Want to start raising bees in the spring. Any advice welcome!

Maggiesdad

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Would it help the hive if for the first summer or two if I didn't harvest anything only kept an eye on the mites and let them build up their combs and supplies
I would have to say no to this idea... it could very well be that that's all that happens your first year, but when an overwintered colony comes busting out into a big flow untended - they are going to swarm. That's what teenagers do! When they are pulling back 20lbs of nectar daily, and drying off 10lbs of moisture overnight... things are going to happen really fast. Like all your hopes flying off down the country. :hitThen they throw 3-4 more afterswarms and you're left with another big empty box.:(
Managing a full blown colony during a strong nectar flow is like surfing the big kahuna off Wakiki... There's a lot of art and skill involved and you don't just acquire that overnight. It takes some getting to know your bees.

snip -
Whether you get honey or not, you will always have to keep an eye on your hives, like any other managed livestock, to ensure they are healthy and doing well. When the nectar is flowing, you'll be amazed at how fast the bees can draw out comb! Mine as a new hive, were able to draw out 4 frames of comb in about a week!
Amen, brother. (what he said x 2)

Commercial bee keepers get honey every year but they feed the heck out of them to get it. I had one here tell me that he makes more money on the wax than he does on the honey and if it wasn't for wax and pollination contracts there would be no money in honey; he just has to feed too much to turn a profit on just honey. And that was before the drought hit us.

It's tough being a bee.
The only difference between honey and money is one letter and two metric craptons of work!
(I stole that one :cool:)
Small scale apiaries almost HAVE to be fully diversified w/all the asstd bee products - honeys, wax things, propolis, queens, pollen, nucs, etc, to make a go of it.

@Robbin is laying down some good info in here...:thumbsup
 

Maggiesdad

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I agree. Plus, you might squish the queen, which would not be good this time of year. I just peer down the frames when I lift the top to make sure they have a patty to work on.
@Latestarter - Am I looking at the right place on the map? Did your weather go nasty?
Hope you got them tended to...
 

Latestarter

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It was cloudy and windy during the peak of the day so I just left it be. Weather supposed to be just above 60 again tomorrow and sunny so we'll see. Dropping temps and snow forecast for Friday night into the weekend.
 

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