Gettng started questions

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Haggis, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Location:
    Northeastern Minnesota
    Years ago my brother and I kept bees in kentucky, I moved on to different interests and mites put him out of business. Now that I have settled for what will likely be my retirement years, I what to get back into bees.

    It sems that much has changed. I can't find anyone shipping bees.

    Where would one buy bees in Minnesota?

    Will I have to kill the bees in the fall this far north? (65 miles north of Duluth.)

    Where in Minnesota, would one find a apiarist supplier?

    Thanks a heap
     
  2. Timber

    Timber Well-Known Member

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    NE Ohio
    Haggis, hmm 65 miles north that's about Thunderbird mall.

    I've been studying the northern MN pretty closely probably going to retire up there also.
    There's a major bee supply house in Hackensack got to be in your neck of the woods, good people, been buying for years now. Mann Lake. http://mannlakeltd.com. I've bought the Growing Apiary Kits which are pretty good deals.

    Also in Orillia, ON. Canada there's Bee Works http://www.beeworks.com . He has the D.E. hive I've bought a Mod kit which I'm very more like exceptionally pleased on the performance of the colony compared to the other standard Langstroth hives. I'm planning on posting a report coming next year on spring findings of this colony. I've talked to the owner at a bee conference earlier this year for must to be over an hour on the subject of my experience on losses. A very intelligent man that over his years has worked out the pitfalls associated with bee farming. He claims that his hives endue the winters without winter kill. He also working on harden queens for the northern climates.

    Hope this helps.

    Timber
     

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Rossman Apiaries mailed me a queen last fall: I believe they mail packages in the spring.

    Also, check out www.beesource.com for information on mite control and hive beetles.
     
  4. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Haggis,

    Look for beekeeping clubs in your general area. Many of them do joint orders. I order through my club.

    You could probably overwinter but it may not make economic sense. That is, the value of the honey they need to overwinter costs more than buying replacement bees. Before anyone jumps on me, I'm only speaking from the point of view of some beekeepers (commercial) that look at the economics of it. With wholesale (bulk) prices of honey over $1, it may make sense to take the honey.

    I know that some beekeepers up in Canada bring hives indoors for overwintering or wrap them with insulation.

    As usual, just my 2 cents. You need to figure out what works for you.

    Mike
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Location:
    Northeastern Minnesota
    Thanks folks.
    I'll check out the websites and see what I can find.

    I'd like to have about a half dozen stands to tinker with, but nothing really commercial. Brother and I used to play with a couple of hundred stands, but that gets to be work and I'm retired.

    I would just like to have enough honey for my family(20 odd souls) and a bit of mead for chasing away the winter evenings' chills.
     
  6. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    Sorry about the trolling, Haggis. Please do not let it discourage you from using our forum. I've only had this problem once, and it was resolved VERY quickly. No worries!

    In reply to your post: yes, many companies still ship bees. search online for "package bees" as this is what they are currently called.

    I do not kill bees. My reasoning is, that bees produce more honey in their second year, and this will make it worth the overwintering costs. Package bees will miss the early spring fruit tree nectar flows, which provide a major part of the honey for the season, at least in NY.

    also, the small hive beetle currently seems to be a problem in the southeastern states, not in your neck of the woods! You will, however, need to look into mite management. there are a variety of chemical treatments, some better than others, and there are "green" methods, including screen bottom boards, essentail oils, and food grade mineral oil. I will be using screen bottom boards on all my hives next year and using food grade mineral oil, and then only treating hives with chemicals if they seem to have high mite counts (counted as they fall through the screen bottom board onto a collecting tray) You need to decide what is best for you.

    I think your other questions have been very well answered.

    justgojumpit