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limavady 

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I would like to ask for you help with the following questions:

When I decide to start keeping bees how do I go about obtaining a nucleus to start with? Can it be purchased from a supplier and would such an order need to be made well in advance?

Secondly what time of the year is it best to make such a purchase (if possible) with a view to getting a hive up and running (not producing honey for me but rather getting the bees the best chance to survive and settle).

Your help would be gratefully recieved. :)
 

David P 

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Probably best to leave getting a nuc until next spring,you would have time to get one strong enough to overwinter this year still, but probably easier to do your research first and look forward to the spring rather than jump in now and worry all through the autumn and winter.
As to where to get bees, I believe the Irish Beekeepers assoc frowns upon importing bees so the best bet would be to join a local assoc and ask there.
In the meantime do lots of reading and get your head round the often conflicting advice you will be given.
Most important of all have fun.

David



PS Welcome to the forum
 

BKF Admin 

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Does the Irish beekeeping association include northern ireland or is the north part of the BBKA?
 

Poly Hive 

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Limavady?

I would say there is heaps of time to get your nuc and get it ready for winter.

Contact and join you local association and ask them for contacts who may have Nucs for sale.

A five frame nuc now will easily build up for the winter nicely and give you some interesting experiences to no doubt.

PH
 

limavady 

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Excellent replies and advice. Will check out the links given. The society nearest to me is the Roe Valley beekeepers and will approach them to see if they are accepting new members. Thanks to all who took the time to reply and share their knowledge and experience.
 

BKF Admin 

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jon 

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Limavady.
I am at the other side of NI in Belfast and there is a real shortage of nucs this year due to a massive influx of new members in the BKAs. Most of them have about 50 on a waiting list.
As mentioned, the UBKA has a strong anti import policy.
Amongst other things, we still don't have pyrethroid resistant mites in NI and they could easily arrive in a nuc.
Dromore BKA is breeding AMM queens so you could try contacting them. They had plans to sell nucs for £60 but the last update I had was in April so I don't know where they stand now or what success they have had.
Get your name down with your local association as soon as possible.
If you can get something before then end of August there is a good chance of it building up fine and overwintering. I overwintered a nuc a couple of years ago and the queen only mated towards the end of September.
 

Finno 

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I overwintered a nuc a couple of years ago and the queen only mated towards the end of September.
That was stretching it!. I may try for a "second generation" this year in my four nucleus boxes as have already moved first four nuclei to full sized hives..
 

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