Quantcast

Beginners Question

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Honeymonster69 

New Bee
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Whitton, Twickenham, UK
Hive Type
national
Hi everyone,

I am just starting out in the wonderful world of beekeeping (finally), and would like to ask your opinions on whether you think I should start with two colonies straight away or set one up and have the other hive ready?

Do you think as a beginner it is better that I should take my time so I don't get too overwhelmed, or with the right advice...Go for it.

Honeymonster69
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
If you can, go for two. You have a much better chance of keeping them both alive as you can take young brood from one and give it to the other if the queen dies or stops laying. Usually the bees will raise their own queen cells from the last brood produced by the defunct queen but this does not always happen. For example, the queen might stop laying due to bad weather and then she dies - or gets squashed during your "learning phase".
 

taff.. 

Field Bee
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
800
Reaction score
0
Location
By that there Forest
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
from one noob to another......

there are occasions when you may need a frame of eggs to put into a suspected queenless colony to prove if they are actually queenless or if the queen has gone off lay. this is known as a test frame, if they are queenless they will use the eggs to create queencells.

with only one colony you don't have the flexibility to do this unless you have a good mentor/bee buddy to 'lend' you a frame as required.

if you lose 1 colony through winter and its your only colony then you have to start from scratch again in the spring, if you have 2 colonies going into winter and lose 1 then at least you still have 1 colony to keep yourself going without relying on buying another nuc in spring.



somone more experienced will be along shortly to give more reasons why you should consider having more than one colony very shortly after starting. :cheers2:
 

thurrock bees 

Drone Bee
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
1,084
Reaction score
0
Location
Haywards Heath, Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
27
having two hives is best, as mentioned above, you can compare the two hives and see that all is well. plus if you damage the queen, you can swap frames( be careful is disease spreading tho) and do a test frame and let them raise their own q.

on the other hand having one is all some people can/ want to have. you can also do a art. swarm the they want to swarm, good pratice to keep your neirbours happy.
 

Ely 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
0
Location
Norfolk
Hive Type
national
This post is quite relevent to me as i'll be starting bee keeping this sping also. You mentioned squashing the queen. Can this be very easily done?
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
Damaging the queen is something that can happen at every inspection so is transferring her to the supers, I have to admit to that one but if you take good care and slow steady moves then all should be ok
 

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,043
Reaction score
11
Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9
She is rarely in the end one- so if you take that one out first then the next one- after easing it loose from the 3rd. That gives you space to slowly ease the next frame to have a good space before you lift out - gently does it every time:cheers2:

And two hives- well do you believe in insurance - thats what it is... One hive with a problem is difficult to correct without help from another.
Where do you live-have you a mentor?
 
Last edited:

taff.. 

Field Bee
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
800
Reaction score
0
Location
By that there Forest
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
This post is quite relevent to me as i'll be starting bee keeping this sping also. You mentioned squashing the queen. Can this be very easily done?
its certainly possible, I'm know I've squashed bees during my manipulations, its not intentional and I try hard not to do it but it happens, I'm hoping that as my experience inceases then it'll happen less often
 

thurrock bees 

Drone Bee
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
1,084
Reaction score
0
Location
Haywards Heath, Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
27
This post is quite relevent to me as i'll be starting bee keeping this sping also. You mentioned squashing the queen. Can this be very easily done?
ive never squashed the queen, how ever ive damaged the queen while cliping her wings and the bees bumped her off.
As i only had one hive, i had to buy a queen ( it was sept) at £40!!
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
1,065
Reaction score
0
Location
Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9
If you have 2 hives and treat them both equally and are equally as clumsey with both hives then you could find yourself with 2 queenless colonies. So my advice is start with 1 and learn to be more careful with handling.
 

Ely 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
0
Location
Norfolk
Hive Type
national
Clip her wings? Are they the flight feathers like a parrot?
 

