Our Discussion Forums and Online Classifieds may be viewed by anyone, but posting or responding to existing messages is limited to VBA members.

  Sunday, November 06 2022
  7 Replies
  1.3K Visits
Hello all,

New beekeeper here in Central Vermont. My son and I have been talking about keeping bees for quite some time. We’re planning out a pollinator garden for next summer and will get our hive set up in the spring as well.

Does someone have recommendations as to where to reserve a package of bees for next year delivery?

Thanks in advance!

1 year ago
Paul -

Take a look at the Services menu on the top of the page for a list of Northern Honeybee Providers.

Good luck

1 year ago
Thank you!
1 year ago
I see you have indicated a "package"....obtaining a nuc is a few more $$$ but gets your colony growing much faster. Also, it is highly recommended to start with two hives. With only 1 you have no comparison as to how things are going.

I also want to remind you that you need to register your apiary with the Vt. Dept. Of Agriculture. $10.00 fee as well.

And, no matter where you live you will need an electric fence to educate the bears.

Good luck and let the adventure begin !!!!
Hi Paul,

Also, check out the VBA training program on the VBA website under the Resources menu to know what you should try to learn before your bees arrive.
You really should look for a nucleus colony. With a new hive building wax is your biggest barrier. I've seen far too many people starting out that don't move the frames about to encourage more wax building and end up with a small colony that swarms all summer. The 5 predrawn wax frames in a nuc are going to give you an advantage. I sell and use packages but don't recommend them if anyone is starting with foundation. The key is to move the outer frame on each side over one space. One or two of the outer frames of the nuc will be the food frames, by inserting one foundation between the brood and food the bees will draw the comb quick. Alternate back and forth so they still have good access to pollen stores. Once one side of the frame is drawn turn it around so they work on the other side. Work back and forth both sides until 7-ish frames of bees then put on the second box and move one or two brood frames into center of second box. Rinse and repeat and don't neglect to get supers on long before they prep to swarm. Meh, 5-ish drawn frames in second box should do it.

A good packed nuc colony is ready to explode in population. 3 to 4 thousand bees to a pound, one pound of bees covers one deep frame, one deep frame has approx. 6500 cells. Once a full frame of capped brood emerges that's going to cover another two frames. That exponential growth continues fast so stay ahead of them with space and encouraging them to draw comb.

Mann Lake has a sale on right now for full painted hives- covers, two medium supers, two deep boxes, solid bottom board and the frames for $299 free shipping. It's quite a deal, unpainted are not on sale and go for $350. You can always look for used equipment come spring on Craigslist too. Two hives is recommended but certainly doable with one. Join a bee club to see other hives to compare. Let's face it, beekeeping start up is a chunk of cash and you have yet to determine if you enjoy it enough to manage the bees. This is why you see nearly unused equipment for sale on Craigslist. Try to find a local club. There used to be a link to clubs here but I can't find it anymore. We have a five year active group in Brownington that meets every two weeks in the apiary starting in April if that works.

Good luck
1 year ago
If you go to the top menu on this site and look under Resources, then for Beekeepers, you'll see listings of Vermont and Regional Beekeeping Clubs.

Also, please also look at this article: https://www.vermontbeekeepers.org/resources/for-beekeepers/education/learn-to-be-a-beekeeper .

If you aren't able to locate information on the site use the Search feature...
11 months ago
Read up on Varroa Mites. Its been a bad year for them. You might want to treat for them before honey flow starts.
  • Page :
  • 1
There are no replies made for this post yet.