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Hello - Potential new beekeeper - excited about starting!

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Salkeela 

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Hello,
Just found your forum. My husband has been keen to keep bees for a couple of years and finally this year we are going ahead! He spent yesterday assembling the National Hive we got on ebay (A Thornes one). It seems a good job although very new looking right now.

Last week a friend in work took us out to see a couple of his hives as he opened them for inspections. It was really interesting - I'd never been that close up to an open hive before and was pleased that I was relaxed - although admittedly his bees seem really relaxed. We saw the queen in one hive and plenty of brood and activity.

Anyway he says he will (if all goes to plan) give us a nuc in early May or so.

Will it be a problem that his hives are Langstroth and ours is a National? I'm hoping we can put his longer frames in slightly diagonally into our hive to start? No doubt he'll have an opinion and help us through it all.

Anyway good to find this forum.

Sal :nature-smiley-011:
 

marcros 

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Hello,

Anyway he says he will (if all goes to plan) give us a nuc in early May or so.

Will it be a problem that his hives are Langstroth and ours is a National? I'm hoping we can put his longer frames in slightly diagonally into our hive to start? No doubt he'll have an opinion and help us through it all.

Anyway good to find this forum.

Sal :nature-smiley-011:
Hi Sal

Glad that you have found this forum and are about to start beekeeping.- feel free to ask any questions, there are plenty of people who will help out.

Unfortunately, you cant put Langstrough frames into a National. I would suggest that you speak to your friend- he may either have a National hive that he can make the split from, or alternatively, may be able to use your brood box and get some bees onto your frames. I dont want to confuse you at this stage by telling you great detail about how. Alternatively, you could sell the National, and start with Langstrough's.

mark
 

Salkeela 

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Thanks for the speedy reply Mark,

So I guess I'd better ask if our friend has a National. Thing is he showed us the hive he hopes to split and it was the Lang-how-ever-you-spell-it!

I'd better have coffee in the canteen tomorrow! :)

I wonder could we buy one brood box of Lang- and with a little carpentry to adjust fit put it on our National base?

Do you think the queen he gives us could then be persuaded to lay her new brood on our frames (would it work if we placed the Nat brood box with new frames and foundation above the L box.... would she go up?)

This way when all the nuc brood in the L box had hatched we could return it? Perhaps we would need just a big piece of board that could sit between the mismatched frames with a large square gap the size of the Nat box?

No doubt my friend will have an opinion.

BTW I just read Sue Hubbell's Book of Bees. A lovely read and really inspiring.

Sal
 

marcros 

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Do you think the queen he gives us could then be persuaded to lay her new brood on our frames (would it work if we placed the Nat brood box with new frames and foundation above the L box.... would she go up?)

This way when all the nuc brood in the L box had hatched we could return it? Perhaps we would need just a big piece of board that could sit between the mismatched frames with a large square gap the size of the Nat box?

No doubt my friend will have an opinion.

BTW I just read Sue Hubbell's Book of Bees. A lovely read and really inspiring.

Sal
I would certainly have a coffee in the canteen tomorrow and a natter. If I was producing a nuc for you in May, I would take your National brood box and frames fairly soon, and sit it on top of the Langstrough brood box that you are going to split, in effect producing a double brood. Some form of adapter will be required, probably using a piece of ply to compensate for the smaller box on top. The bees will hopefully start to draw the new foundation, and hopefully start to rear brood up here. It may require a bit of good fortune with weather and may need feeding. If you are just wanting some bees this year, then you have the luxury of being able to wait a week or two, rather than pushing for a very early nucleus. Alternatively you could produce a nucleus by shook swarming, shaking half of the colony and either taking the queen to the broodless nuc, or introducing another (bought in, or reared by your friend).

Others will have different, and maybe better suggestions.

Even without Bees yet, you are a help on the forum for other beginners. I have not read the book that you mention, would you recommend it to other beginners? What are the good/bad points about it? Book reviews are always appreciated by me.

mc
 

FenBee 

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Hi Sal,

Great to see you have found the forum, welcome! I to am new to beekeeping too, but from what I have read, I think you need to put the empty National brood box at the bottom as the queen tends to go downwards, but I stand to be corrected.

