My soon-to-be beekeeping family members and I were discussing installing our 3# package bees which are due to arrive the first week of May.
We have decided to use all mediums and my brother-in-law added a couple of questions that I thought I would seek out some clarification on:
- <LI>When installing the bees, how many mediums should they be installed on? 1 or 2?
<LI>Do the hives need to be checked more frequently when using mediums? (The assumption here is that, given their size, the mediums will get drawn and filled sooner than deeps).
<LI>If the bees are installed on more than one medium to start, will there be any problems with them being drawn out evenly?
<LI>As beginners, will it be more difficult for us to work the bees and search out the queen early on if we install them to more than one medium?
I searched the forums and found the following:
From what I read it will be okay to do 1 or 2 to start. Does anyone have anything to add to this?
As for the other questions, your input is greatly appreciated.
>When installing the bees, how many mediums should they be installed on? 1 or 2?
I would do one, but I've done it on three boxes and they did fine. I prefer putting them in a nuc for the first three weeks or so. They seem to take off quicker. Whichever you do will work fine.
>Do the hives need to be checked more frequently when using mediums? (The assumption here is that, given their size, the mediums will get drawn and filled sooner than deeps).
True they can fill it quickly, but a simple sideways slide of the inner cover can let you see how the outside frames look without disrupting them much.
>If the bees are installed on more than one medium to start, will there be any problems with them being drawn out evenly?
>As beginners, will it be more difficult for us to work the bees and search out the queen early on if we install them to more than one medium?
Well, there will be more frames to search. You could always put an excluder on after they get going in one, for a little while until you're better at finding the queen. Just don't leave it on too long or they may pack the brood nest and start thinking of a bigger place.
>From what I read it will be okay to do 1 or 2 to start. Does anyone have anything to add to this?
That was my opinion. I think they will do fine either way.
Thanks for the answers. As always, you're a great source of information.
Don't feel that you often have to find your queen. I only look for mine, when I'm re-queening.
If you were starting a 3# package on permacomb, would you put them on a 5 frame medium nuc or a 10 frame medium?
Since I use Permacomb exclusively my nucs are little more than bait hives or emoegency swarm boxes.
When I get a large swarm, one that covers seven or more medium frames, I will use two mediums right off. Smaller swarms or a package could be put in one box, but it will need another within two weeks.
Typically I will put an includer under the brood box, (for the first week) pull at least one frame of brood from an existing hive, install the swarm, (package) put a pollen pattie on top of the frames, put another box of PC on and a top feeder with syrup on that. Reduce the entrance for a few days to keep the neighbors out, and let the girls get used to their new home.
I pull the syrup after about two weeks if the flow is on, if it is late, I may have to feed them until winter.
Keep an eye on them, they will fill the first two boxes pretty quick. The syrup the fill the second box with gets used raising brood, it won't be there long.
My best hive last year I started in a five frame medium nuc on PermaComb. It just exploded, but then that's a good think as long as you put it into a 10 frame box before long. I actually put it in an 8 frame box and when it was full split it into two 8 frame boxes and then into two 10 frame boxes. Not that you HAVE to do all that, but keeping the area they have to heat small seems to work well around here. It was 75 two days ago. It's 29 F right now.