I have come to the determination that the very first thing that I need to make this beekeeping “project” work is to develop an inventory of built out comb frame. Comb frames are movable frames that are used by the bees to store food and raise young. This is the hexagonal wax honeycomb that first comes to mind when we think of honeybees.
My starting point for approaching this is based on George Imirie’s guidance on Building Foundation and Proper Supering. George was probably the most experienced beekeeper in my area. Just how much comb I’m able to build out in my first year is mainly a function of how many bees I can get to work on the task. With the current plan being to start with a single NUC hive, it seems that I may only be able to get them to build out two deep boxes of comb. I may only be able to get 20-30 drawn out frames. I need that much just to get them through their first winter!
If the winds of fortune blow in my direction and I’m able to capture a feral hive I may be able to more than double this amount. Right now I’m thinking that I may need to come up with a more dependable plan (possibly buying a package or two of bees). Trapping feral bees is kind of like fishing – easy when you know what you are doing but probably frustrating while you are learning. It will bee interesting to see how that works out.