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simon kerr 

New Bee
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Location
Holbeach, Lincs.
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national
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I am saving for a couple of hive at present as I would like to start in the spring.
Can I ask on your wealth of experience.

1. I have looked on the Thornes website but am not sure on the best set up, or variety of hive to chose, WBC, National etc.
2. For two hives, what should I be looking at paying?
3. As for colonies for both, can you recommend the strain of bees (if thats the word) best for a beginner.

I am sure there will be 100's of other Q's when I start reading the books I have, this is for starters!

Thanks in advance all

Simon.
 

JCBrum 

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8 ish
For most people it depends on the budget available.

If your initial investment is not a major financial consideration, Thornes is not a bad place to start, but some are considering the Omlet beehaus.

If keeping the budget to an effective investment is important, then I would suggest purchase one utility grade National hive for around £100 or less, and make a second copy yourself if your carpentry is up to it.

As for bees, talk to your local assoc members, and try and capture a couple of swarms, which usually come for free, or do a deal for a nucleus colony with some one who is interested in getting you started.

In my experience, a second hand empty hive can be obtained for £25 - £50, and a good swarm of bees is 'raring' to go, and will probably need dividing again in the first season.

So I would say the minimum outlay could be £30 ish, and if you buy an Omlet beehaus then expect to pay up to £700 including a colony of bees.

p.s. I started with s/h kit that no-one else wanted and bought a couple of nucs in the £70 category.
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
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Location
Scottish Borders
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national
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12 and 18 Nucs
Please read some books first.

Hive wise there are many sensible choices and some not so clever. At this time the omlet is very much debatable for several reasons not the least being cost and fad.

Read the forum over the winter, use the search function and ponder.

Some have agendas which become obvious and some are just.....

Some post from knowledge.

Good luck

PH
 

simon kerr 

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Holbeach, Lincs.
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I have looked at the Beehaus from Omlet, although quite good I want to go with a traditional hive, National etc.
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
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Well I started with a National.

Then tried xyz, and so on, and I am not willing to go into that detail.

Landed on very non traditional Poly and I will be honest with you having had at times many thousands invested in my bees I would given the choice again go for poly every time.

Axe grinding? I hope not just pointing out a sensible route that the bees love..

PH
 

thurrock bees 

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Haywards Heath, Sussex
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national
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hi simon and welcome to the forum and the beekeeping world, i would recommend in attanding a course with you local beekeeping ass. to get basic knowledge of keeping bees, in the mean time i would ask around and try out different hives and see what is best for YOU,
Ive got nationals and ive never had other types ( im happy with nationals).

Where in the uk are you??
If you want ask for anyone who will let you see them up close and maybe go though them.

i have nationals that are empty ( no bees) and im from grays, essex, are you near??
 

Haughton Honey 

Drone Bee
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commercial
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Lots of Commercial hives.......
If you've definately decided that you want to go down the cedar National route then you could do a lot worse than buying it/them from Hivemaker on here. They are excellent quality and will doubtless last a lifetime.
 

simon kerr 

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Thurrock Bees, I am in South Lincs near Holbeach.

Thanks for all the replies, at least there is no hurry, I will spend the winter months working out what I need and a bit of networking!!

Simon.
 

oliver90owner 

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Steady on, WPC! He only said 'traditional'.

Lots of reading and deciding to do yet. Hivemaker may well be a good choice of supplier, if/when he decides.

I would say get reading/asking/looking, ready for the new year sales. There will be some good seasonal reductions to consider.

Most go the National route and change later if they find their needs different, after a period of keeping bees.

I will just say I started with hives containing National frames and am still using that basic frame format - but not in the original hive formats and brood frame sizes I started with. Lots of standardisation with adaptability......

Regards, RAB
 

tonybloke 

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Location
Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk
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commercial
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3 Commercial hives with National supers, Top Bee Space. + 2 Nucs
have a good read of this forum over the winter, and can I recommend 'Ted Hooper, Guide to bees and Honey' as a good book to read. :cheers2:
 

DrNick 

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Doncaster in the former West Riding of Yorkshire.
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Hi Simon,
We started keeping bees this year and so our knowledge of other hives is very limited, we bought two nationals from Thornes, however, as good as they are (in my opinion) the type of bees we have outgrow the brood box far too quickly (we have Carniolans, they are ultra gentle while still being very hard working, their downside is that they have a tendency to swarm, but this is as much down to the brood box size and their fast rate of laying, stopping swarming is easy enough and all good books will tell you a variety of ways to do this). We are looking to get bigger brood boxes for next year (probably 14x12) that way we can still use the floors, supers etc as they are the same size as they are for nationals (that may be something to keep in mind for in the future if you want to upgrade).
Read as much as you can, some good books are Bees at the bottom of the garden, Practical beekeeping-Clive de Bruyn and A Guide to Bees and Honey-Ted Hooper.
There is no definitive answer to your question, but read what people on here have to say (I exclude myself from this as I am just a beginner), this place really is a gold mine of information, and welcome to the forum.
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
This is is all good advice you have time on your hands to do the reading the three books recommended by DrNick are a must in my opinion and also join a local organization they often do winter evening classes thats the way I started and it was fascinating to hear the experienced beekeepers talking about the craft also in the spring they may start the practical classes and you will be able to see inside a established hive then you will know if its for you or not. As for the hives I prefer Cedar or atleast a timber as it is more natural and repairable and plenty of people make them so shop around 2nd hand or new
 

mikethebee 

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HI Simon when your ready, try this;
A New BSNational working hive overwinterd compleat famliy of bees for £185 collected from our ezeeb yard in April/MAY, compleat with "how to".
all the best mike
 

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