The problem is matching the two boxes, the Langstroth has the external dimensions of 20" x 16.25", while the National measures 18.125" x 18.125". However, I am sure you could find a way to match the to hives. One way might be a section of ply wood that measures 20" by 18.125" and has a internal opening of say, 15" x 15" this I would have thought should do the trick :)
 

Chris B 

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Another alternative. Get a few National frames into the Langstroth box. I wouldn't think it too difficult to extend the lug with a nail and attach bits of wood to the edge to fill the empty space.

Meanwhile I'm off to design a box that's Langstroth one one end and National on the other.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Rather than mess about making frames fit, just do an artifical swarm with one of your freinds hives (when a queen cell is ready, or force an emergency) but sit your national in the orginal location.

OK you end up with the old queen but it gets you going
 

Bcrazy 

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Chris has the right idea. I had this self same problem a few years ago and what I did was ;

Attach the Nat. brood frame to the bottom of a Langs top bar, by using elastic bands at either end. Then tie off with strong string on the lugs.
This will enable you to place the Nat frame into the langs brood chamber.
Then the bees will be able to draw the foundation and the queen will eventually begin to lay.
You are going to need more frames that are drawn with comb on them and also at least one of stores. I would discuss this with the person who is giving you the bees.

Hope this is of help.

Welcome to the site and to beekeeping I know you will enjoy this great hobby.

Regards;
 

Salkeela 

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Some brilliant ideas folks - Many thanks!

I'll have a chat with my good friend tomorrow (I'm a Biology teacher and tomorrow there will be no students in.... so if our discussion extends beyond the 15 min break, I'll be researching my subject won't I? ;) :lol: )

I can't believe our luck with being offered a nuc. There seems to be huge waiting lists here in N.Ireland and the local clubs are discouraging the importation of any bees from England or further afield, so the chance conversation that led to my discovery of a colleague who keeps bees was fantastic. Even better when he offered us a Nuc.

I wonder what £ I should give him for the nuc? What would folk here suggest? This hasn't been mentioned yet, but I would prefer to pay him a fair price as I think he offered in order to dissuade us from ordering a nuc from England.

On the subject of the book - it's this one:
A Book of Bees and How to Keep Them
The reviews say it all; it is a year of musings on bees really. Written a bit like a journal. It's not a bit like reading a text book, but I still learned loads of stuff. Easy reading.
 
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Jenxy 

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Out of interest. ( and with me being quite nosey..) why are you being discouraged from importing bees from over this side of the water? Do they give a reason?
 

Salkeela 

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From what I can make out some people had bad experiences with imported bees. Some were cross I think. Also it seems the existing beekeepers like to keep an eye on "newbees" to the game, to ensure that disease control is good. I think Ireland was free of Varroa until quite recently, but now we have it.
 

admin 

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Hi Salkeela welcome to the forum.

I read that book last year,it was a nice warm read.

Regards the importation of bees many beekeepers like to get beginers started off with local bees as they are already established regards weather and overwintering.

It is a good idea and something I do myself,all my hives are local bees with no imported queens.

Some are rather extreme with views of no imports,this is a bit silly as we have no controls across boarders regards imports,I know for a fact that at least 500 nucs are being imported into N.Ireland over the next few months alone.

All you can do is your bit by trying to get local stock so at least your drones will do there bit in the genepool.
 

Chris B 

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I wonder what ? I should give him for the nuc? What would folk here suggest?
A fair price is ?100 upwards for a healthy nuc that fills 5 frames. However, ?'s are not the only currency appreciated by beekeepers. You could offer to do all his marking for a week:ack2:?
 

Salkeela 

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Our bees should be here tomorrow! Provided the weather is okay.

My husband is going to bee the main keeper, but I've got to admit to being rather excited. It'll probably be a joint effort really.

Our mentor is going to give us the old queen with our bees after splitting a hive. He will then raise some new queens from the cells made by his now queenless half of the hive - and hopefully replace our old queen with one of these.

I can't wait to walk around our garden and see some honey bees busy. At present none make it to our garden. (Previous sighting turned out to be a drone fly!)
 
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taff.. 

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lucky you, sounds like you've got an excellent mentor there that is really keen to help :)
 

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