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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    Hi folks,
    I have decided to use all medium supers in my hives rather than having deeps for brood chambers. The question is this:
    When installing 3lb packages should I install them into 1 medium super, or 2? Does it even matter?

    Thanks,
    wish

    [This message has been edited by wishthecuttlefish (edited July 25, 2003).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Post

    I've done several different approaches to see the results. They all worked but here was my experience:

    1 package in a medium 5 frame nuc. Population exploded and I actually did a split into another 5 frame nuc shortly after installation and ended up with two fairly nice hives. The small space got them a nice start on those chilly spring days.

    1 package in 3 medium 10 frame boxes with just starter strips. Did fine, but took longer to build up. I think mostly because of all the wax to be drawn. Did not build up as fast at first as the 5 frame nuc, but did well after the first batch of brood began to emerge.

    1 package in 2 medium 10 frame boxes with wax coated PermaComb. Took off very quickly. Not as fast as the 5 frame nuc, but pretty fast. Faster than the 3 medium boxes.

    1 package in 1 medium 8 frame box. I think this is a nice size for a package. It's not so wide as to break up the cluster and gives good warmth for early in the spring. It built up very quickly, as fast as the 5 frame nuc, and after the first batch of brood began to emerge it was moved into two 10 frame boxes and continued to flourish. I think I could have used 1 ten frame box and done almost as well.

    Conclusion:

    Depending on the equipment you have available, I would put them in a single 5, 8 or 10 frame box until the first batch of brood begins to emerge. I find 8 frame boxes are nice for starters and for putting swarms in, but a single 10 works all right also. They will have an easier time getting started. If you have a SBB don't open it until after that either. I'd wait until the cool days are over for the SBB to be open.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Eagle Creek, Oregon
    Posts
    289

    Post

    I will be starting a package pretty soon and I have a few questions. Here's my situation: I will be receiving a complete hive of bees in a single deep box and also a 3# package that I will install in a medium box (6 5/8") at about the same time. I've been assured by the seller that the hive will be bursting at the seams and ready to super immediately. My plan is to standardize with mediums so I will add to this hive accordingly. I have 20 pieces of PermaComb and everything else is undrawn foundation. I have 10 medium boxes and a 5 frame medium nuc with an extra 5 frame super. These will be my first bees and I will have only minimal hands-on experience before they arrive. I've joined the local club but expect to rely heavily on this group. Now, the questions:
    1) Will 3# of bees fit in a 5 frame nuc? Does it make sense to start them there or will it just add one more opportunity for a newbie to mess up?
    2) If the package is started in the nuc would it be a good idea to keep them in the nuc until the second box is full or will that scramble the brood nest when installing into the 10 frame hive?
    3) Would it make any sense to rob a frame of brood from the hive to supplement the package? Remember, any brood that would come from the hive ON MEDIUM FRAMES would be approximately the same age as the brood being produced by the package.
    4) At what point could I add brood to the package without overtaxing the adult bees already there? Can I add nurses and brood from the hive?
    5) Will my meager 20 frames of PermaComb be best used on the package?...on the hive?...some on each?
    6) I have some flexibility on when I can receive the hive...easier to receive it later rather than earlier. If the hive will be of marginal benefit to the package I will probably choose to get comfortable with the package before receiving the hive. Comments?
    7) What is the minimum number of medium boxes I should start with so that I don't get caught unprepared?
    Thanks
    George
    P.S. I feel good when I can recycle something...even an old question on the forum!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Post

    >1) Will 3# of bees fit in a 5 frame nuc? Does it make sense to start them there or will it just add one more opportunity for a newbie to mess up?

    I have put 2# of bees in a 5 frame nuc and they did exceptionally well. I'm not sure about 3# but I think they will fit. But it's not a problem to put them in one 10 frame box if you want. They will do well regardless.

    >2) If the package is started in the nuc would it be a good idea to keep them in the nuc until the second box is full or will that scramble the brood nest when installing into the 10 frame hive?

    When moving them to the 10 frame boxes I would just put them all in the middle unless they are honey on both sides, in which case I'd put the frames of honey on the outside. If there's capped honey on the outside frames, I'd uncap it so the bees will willingly move it out of the way to expand the brood nest.

    >3) Would it make any sense to rob a frame of brood from the hive to supplement the package? Remember, any brood that would come from the hive ON MEDIUM FRAMES would be approximately the same age as the brood being produced by the package.

    I wouldn't bother. The package will take off quickly. Especially on PermaComb.

    >4) At what point could I add brood to the package without overtaxing the adult bees already there? Can I add nurses and brood from the hive?

    Unless the package is struggling or getting robbed by the hive, I wouldn't worry about it. If you REALLY want to boost it you could give it some emerging brood. That way the package hive doesn't have to feed them and raise them, they just get the population boost of more bees.

    >5) Will my meager 20 frames of PermaComb be best used on the package?...on the hive?...some on each?

    Assuming you're not going to small cell, I'd put the PermaComb in the brood nest of the hive for sure, at least when it's in the nuc. It will help on both. Since you seem concerned about boosting the package, why not just give it to them?

    >6) I have some flexibility on when I can receive the hive...easier to receive it later rather than earlier. If the hive will be of marginal benefit to the package I will probably choose to get comfortable with the package before receiving the hive. Comments?

    The sooner you get it the easier it will be to move. The poulation will be bigger and that is more intimidating, plus the weight will be heavier. Plus earlier will build up better than later.

    >7) What is the minimum number of medium boxes I should start with so that I don't get caught unprepared?

    You mean on hand? You have the deep for the brood on the hive. But you are hoping to move them up into the mediums. I'd have eight medium boxes and frames or PermaComb ready now and then when they are about half full I'd get some more. Alwalys have at least a couple of extra for each hive.

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