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Queen Bee
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Its May 2010 the sun is out and I have just seen a report on the tv that bee's are dying out.

I fancy a go at that beekeeping thing but I dont want to join a local group of beekeepers and attend meetings.


What should I do?

I am sure we can run this thread to help many new members thinking of getting their first hive.

It seems to me that it can often be pot luck as to what road you go down in regards to hive type etc depending on what forum they surf to first,it could be Biobees and they make/buy a Top bar hive/Warre hive or Omlet and buy a Beehaus.

Can we try to help to explain the different hive types/management and ways of starting up.
 

Widdershins 

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I fancy a go at that beekeeping thing but I dont want to join a local group of beekeepers and attend meetings.


What should I do?
Well, at least try and make contact with a local Beekeeper. What if you dont or cant cope with lots of flying bees around? Hands on experience, with gentle coaching should be the first, intial step - in other words, a mentor or bee buddy should be sought, especially if belonging to a local group isnt on the cards. Then, discussions of pros and cons of the several differing hives, backed up with own research.
Thats just a starter! ;)
 

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OWN RESEARCH
Thats a very good point,how many of us run a certain hive type because thats the very first hive we ever opened.

Beekeepeing is full of people that have started with say a National only to find their style is more suited to something like 14 x 12 or commercial/Langstroth..

Its very easy to rush off and part with cash before considering that something else would be much better for your own style of keeping bee's.

As PH say's above,why not a poly hive?
 

victor meldrew 

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HERE COME THE HIDDEN PERSUADERS
Admin tha's put t'cat amung t'pigeons awreet :svengo::svengo:.

John Wilkinson
 

Brosville 

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Well, I'm very keen on the organic/permaculture end of things, and used to have a free-range egg farm, so decided to go the "natural" way -
Being of the "green" persuasion, the "build your own" philosophy, using as it does natural materials and if desired, recycled timber, I decided to "go for it", and despite minimal woodworking skills now have a top-bar hive, a Warré, both populated by locally caught swarms, beesuit, veil etc, and the whole lot has cost circa £100, and the longer I enjoy the hobby, the more I'm convinced that I made the right choices for me..........
Management is very "hands off" in comparison to "conventional" beekeeping, so if you want to forever be faffing with your charges, this probably isn't the favoured route!


TOP BAR HIVE


WARRE HIVE
 
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Black Comb 

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Good idea Admin. Perhaps make this a sticky.

In this country Nationals/Smiths/WBC are the ones usually encountered first.
I bought Nationals because it seemed most people were running them but one year on I'll be changing to Langstroths, having worked closely with a keeper running these. Fortunateley I didn't pay a lot for the nationals.

Something that newbies often don't understand or aren't told about is bottom and top bee space - if you are new worth looking into.

Finally, as several on my course stated - "I'm getting WBC because I like the look" - the bees don't mind as long as they are properly looked after.
 

JCBrum 

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I joined a local Assoc, and let it be known that, as a service, I would tidy away and remove any unwanted beekeeping equipment no matter how decrepit. If I wished to re-use any of it I would make a donation to the club funds.

Within a few days or so I had obtained a huge pile of rubbish and a small pile of re-usable stuff. I took the rubbish to the tip, and re-furbed the rest. It happened to be Mod. Nat. spec. I donated £25 to club funds.
 

Widdershins 

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Could we post a pic of each hive type (..not forgetting to label it!) ? I think that would be useful.

Brosvilles TBH looks lovely!!
 

victor meldrew 

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Good idea Admin. Perhaps make this a sticky.

In this country Nationals/Smiths/WBC are the ones usually encountered first.
I bought Nationals because it seemed most people were running them but one year on I'll be changing to Langstroths, having worked closely with a keeper running these. Fortunateley I didn't pay a lot for the nationals.

Something that newbies often don't understand or aren't told about is bottom and top bee space - if you are new worth looking into.

