If you are new to Beekeeping, then you have probably already received advice like start with at least two Beehives! And you might wonder why. And you might wonder if there are any exceptions. So I’ll just make a brief post to get my thoughts on this.
Most often, starting with two allows you to observe more than one colony and learn from the differences that develop. It also gives you the opportunity to share resources from a strong hive with a weak hive. Or to utilize resources from a strong hive to correct a problem with a weak hive. It also import your chances of successfuly overwintering, and having a chance of making a split to replace a colony that died out, without having to buy more bees!
Those are some of the basic reasons we typically recommend starting with two. But having two does not lessen the importance of learning AND APPLYING proper/effective hive management! :-)
Exceptions to this rule DO exist (like most rules, right?)
So, urban, or suburban beekeeping may limit the number, available space, and size of a beekeeper’s apiary. Budgets can limit plans too!
In that case study, learn, and I highly recommend you PAY an experienced beekeeper or beekeeping service to either rent a hive to you, or to come check and service your bees regularly so that you have some expert advice between your own inspections and maintenance.
Why pay? Reliability is typically better that way. Ever ask for favors, and help only to have the help disappear when the work gets hard and times get busy?
Yep, me too.
One of my first year customers really did a great job following my instructions. They bought A nuc from me, and brand new eight frame equipment, and with a little luck and an exceptional Minnesota Hygienic queen, they were able to produce about 110lbs of honey (their first season) and successfully overwinter their colony!
In this case, only a few visits were asked for. But the timing was right, treatments and management were successfully and correctly applied, and a stunning (and abnormal) booming hive developed!
I have a number of customers that subscribe to my monthly services simply to have my time reserved. it also benefits them in case they want/need supplies as I can drop off and install what is needed at that time too (instead of having a separate trip/delivery fee!)
So, as always, there’s lots more to talk about and varying opinions abound. But keeping it short was the goal today! -Mike with BeeResQ.com