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Sourcing bees for new hive??

 
Adam Klaus
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gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Hi Christy (again),
When starting a new hive, I know (most) everyone advocates catching a wild swarm. This sounds great, ideally, but maybe not super practical.

My thinking is that luring a wild swarm would be best, second choice being getting bees from another local beekeeper.

If these techniques dont work out, what is your recommendation? I am thinking of investing the significant money to setup two hives, and would like them to get going from the first year. How late into the spring/summer can I start a hive and be successful?

I live on the warm-ish slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and figure that local climate has some bearing on where I source bees. Do you have companies you recommend for this region?

Thanks!
Adam
 
Peter Hartman
Posts: 171
Location: springfield, MO
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You should be on the look out for treatment free and small/natural cell size bees. Catching a swarm does not guarantee that these bees are healthy they may have been dosed with chemicals to keep them alive those hives can swarm too. That said they are free if you catch them and they can't hack it you don't have a huge loss. Christy is a reseller for wolf creek apiaries in TN/GA, but you may be able to order direct from wolf creek. Another one to look at is BeeWeaver in TX. Those are the 2 that I have found but I am sure there are others.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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Adam Klaus wrote:
My thinking is that luring a wild swarm would be best, second choice being getting bees from another local beekeeper.


Try Craig's list. I got a NUC from a local beekkeeper (hopefully coming this weekend). If there are no ads, put one in offering money for a split from a treatment free hive.

As far as timing goes, I've read this:
bees in May, worth a load of hay, bees in July, not worth a fly.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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bumped / flagged for any more suggestions
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1570
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Did you see my thread

Sourcing bees

People in your area are probably looking to get rid of swarms. Some cheap adds on google has brought me 3 good contacts in a week - albeit for cutout jobs rather than swarms so far.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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adam,
i spoke to a semi-local bee keeper yesterday and he recommended Weavers down in TX:
http://www.beeweaver.com/

it looks like they are sold out for 2014, but i saw you mention you have mason bees on the way for this year.
i think this is where we will order from next year.

the biggest issue the guy told me about was the shipping of the bees. he says some people order bees from further east (GA) and sometimes the bees arrive dead based on shipping time / transport.
he did mention that there are some bees sellers in CA that might be better for the western slope guys, but didnt mention a specific place. if you want i can ask next time i stop by.

hope this helps.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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i wanted to add, that if anyone in CO is interested in a package of bees, i will be preordering some beewever next year.

i only mention this because the site mentions that shipping 2 is better than shipping 1.


i also see that the bee weaver folks have been mite treatment free since 2001.

 
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