Cleo when you sell nucs do you include the box, top and bottom? I include the frames in mine, but the box is 20.00 extra. I thought that was pretty standard.
On the cage... there is actually a deposit on it that is refundable if you get it back to your supplier.
Plus nucs come with drawn comb.
A worker bee weighs about 90 mg. There are exactly 6600 cells per deep frame of commercially produced foundation.
So there are 11 bees per gram and 454 grams per lb. So 5044 bees per lb x 3 lbs is 15133 bees in a 3 lb package.
So a deep of brood is just over 1/3 of a three lb package.
bluegrass.... Actually I sell a variety of ways, but first, keep in mind that I am a small peanut in the world of nucs. I only program to sell 100 each year. I am almost sold out for this year. I think I only have 5 more available.
If I sell a nuc, yes, the nuc will have 2 or 3 frames of brood, two additional frames of bees, honey, pollen, new queen already laying, and the nuc is a box jointed nuc, with detachable bottom board, and top. I also sell transfers, where I transfer 5 frames into customer equipment. I also sell 5 frame nucs in 10 frame equipment. In this case the customer gets the 5 nuc frames, plus 5 additional frames with foundation. All 10 frame equipment, including bottom board, deep brood chamber, inner cover, top.
Sorry, I wasn't aware that there was a refundable deposit on the wire cages. Obviously, I haven't bought any packages in years and years, but I didn't think Kelly gave anything back for the cage. I will have to check on this just for info.
Here is a photo of what the nucs look like.
Here is a photo of the Nucs on the stands, waiting for customer pick-up.
This photo shows 5 and 10 frame nucs waiting for customer pick-up.
Cleo, what are the stands made from? Also, are they on the stands to be at a working height or for some other reason?
Major... After a Nuc seller has been in business for a few years, his/her customers will get virtually new frames because I have to replace the 5 frames I took out for the Nuc with 5 new frames with foundation in the brood stock. And you are right, a GOOD Nuc seller will stay in business because he/she sells a quality product. Fly-by-Nights will drop by the wayside.
Bluegrass...I can't do math. You got me there.
Adrian Quiney WI...Those stands are the plastic tubs that cattle mineral comes in, from Southern States. They are free for the taking. Yes they are selected because they are at a comfortable height for the Nucs, and they are free. The tubs will support perhaps 2 deep and 1 shallow, but not much more. They would not be good for honey hive stands where you have several boxes. My brood stock is on metal pipe stands, like these two photos.
Purchased 1 nuc and 1 package last May. Nuc came with a good supply of mites with the brood.. could not control...didn't last the year...package is going strong...
Mark another one up for nuc disadvantage: 1 lost hive -$130
oldforte....Couldn't you also get mites with your package bees? I would chalk that one up to the supplier, rather than nuc vrs package. If your nuc supplier is selling nucs with heavy mite loads, he/she won't be selling nucs very long. People will not come back, and the word will get out. Same with packages.
Ever get a package that contains a queen with the bees, and one in the cage. It happens, if they don't find the queen when making up the packages, or there were virgin queens as a result of swarming when they made up the packages. Which one survives, and does she get damaged.
Ever order more than one package and have one or more drift so badly that one or more could not survive. If so you are out the cost of a package.
There are advantages and disadvantages with both. Good conversation and analysis on this thread. Thanks everyone.
I recommend a buyer do his/her homework and choose whichever one will work best for you.
I started beekeeping with both a package and then a nuc last year. I experienced some pros and cons with both.
The first package came with most of the bees drowned from too big holes in the syrup can. The seller didn't give me any problem and replaced the package but it meant I got a very late start (which really mattered last year with an early spring and then summer drought). The queen that came with the package was not much of a layer and by time I replaced her it might have been too late. The bees went into winter with a fairly small cluster and I am not sure they will make it (I already ordered a replacement package just in case).
The nuc I purchased for pickup in late summer and while they are great bees, it came with SHB and wax worms. The bees and I fought those but because of the SHB I had a hard time giving them pollen supplement (which they were low on and needed to raise brood) and they too went into winter with a small cluster. I am not sure this hive will make it through winter either but they seem to be doing well so far. Better than the package, but these bees were supposed to have great genetics so I am hoping they show it and survive.
This year, to avoid having the same issues with the package I found a producer in my state and will drive to pick up the bees.
i always order packages if there not biting the cage or stinging which i never seen i let her out so she can lay as soon as possible.the times i let the bees release her they supersede her.i figure they think shes not a good egg layer caged too long..my two cents..
