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Minnesota or North Dakota

 
Kim Kaseman
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Anyone on here from MN or ND? My friend and I are planning on starting beekeeping in 2016. We like he warre hive, but not sure how hard they are to build. Anyone in this neck of the woods?
 
jacob wustner
Posts: 64
Location: Western Montana
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bee chicken fish goat hugelkultur hunting
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Not from MN or ND, but from MT. I can tell you though, some of the best honey country in the US is in North Dakota and Minnesota, and both have tons of beekeepers!
 
Kim Kaseman
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Hi Jacob. Beekeeping not quite as popular in my area as southern MN. But I am finding more contacts thanks for the encouragement!
 
Quintin Holmberg
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
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I'm in MN. I live up in the sticks near Isanti, about 30 miles north of the cities.

I keep the standard langstroth setup right now. There is a lot of influence towards that here in and surrounding the metro. I think that is due to the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association and their close affiliation with the BeeLab at the UofM. I like both of them and think they do good work but they do lean lean in favor of production models over all natural models.

I'm going into my third year as a beekeeper. It's looking very promising that my bees will successfully over-winter this year. Last winter (my first) they did not. I've been treatment free the whole time but I cannot claim it was a conscious choice, especially on year one. It's more a product of being cheap (I don't want to buy treatments) and lazy (I never got the testing done). I did not even know one could go treatment free until last year at which time it became a conscious decision.

I started the conversion to foundationless last year. I'll probably stick to foundationless Langs for the next few years. My focus is more on staying treatment free and getting to sustainable (no buying bees) than focusing on the form factor of the hive. Once I feel I've attained that, I'll probably start taking the swarms they produce and putting them in different hive styles. Warre is at the top of my list with Perone following a close second (the lazy factor of that hive just makes me giddy).

I've never built a warre but I have built a box and, essentially, that is all any vertical hive is. To build you own is not tough. This was part of Warre's methodology. It's intended to be very easy to build. But joints and easy angles. That said, if you are willing to sacrifice the premise of the inside dimension being a specific size, you can convert any Langstroth hive setup to Warre management style. You just only buy medium hive bodies and only use the top bar of the frame. In other words, don't let a fear of woodworking stop you. Buy Lang setups and do it that way.

I'm planning a field trip for people within driving distance of Hudson, WI to the apiary of someone I know through MHBA in March or April. He might not consider himself a permie in the purest sense but his apiary has been treatment free and sustainable for the past 3 years. If you (or anyone else reading this) is interested, "Purple Moose" (PM) me and I'll keep you posted.
 
Kim Kaseman
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I am in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Not sure how far you are away from me. I love the warre idea. I think we will start with langs( I have a friend selling some) and maybe couple of tbh.
 
Quintin Holmberg
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
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You are very far away!

My theory is to start with what you have resources for. By resources I do not mean just equipment. It sounds like you have access to intellectual resources, too, and they are more important that equipment resources. In regards to equipment, it's hard for someone to help you when they do not comprehend what you are working with.

That doesn't mean you have to do everything they do. After you can successfully winter hives in this environment, there are many directions to take your bees.

Now is the time to be lining up your bees. If you can, find someone with nucs of proven local stock. You will save yourself a lot of heartache over packaged bees shipped to you from warm weather states. Virtually all packaged bees come from warm weather states regardless of whether you are buying from a local resource (i.e. Mann Lake, in our case).
 
Quintin Holmberg
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
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Oh ... additionally, Warres are TBHs. They are a vertical TBH. It's kinda become a pet peeve of mine but, everybody seems to have the equation that TBH = Kenyan TBH which is of the horizontal type. TBH just indicates that the hives have just the top bar and no frames.

I don't know of anyone who keeps a horizontal TBH in cold weather areas. I've seen references on forums that there are but it sounds like there is a lot of weather proofing involved to get them to over-winter. That's all anecdotal so do your research.

In my unexperienced opinion on the topic, the Warre would seem a much more suitable TBH for Minnesnowta.
 
Kim Kaseman
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Quintin, I do understand the dif between warre and Kenya tbh. We are thinking of trying to make a Tanzanian style tbh with a langs on the top. I have heard of some ppl keeping tbh in cold climates. We are headed for an adventure for sure!
 
Quintin Holmberg
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
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I had not heard of a Tanzanian style tbh. Did a quick search and that is an interesting configuration.

What do you mean by "langs on top"?
 
Kim Kaseman
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http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=70196

This what I mean by a Lang on top.

image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
Kim Kaseman
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The second pic is the one I really like! They have like 3 colonies in there!
 
Quintin Holmberg
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
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I have not seen those before. They are very interesting. I definitely have to add them to my research list.
 
Kim Kaseman
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Search long hives, European long hives... Wikipedia gives you several different names for them. I found this last night and I love it!
http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to-build/double-deep-long-hive.shtml
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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Kim Kaseman wrote:Search long hives, European long hives... Wikipedia gives you several different names for them. I found this last night and I love it!
http://www.horizontalhive.com/how-to-build/double-deep-long-hive.shtml


I'm speaking from the rather damp best coast, so this may not apply where you're at, but beware using ply-board in beehives. and when I say "beware" I mean "don't do it". but once again, all beekeeping is local, so things may be different in your vicinity and ply-boards may work just fine.
 
Kim Kaseman
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Yes, we've decided not to use plywood! Heard it's bad! Thanks though
 
Wyatt Regan
Posts: 5
Location: North Dakota ~ Zone 4
food preservation tiny house urban
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Hello Kim! I live in Grand Forks, ND. Nice to see someone from my area on here!
 
Kim Kaseman
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Hi Wyatt! I've found a couple other guys from GF on a FB group. There's not a lot lot of ppl up here bee keeping. I get excited when I find someone in our are! How long you been keeping, how many hives, etc
 
Wyatt Regan
Posts: 5
Location: North Dakota ~ Zone 4
food preservation tiny house urban
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Not keeping any bees yet, but definitely doing plenty of research on bee forage and such. Hopefully someday I'll get some hives. I just thought I'd say hi to a fellow Permie from the area. Is this facebook group specific to beekeeping? Know of any workshops or anything like that in the area?
 
Kim Kaseman
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The FB group is a beekeeping group. Im hoping to have my hives next year. There is a beekeeping class in Fargo. It's at the fargo public library on March 24th at 7 pm. Not sure if you're willing to drive here. Might be stuff in GF. Try local library.
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