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E&MBees 

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As my second winter keeping bees approaches, there are things that with hindsight and
experience that I wish I had done differently.
It would be interesting to know from other members what they would have done differently as beginners now that they have years of experience.
 

manek 

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The two things I found most problematic in my first two years were:
- Underfeeding over winter leading to starvation
- Swarm prevention and control, leading to - guess what - my bees disappearing over the horizon
 

Erichalfbee 

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As my second winter keeping bees approaches, there are things that with hindsight and
experience that I wish I had done differently.
It would be interesting to know from other members what they would have done differently as beginners now that they have years of experience.
I’d have started with poly Langs but I’m tempted to agree with thorn
 

Monbees 

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As my second winter keeping bees approaches, there are things that with hindsight and
experience that I wish I had done differently.
It would be interesting to know from other members what they would have done differently as beginners now that they have years of experience.
Hardly years of experience Emily, but my third winter approaches and the last two seasons l ran with three hives. This season l caught two swarms which l have nurtured over the summer with a view to running with five hives. This was a big mistake - to continue with five l will need to buy a lot of extra equipment that the profits from honey sales will not cover. Also, with just three hives l could keep a mental handle on what was happening with each hive, now, with five, l have to record everything very carefully or l forget. (I know, l should be doing that anyway - l do, but with less detail than l now need).

I shall be giving one of the swarms (now a healthy size colony) to a beekeeper friend; thinking what to do with the other.

Motto - know your limitations, don't be greedy!
 

Tim.S 

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11 or 12 years now - everyday spent beekeeping is a lesson. The trick is not to keep repeating the mistakes! If I knew then what I know now I would be using Langstroths without a doubt but I have too much invested now in Nationals. However I love beekeeping more than ever now.
 
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Tim.S 

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More than I used to have.
Care to explain why?

I much prefer the migratory roof and the slightly larger brood would be a bonus, plus as I make most of my own equipment they are an easier box to construct.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Care to explain why?

I much prefer the migratory roof and the slightly larger brood would be a bonus, plus as I make most of my own equipment they are an easier box to construct.
I think many of us would make the same change, once you realise that the slightly shorter lugs are a benefit not a hindrance I thought long and hard about it before sticking with Nationals - A lot had to do with second quality nats being so cheap and all the subtle differences in boxes and supers/frames, especially when you throw in poly to the mix. Too late to change now, got far too much invested in National Kit.
The only other change I would have made if starting again would be, to start a heck of a few years sooner, stuff work issues 😁
 

madasafish 

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I started 10 years ago with Top Bar Hives. I wanted to avoid the expense of frames and foundation and hives and made my own TBHs from pallet wood. Cost peanuts.

The only troubles were: difficult to inspect and the honey yield was also peanuts.. And because they were small they swarmed and swarmed.. (yes my fault but difficult to inspect)

SO I did my research and switched to Langstroth after 4 years.. It was obvious to me the National hive was too small and too complex and costly (and difficult) to make... (like a camel designed by a committee).

I should have started with Langs first but knew nothing when I started.

Since then I have actually had honey crops(!) found inspections much easier and learned far more about beekeeping. I make my own wooden hives and poly nucs- not difficult with average diy skills... I raise my own queens and overwinter a few in mini nucs (a challenge here).

I regret to say I also learned to largely ignore what the governing body said as it was living in the past - with a few honourable exceptions.
 

Newbeeneil 

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I've been beekeeping for coming up for 5 years now and don't really regret anything over that time. If I could start again I think I would start with a bigger box than the national, probably with commercial hives as they are so simple to make and about the same size as 14x12. Too late now as I too have lots invested in national boxes.
 
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The Poot 

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I’d have ignored the experts telling me the importance of top Winter ventilation.
I started with 14x12 and decided to change to National after two years, I didn’t think things through well enough.
I‘d have organised a mentor before plunging in.
I‘d have bought spare kit to cater for the swarms I helped create.
I wouldn’t have bought stupid accessories like frame supports.
I would have avoided putting swarms in temporary positions in the garden.
I would have sought counselling about worrying.
 

GuyNir 

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I've been beekeeping for coming up for 5 years now and don't regret anything over that time. If I could start again I think I would start with a bigger box than the national, probably with commercial hives as they are so simple to make and about the same size as 14x12. Too late now as I too have lots invested in national boxes.
Exactly the same here. Also started about 5 years ago. Would also start with a bigger brood box if starting now. I run singles and find the normal National deep too small, making swarm prevention quite difficult.
 

pargyle 

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Wow ... that's a diffcult question ... I don't think I regret very much since I started keeping bees ... Like JBM I should have started sooner ... my Dad kept bees when I was young and I was a reluctant helper ... girls and motorbikes took precedence, I should have taken more notice. What would I do differently in my beeleeping ..... be more organised, keep better records and make more crownboards. (oh... Yes ... and get a bigger shed !)
 

Curly green finger's 

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Exactly the same here. Also started about 5 years ago. Would also start with a bigger brood box if starting now. I run singles and find the normal National deep too small, making swarm prevention quite difficult.
X3 we all started about the same time GuyNir and Newbeeneil..
I inherited 14x12 and standard national hive equipment..
My mentor has the above also so its sort of stuck.
I wonder if a longstroth box would be to big for amms..?
 

bobba 

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I am just going into my 2nd winter too.

I am running brood + 1/2 nationals. Am thinning I should have gone double brood.

What I should have done before starting beekeeping is slowly stash away some money a bit a time. Then I could have hidden the start up costs from my wife.

Hi Mike, I have watched and enjoyed many of your videos. Thank you for sharing so much knowledge.
 

deemann1 

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I'm debating whether to add commercial or Langstroths
Worker cells in lang 61,000 commercial is 70,000
 

Murox 

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Brought up with WBC and national . Had very long break from bees . Built my own insulated wooden long hives. Oddly enough I am thinking of trying poly langstroth of the honey paw range using a single box size throughout - any thoughts about using mediums?
 

Antipodes 

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Brought up with WBC and national . Had very long break from bees . Built my own insulated wooden long hives. Oddly enough I am thinking of trying poly langstroth of the honey paw range using a single box size throughout - any thoughts about using mediums?
I use wooden langstroth "ideals" for all boxes including brood, which, at 144 to 150mm (depending on manufacturer!), are a bit like a British National shallow. They should be 144mm.

They weigh about 3 kg when empty and about 13kg when full.

Plenty heavy enough to lift. Very common here (in Tas) to use these shallow boxes for the whole hive.

"Paradise" make "ideal" sized polystyrene boxes and they are 145mm deep.
 
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