Kelley may not give the deposit back, but their supplier probably would if they were willing to store them and give them back to them. The deposit is only 1.50 this year so for somebody who only buys a few packages it probably isn't worth returning them, but some of my larger customers return them and I take them back. The deposit is worked into the price so most people don't know it is there.
If a customer contacts me within two weeks of getting a package and need a replacement queen I send them one. All the package producers I have worked with have sent extras with the load in case of failed queens. Except in 2010 because they didn't have extra's available. Last year I had nearly 30 queens left over...
Yes you can get mites with a package, but there isn't extra brood for a second generation of mites in with the package ;) Also there was a study in 97 I think about foul brood in Nucs... They were comparing why it wasn't a problem with package bees and their results indicated that the shaken out bees did not have enough spores in them to infect a newly established hive, where the brood from a nuc did.. I will try and find that source.
Cleo: Wish I had the opportunity to meet you while I was still in KY... Looks like I moved out about the time you joined the forum... Your reputation had preceded you though :)
You could probably buy a nuke in the middle of winter not so a package.
Bluegrass...Yes, I know about the reduction of mites in packages. And that is a plus for a package. AFB is also an increased possibility with the nucs, and reduced with packages. Guess the new beekeeper just needs to weigh their options and then decide which will work best for them.
I can see why the small beekeeper would not fool with the deposit,($1.50). But, if you were buying 500 packages that would be $750.00, and that is significant. I learn something every day. I didn't know there was a deposit on packages. I am just a very small peanut in the world of bees and Nucs.
Colleen O ..... Small hive beetles are certainly a problem with Nucs, and to a lesser degree packages, (but, it is there also), only good management practices will take care of this problem. As for Wax worms, that is an indication that the nuc was not strong. You will not get wax worms unless your nuc/hive is weak. This would not be your fault, as the producer should not be splitting a hive that is weak enough to have a wax worm problem. You won't get wax worms with strong nucs or strong hives. It is amazing how many problems can be traced to weak hives. Keep your nucs/hives strong, don't give them excessive wax that they cannot guard.
As for supercedure.... Every year I get numerous calls from all over the country, about people seeing queen cells in nucs they have purchased. This is totally natural. If a nuc is made up in Georgia and a new queen placed in the nuc in a cage, then trucked to Illinois, the bees realize very quickly that they do not have a queen that is laying for them and they take matters into their own hands, and start queen cells to insure their survivability. They only have a limited number of days to do this until there are no viable eggs left to make a queen. If the new queen gets out of the cage and starts laying, the bees will take care of those queen cells before they emerge. Ideal situation is to have the queen laying before they are delivered to the customers.
I think I joined the Forum in 2010. I retired from the Army in 1978 and I said I did not want anything to do with computers, but, in 1995 I realized that I should stay up with the World. I had not heard of the Forum until Kelly asked me to answer some questions for them. Glad I found it. Barry does a great job on this site. There are a World of GREAT people on this site.
I learn something new, virtually every day. I learn something, even if a post is not totally accurate or filled with bias. As they say in Intelligence Gathering, "A lie, when you know it is a lie, is often just as valuable as the truth". (Don't know who made that comment).
If you, or anyone else are ever in Kentucky, around Exit 48 on Ky. I-65, Mammoth Cave Kentucky, you are welcome to contact me and I will be happy to show you my little operation, talk about bees.
Everybody, Have a great day.
Cleo: Just out of curiosity what is your price difference between a nuc where you transfer into the customer's box and one where they get the nuc box.
Last year my nucs were 125.00 plus 20.00 for the box if they needed it. I only had one person take my boxes and pay the deposit on them, he has not returned them. Everybody else did a transfer like you mentioned above for the 125.00 price.
Thanks for the invitation, if I ever get back down that way I will contact you.
No need to be good at math really.
A deep sheet of foundation is mechanically printed with a consistent cell size, so you just count the cells in a square inch (24) and multiply by the size of the sheet. A sheet is 16 3/4x8 so 134 sq inches per sheet. That gives you about 3300 which you multiply by 2 to account for both sides of a comb.
The weight of the average worker bee you can just ask your smart phone or google and I get an answer of 90 mg. So convert mg to grams and you get 11 bees per gram and grams to lbs to get 5044 bees per lb. So one deep frame of brood will hatch out about a lb of bees... Of course that does not take the honey along the edges into account.
I found it very interesting the see the wide variety of ideas and ethics displayed by the various vendors. As Major said above, make sure to look carefully and ask questions BEFORE you buy.
We are teaching our newbees how to ask questions this year before paying for the nuc. And which questions to ask. So many were cheated last year......very sad.