RoseCottage 

Field Bee
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Messages
718
Reaction score
0
Location
Near Andover, UK
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
From 5 to 2 and hopefully a better year
As a 1yr old newbie I respect all the advice given.
I only want to have 2 colonies as I am a hobbyist not looking for a massive amount of honey and don't have the space or desire to go larger every year.


So my thoughts are:

Year 1 - Single Colony - Good to learn to manage and understand colony life

Year 2 Second hive - no colony - Split the colony in spring and then rejoin at the end of year if desired

Year 3 More of the same perhaps but with two colonies...


Myself, I have a single colony and two thirds of a second hive. I have judged from the information on this board that to split the colony is a good thing to manage swarms (if the signs start to appear) and reunite at the end of the year.

I have also ordered a second colony so this year I now need to find space for 3 hives and another one next year.

I will become more efficient when the second year is under my belt. This one I think is going to be more important for learning than last year.

My year with one hive has been very useful,
All the best,
Sam
 

Black Comb 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
2,737
Reaction score
0
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
10+
This is my first season and I started with a nuc in May followed by a second at the end of June.
I'm pleased I've have 2 as they are totally dfferent in character and present different challenges.
If you are careful you will not squash the queen.

To me if you have a choice go for 2 - as others have said, the 2nd is an insurance if one doesn't survive the winter.
 

tonybloke 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
3,480
Reaction score
0
Location
Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
3 Commercial hives with National supers, Top Bee Space. + 2 Nucs
another vote for2 colonies, for most of the above reasons:cheers2:
 

SixFooter 

Drone Bee
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,343
Reaction score
0
Location
Merseyside
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12
20009 was my first year and I got 3 nucs, but one at a time with a few weeks between each. The 3 have different characteristics and this adds to the interest I think. I suspect you learn a lot with your first colony, but more than twice as much if you have 2 colonies and more than 3 times as much if you have 3.
 

thurrock bees 

Drone Bee
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
1,084
Reaction score
0
Location
Haywards Heath, Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
27
20009 was my first year and I got 3 nucs, but one at a time with a few weeks between each. The 3 have different characteristics and this adds to the interest I think. I suspect you learn a lot with your first colony, but more than twice as much if you have 2 colonies and more than 3 times as much if you have 3.
be careful, i started like that, now its taken over with 11 hives:toetap05:
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
Ely, clipping the queen's wings is done quite a lot. In theory it does no harm - like cutting your finger nails - but some feel it is a sort of mutilation. Take your choice, but you will stand a better chance of keeping your foragers, especially in your early years, if you clip. I'm going away from it but I am prepared to lose the odd swarm as a result. Clipping does not stop swarming, it only delays losing your foraging bees and gives you more time to take action to avoid subsequent swarms. The benefit of all this is the foraging bees are the ones which bring in the honey crop and therefore the ones you don't want to lose. Queens can be bought or bred, a full force of foragers take too long to replace and the nectar flow can be over by then.
 

Bcrazy 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
1,491
Reaction score
5
Location
Warboys, CAMBS
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
nil bees given away all colonies
Yes it's this time of year again.
Questions that have been answered last year , the year before, are now comming in and its the same answer from those that know????????


Oh well that's life!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
TB, you are right, bees swarm as a way of building up their numbers and so do hives.

Perhaps cutting the legs off a WBC will prevent them breeding?
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
27
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Overwhelming replies for more than one colony - only the one against and that is from a new beek.

In addition to what has been said about losing a colony or having a test frame handy, one can move frames of hatching brood from the stronger hive to help the weaker one to build up if it loses a lot of bees over winter. It can be the difference between one colony just surviving and getting a reasonable honey crop. Choice of which queen to breed from is another. You have a choice with more than one. Accidents can happen. you can lose a queen late in the year. If you have half a dozen colonies the options are wide ranging. If you have one there are no choices. Starters do not usually have six colonies, but they can quite easily manage two - and easier than one on it's own.

Regards, RAB
 

Latest posts

Top