a hive is a seasonal thing? I ask because if it is a spring time project, I need to get to learning fast, or if it's say...an end of summer thing, I can sign up for a later class and read a bit more leisurely in the meantime.

Thanks to you both @soarwitheagles @Red the butcher
WC,

The best time to start a hive is in the spring, during a strong nectar/pollen flow. The best time to catch a swarm is also during the spring.

So if you decide to get your feet wet with beekeeping, now is the best time of the year!

Summers can too hot. Winters can be too cold. Fall is a transition time. Spring is the best season to start.

Cheers!
 

Latestarter

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You'll have different times of the year when different plants flower and produce nectar. Bees eat nectar and turn it into honey to store and eat when there's no nectar available. There will be times of year called dearth times when there's nothing available for the bees. This normally happens in mid through late summer. Then in the fall there is another flow with the fall weeds, notably ragweed. This is the bee's last chance to store for the winter. When hives get too big and swarm, they normally won't do so after about July as there isn't enough time left for the new hive to get established and store what would be needed to make it through a winter. This obviously becomes less of an issue as you get south toward the tropics... or where there is nectar bearing plants available pretty much year round.

I wouldn't recommend using your flow hive as a swarm trap. Here's a link to a real world class that was done over several weeks that was recorded. It's several years old and was done in Maine but the basic information is still valid. http://www.klcbee.com/school.shtml scan down the page and you'll see the recorded sessions. Here's another onlione course/lessons that you can watch http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/beekeeping_class/
 

Red the butcher

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Ya those flow hives are a bit of a gimmick. I use top bar hives. And for us up here in new England we start them as early as possible. Winters are tuff up here.
 
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