It's all relative!
Seriously, the guy last Tuesday told us all the things that we "needed" to do and "how" we needed to do it; here's the catch, two thirds of it was in direct conflict with the things we were told that we "needed" to do and "how" we needed to do them by the guest the previous Tuesday. I do have to say, however, that the guy this last Tuesday when asked "Why?" to certain parts had specific reasons and studies that proved it or at least supported his point of view. He was an extension agent with Idaho and actually studies these things after all.
So, now we are at the point of deciding what and how we are planning on doing this. As one might expect there are quite a few decisions to be made and, at this point, not a lot of time to make them. I mean, we're not rushed by any means but there are decisions that need to be made within the next month at the longest.
For instance, what type of hives do we want to set up? We've pretty well decided that we want to stay traditional and use Langstroth hives ; they're readily available and have a large basis of information to pull from which will be particularly useful for beginning beekeepers like us. The biggest issue I have with respect to the hive styles is the materials that I choose to have them made from. Typically they are plain pine boxes that are painted on the outside and left plain on the inside. This is more cost effective to start off, but will require more time and money later in maintenance to scrap, clean and repaint them, and can also decrease the movement of moisture through the box walls. As the bees fan the fresh honey in order to lower its moisture level to the correct amount, that moisture needs to be able to leave the hive. This isn't normally a problem, but it is part of what causes hive box paint jobs to weather quickly. The best solution to eliminating, or at least greatly reducing the maintenance dilemma as well as to solving the need to paint at all, is to invest in a more quality hive body. Some I have found are made of cedar or cypress. Both of these woods will wear well when exposed to wet outdoor conditions and will not require paints at all. This is the direction I am currently leaning.
The other, and probably more obvious, decision that we'll need to make is what kind of dang bees to get? There are many sorts of production bees that can be gotten, and on top of that a selection of queens to be made too. I don't have all the information yet that I'll need to make that decision, but we are doing our due diligence. Any suggestions, experiences or opinions are not only welcomed but needed! I know from my initial post on the bees that there are a good number of you out there looking into starting your own hives as well? I hope you'll share your research and opinions with me? If you've taken the time to write a post on your experiences leave a comment with a link or send me over an email and I'd be happy to check it out and post a link to your place as well. The blogging world has so much to offer us all in the way of collaboration I'd hate to see us all have to do all the work on our own!
Right now that's about all I have on the bees, but there'll be more for sure.
Till next time,
Best to you all!