Moving to NWA and wondering about possibility of re-establishing apiary with swarms and removals and other bee-related questions

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Chris Parton

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Jun 8, 2016, 12:57:26 PM6/8/16
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Hi folks.

My wife and I are moving back to northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville specifically, to be closer to family, and I'm wondering about the possibility of re-establishing my beeyard with swarms and colonies from removals.  I'm not interested in buying packages anymore because of the problems I've watched my local club and fellow beekeepers experience with their package orders. I currently have 5 colonies on hand and am weighing whether or not I want to move them with us and attempt to get them back up and running once we arrive or sell them and start a new beeyard next year with swarms and removals.

What is the swarm season like in northwest Arkansas?  Are there usually plenty of swarms to go around?  Does the club coordinate a swarm hotline?  How about removals?  Are there some of those to go around, and do people usually charge for them or do them for free?

How successful are most folks at overwintering colonies?  What are the main flows and when does the main flow usually occur?  Is there a fall flow?

That should be enough questions for now.  Look forward to hopefully meeting some of you this fall at a club meeting or two.

Best
Chris

James McCarty

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Jun 8, 2016, 3:24:32 PM6/8/16
to NWA Beekeepers
Peak of swarm season runs middle of April to middle of May, this year it was a little early.  I got about 20 calls this year but handed most of them off to other beekeepers.  You just have to put your name out there on some of the municipal and pest company lists.  I dont think the club does a hotline but I know that Jim Pickett has been a central figure in swarm collection and will often send others to collect swarms.  Not sure about removals, I dont really want the headache, but I would certainly not do them for free.  Beesource.com has some pretty good discussions on this.  Overwintering is typically pretty good as our winters are mild.  Varroa and the viruses they carry are way more of an issue IMO than starvation.  The only way my colonies do well/overwinter is if I knock back varroa populations before most of the winter brood are produced, sometime in the late september to early october time-frame.  For flow, a strong hive in April will do really well on blackberry, tulip poplar, locust, and others.  The main flow is typically dutch clover which the bees really start paying attention to starting the middle of may and last through the middle of June.  There is usually a pretty good dearth from July through September and then a fall goldenrod flow which cant be counted on but is always nice when it happens.

Chris Parton

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Aug 23, 2016, 9:56:34 PM8/23/16
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I'm in town now and am trying to get in contact with folks about swarm season next year.  Do some of the cities like Fayetteville, Farmington, etc., have a person that coordinates swarm pickups and sends them out to local beekeepers?  Do you have any names you could pass along?  Does anyone have contact info for Jim Pickett that you mention above?

Thanks
Chris

Dana a Mcdowell

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Aug 24, 2016, 12:22:50 PM8/24/16
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Jim Pickett
855 N. Pembroke Road
Fayetteville, AR 72701-2520
479-530-5534


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