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Ely 

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I have mentioned before but this spring will be my first time keeping bees. I am just wondering when is the latest point during spring/summer that I can buy them before it is too late. I know earlier the better due to orders being booked up and hopefully I will get my orders in early anyway but it would be helpful to know in case things keep getting in the way of me buying the equipment etc to startup. Thanks
 

Poly Hive 

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The answer to this is what do you mean by "too late"

If you mean what is the latest point at which you could buy a nuc and treat them for varroa and feed them up thoroughly for winter then hmm.. August.

If you want to buy them and grow them to a full colony and take off a super or two of honey then first week in May. (ish)

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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Depends on what you start with.

Full colony - any time.

Nuc - earlier the better.

But generally you will need some kit before they arrive.....

I would think that most early nucs have been snapped up already and May/June will be a common supply date now.

Of course it depends on whether you are expecting any return (honey) this year.

You should have heard 'a swarm in May....June....July...' etc.

So, unless you get a move on you may already have missed the boat, if you really mean 'this spring'

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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Steady on Rab. He has not missed the boat at all.

I wonder how many are doing what I am which is to say I have firm orders for so many nucs and am not yet taking orders for the "spares" in case I have a shortfall. In another two weeks or so I hope to offer some more.

Tempis fugit and all that but not that fast, not this early.

PH
 

Black Comb 

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On the same theme, what's the furthest you can sensisbly travel with a nuc?

e.g. PH is near Derby, is that too far for me to collect a nuc?
 

Poly Hive 

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How far is a piece of string? Provided they are ventilated they will travel the length of the UK quite happily.

I used to routinely take nucs from Stonehaven to Conon Bridge to collect grafting material and back again with no ill effects, either to the bees or the brood for queen rearing. Round trip of 260 miles and some 8 hours.

PH
 

Ely 

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Thanks for the help guys. It is looking increasingly likely that I will be starting next spring due to funds being tied up on other projects. At least that gives me plenty of time to prepare and study and maybe shadow someone over summer.
 

oliver90owner 

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Poly Hive,

Steady on Rab. He has not missed the boat at all.

With all due respect, if you are offering more you should be offering those to the people that have already ordered and would prefer an earlier date than you have perhaps offered. You may not have anyone with a later order, but be that as it may.

This poster has, it seems, not yet got into gear regarding ordering anything and may get hampered by other things 'keep getting in the way'. Not really such a good recipe for being up and running this spring, is it?

(S)he is asking for the last date bees can be got; not exactly 'get up and be ready' for spring is it?

I did say: most early nucs

You said:not yet taking orders but you may well have had enough previous enquiries to sell those 'spares' already? Don't they get precedence?

No, I still think the poster is likely to miss the boat if they don't get a move on - that is what I said in my post, I think? Nothing more and nothing less?

RAB
 

Hombre 

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The danger with a tight budget Ely, is that there may be a tendency to skimp on that spare box which could become needed if a prolific colony with a last year queen required splitting.

I lost clipped queens last year, because I didn't have the necessary spare hives ready in good time to do what I knew I needed to do. As it was, my lack of timely woodworking productivity cost me my first year honey crop.

I would much prefer that others don't have to take the same hit. Sometimes it isn't the knowledge that is important, it's having the box that allows you to apply the knowledge that is essential. :)

If you have a hive, then bees can be bought, or a swarm caught or gifted from a fellow BKA member. With a bag of bees and no kit you haven't a hope. So get your kit first, make your connections by being as useful as you can and good luck.
 

Poly Hive 

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No Rab. The folk who have ordered have ordered what they want. I am being prudent in making sure I have them covered with spares to hand. I call that being prudent and sensible and ensuring I do not disappoint.

If I cannot sell the "spares" later in the year, which some how I doubt, I will build them up to full colonies and take honey off them and also use them to support my queen rearing.


PH
 

Hombre 

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Sounds prudent to me PH. :grouphug:
= = =
Ely, I don't know how you are fixed with time, but you if you feel the need to gain experience, need something to fill in a bit of time and are willing to hump boxes of bees, then look out a busy bee keeper that might need assistance and see if you can perhaps lend a hand for one day a week. Armed with your own hive, that same person might be your source of a swarm to fill it.

You will see and learn a lot about bee keeping, albeit in the style of your mentor, but I can recommend it as a way forward.
 

Ely 

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Thanks for the info and help, it is duly noted. However, it was always my intention to make sure I was fully kitted out before I even contemplated ordering the bees. That is what this post was about and that is why I am postponing until next year.


Thanks Hombre
 
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tonybloke 

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you could always give me a hand, if you want some experience before you start up on your own. ;)
 

Ely 

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Sure. I'd be up for that. I'm very busy here but I'm sure I could spare some time
 

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