Finally, as several on my course stated - "I'm getting WBC because I like the look" - the bees don't mind as long as they are properly looked after.
I have a WBC because I also like the look but I keep my bees in 14"x12" hives :).
Best of both worlds .

John Wilkinson
 

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Same here John I also have a WBC.

I ran out of space last year so I now use it as my queen raiser.
The bees do seem to be a couple of weeks ahead in February compared to my Nats.

And no PH I dont want to convert to Poly..
 

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Queen Bee
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Could we post a pic of each hive type (..not forgetting to label it!) ? I think that would be useful.

Brosvilles TBH looks lovely!!
It may also be a good idea if we could have pictures of frames in use etc,that way I could do a Hive type's page with pictures for new members to read.

Let me start a seperate thread for it.
 

JCBrum 

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I took the rubbish to the tip,
Perhaps I should point out that this was not a landfill site. It is the Local Authority run Re-cycling centre. Nothing gets 'dumped'.

p.s. The one I go to has a wonderful collection of Garden Gnomes, all saved from extinction by the staff. :)
 

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I have a concrete painted nome in my garden that I have not seen for around 10 years.

I must go find him.
 

victor meldrew 

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Perhaps I should point out that this was not a landfill site. It is the Local Authority run Re-cycling centre. Nothing gets 'dumped'.

p.s. The one I go to has a wonderful collection of Garden Gnomes, all saved from extinction by the staff. :)
Elf un safety will be after you mi-lad :hat:.
Jobs worthy at our recycling centre guards all items with his life :puke:.

John Wilkinson
 

gandalfwhitewizard 

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Well yesterday I took a trip to our tip ohh sorry recycling centre....and the staff are soooo helpful that a gentleman with a petrol strimmer wanted to dispose it in the metal bin. But the helpful staff helped him but it didn't quite make it to the metal bin but just to the right of it in another container!!
Perhaps they have a novel way of "recycling" at my local place? Or am i cynical?
But I must say they do love to have an eye on what you put where and I was corrected at putting some old plaster in the wrong bin an honest mistake...
oh and apparently plasterboard is not accepted but old bags of plaster are???
Didn't see any Gnomes though but the staff are vertically challanged does that count?
 
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Oh all right then, if I must (and at the risk of being predictable) my contribution is...


The polystyrene Langstroth. (and in an attempt at fairness not the ones I promote these days).

Probably the most cost effective way for commercial beekeeping but equally applicable for the beginner. The one on the left has a double brood chamber the others a single brood chamber and shallow supers.

Pros: Price and performance plus availability of cheaper wooden frames from Europe and one piece plastic frames.

Cons: Still unresolved issue in the UK of what to do if they get EFB and particularly AFB. But a bee farmer I know said earlier this month that if he had to detroy his poly hives because of disease he would still stick with them as the extra honey crop he gets from them compared to his wooden hives would pay for the replacements. They don't go down well with the pro-wood school of beekeeping of course so expect a few comments.

I also have a bee-less WBC hive and recommend these as garden ornaments.
 

Widdershins 

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I also have a bee-less WBC hive and recommend these as garden ornaments.
Do you have a pic to post, even if its empty? Also, may I enquire why its empty - have you ever 'worked' a WBC???
 
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I've nothing against the WBC, I know people who use them and are very happy with them. I went poly simply because after starting with a National when I looked to buy extra hives I nearly fainted when I saw the prices of new red cedar ones. I then bought the WBC second (third, fourth hand?) and after a few evenings carpentry to sort it out plus a lot of paint decided it would look better in the corner of the garden next to the camelias and bought new poly hives for about the same price each as the ancient WBC - this was in the days when oil and the euro were cheaper. The reference to oil is because the price of plastic is linked to it. Poly hives have gone up in price but they are still about the same price as the best budget wooden ones you can get in sales but given their larger size (of Langstroth) you still get more bees and honey for your money. Hence my comment about cost effectiveness.

It is all down to personal choice but unfortunately many beginners in this country are never given the information to make an informed choice.

Will post a pic in a day or so as I am away from home at the moment.
 
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