Equipment and advice for coming year

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corrado608 

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I am a new beekeeper going into my second year. I currently have one hive, consisting of an open mesh floor, brood box, and two supers, queen excluder,crown board and roof etc

My swarm collected last May seems to be going strong (touch wood) plenty of bees and stores, but I want to be prepared for the coming season. What would you suggestions be for equipment to buy ready for the coming year with swarm control and honey production (hopefully) in mind and would I be able to start a new collony from my existing one?

Thanks for any advice:cheers2:
 

oliver90owner 

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What a wide ranging request!

Without knowing the type of hive (size really) and condition at the new season start it is difficult to predict your requirements this next season.

However, most of another hive is likely required for swarm control but may or may not be needed. Can't tell until it is imminent, but a bit of a pain if you haven't got it ready!

Honey production is another matter that is variable. You may need at least another super. Are you going to extract honey from combs? How are you going to do it? When do you want to do it? All questions which may affect choice of, and need for, equipment. Is your priority honey or increase in colonies. They do not necessarily go hand in hand. Everything really depends on the season.

Yes, you would be able to start a new colony from your existing one. Again it might depend on colony health and strength in the season but should be quite possible.

Usually, if you don't want more colonies you end up needing to take steps to prevent that happening, and if you do want more you can find it infuriatingly difficult to achieve.

So I suggest you get another hive and wait and see.

Are you wanting just one more? Probably another swarm will come along to take the hive space, with your existing one then deciding to swarm as well! Handling bees in makeshift accommodation can be a pain, so I would be having two more hives available - maybe one left 'in the flat' but there at reasonably short notice. Hives bought in-season are are likely the most expensive ones.

So we really need to know more of you aspirations for the coming years, not just the information you have offered above!

Regards, RAB
 

cstroud 

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Clearer boards/ or clearing device if you hav'nt got one.

frame holder (hangs on the outside of the hive and saves you putting the frame on the floor when your'e doing inspections- I find mine useful.

A nuc box- an alternative to a spare hive for swarm control, but when the bees outgrow the nuc box they'll either need a full sized hive or reuniting which ever you plan to do.

Chris
 

cstroud 

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oh and maybe a rapid and slow contact feeder
 

Hawklord 

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In 2009 I started with 1 nuc of bees that was put into a standard National brood box. I decided that I needed an extra hive (1 super supplied with each hive) just in case they swarmed or I got chance of more bees from elsewhere. I then realised I would need more equipment in 2010 so bought a further 2 hives. I also bought an extractor for use in 2010, and enough frames/foundation for every box. I will probably buy another 8 supers which will see me through to 2011, I need to buy some queen excluders and some clearer boards but haven't decided which to use yet.

I think that the best thing to do is have a plan for the following year and try to be 12 months in front with equipment. There's nothing worse than needing something quickly and having th wait for the suppliers.
 

Poly Hive 

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Just a heads up for the ambitious.

You NEED a min of 4 supers per colony. Remember you have to clear down into something, and at times the flow can be so fast they will fill super with nectar in a matter of two or three days.

PH
 

taff.. 

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Just a heads up for the ambitious.

You NEED a min of 4 supers per colony. Remember you have to clear down into something, and at times the flow can be so fast they will fill super with nectar in a matter of two or three days.

PH
I took this little nugget on board from last year, I now have a big pile of supers in the workshop and a box full of frame just waiting to be made up :cheers2:
 

oliver90owner 

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You NEED a min of 4 supers per colony

I agree with PH that you may need 4 supers but it all depends on what you want to do.

If you intend to split/artificial swarm at the earliest opportunity, your honey harvest is unlikely to require 4 supers per hive in your first expanding season.

You may need somewhere secure to store full frames; you could use your spare broods; you could use other boxes; you might need to extract as they are filled and capped. Lots of different options or possibilities. Not knowing your actual plans makes all this so very theoretical.

Regards, RAB
 

corrado608 

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thanks for all your advice.I currently have a national hive, I was hoping to have two strong colonys by the end of the year, so it appears that I may be best to buy two full additional hives making three in total to cover for swarm control etc and enough supers and frames to cover any honey that I may be luckey to get.
 

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