Stupid question time!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Bladesmith, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Bladesmith

    Bladesmith Well-Known Member

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    OK, time for one of Bladesmith's semi dreaded "Stupid Questions he should have figured out hisself". I got my first hive, gear and all, and have bees due in spring time. But in doing all of my required reading, one thing is never addressed. Bees, industrious beings that they are, are ever increasing their numbers. too many bees and not enough house and they swarm. So, to the question du jour. What do you do if you only want 1 hive and a couple of honey supers? I don't need 6-7 40 hives!
     
  2. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Try (yeah! just try!) to keep them from swarming by adding additional empty supers and squishing swarm queen cells, or let them swarm - you'll lose about have your bees. Since you won't know exactly what kind of queen you'll end up with - you may want to order a new queen at time of swarm.

    I have anywhere from 2-4 hives going. 2 to try new things with and 1-2 to get honey from.
     

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    The problem with bee keeping is we do all of the reading, unfortunately the bees don't read. They have a habit of doing absolutely anything they want to whether it's in a book or not.
    An easy answer would be to split your hive into 2 and sell the split. This would possibly stop a swarm and not cost you anything(possibly profitable). I would set your number of hives at 2 instead of 1 for a few reasons that only experience can tell you. One of the best reasons is so you have another hive for a reference.
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    What beeman said. Out here, a nuc (a split from a hive, with a laying queen in it) will bring in about $60. You can add a bought queen or let them raise their own. You can advertise it in the local bee club.

    As for running a second hive, here is a true story.

    I lost my first hive when they swarmed and failed to re-queen themselves. Because I was new, I did not realize this until I had a laying worker and they started putting drone caps on the worker cells.

    By that time, a good deal of the remaining bees had either either drifted off or died of old age. Did I mention that a drougth was on as well? I lost that hive.

    *IF* I had had a second hive, the drifting bees would have just gone to the next-door hive and so have not really been lost. As it was, I had to order bees the next spring. Or, I could have split the remaining hive, added a queen, and do a newspaper combine with the queenless hive.

    It was my first hive, and the loss of them really stung.

    A second hive gives you more flexability and security than having one hive. That being said, there is nothing wrong with having just one hive.

    So, do what suits you best.
     
  5. Bladesmith

    Bladesmith Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was kinda afraid but not surprised at ya'll's answer. I was kinda planning for about 3-4 hives, for small scale honey production. Figures that bees would do what they do best. Selling nucs sounds like a plan eventually. Thanks for the info!