Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: why a package?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Post

    what is the difference in honey production between 3 pound package I start in the spring, and a colony I overwinter? Iassume the overwintered colony will have more than 3 pounds of bees when the nectar flow starts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Post

    There's a BIG difference. An overwintered coloney is more likely to make surplus honey, while a package may not make any surplus honey until the second year. This is not always the case, but more often than not it is what happens. It also depends on things like putting a package on drawn comb instead of foundation.

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    Ford guy,
    There's really not all that much difference if you start with the right package.
    First, start with a 10 pound package on one hive body of drawn comb and one hive body with 30 pounds of honey and pollen. Start the package as soon as your area has 4 or 5 days of temps above fifty degrees, so the queen can start laying at this time.

    Now there is really no difference.HA!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    But even with that Idee you still have 21 days of depopulation while the new eggs are laid and waiting to hatch(not to mention the couple of days for queen release). Plus the 21 days of hatching to get the population back up to full strength. I will say though that your analogy is pretty close! ( not taking into consideration of course the cost purchasing and shipping those 10 lb packages). Did we miss anything, cause I think other than that they are equal!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Post

    so guys, reading your posts, it seems the NUMBER or field bees really is the difference? so purchasing a 10 pound package, starting it early, and possibly supplimenting with pollen for brood development can equal an overwintered hive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Post

    If anyone knows where to buy those ten pound packages, please let me know, cause I'd like a dozon or so :&gt.

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  7. #7

    Post

    Isn't a 10# package labeled....


    "...going out of business/hobby sale! Selling remaining overwintered hive!"
    Sorry if I was sarcastic. 2 hours sleep does that to a person!

    I think the more bees you start with, the better they will do for you. I removed a feral colony from a squirel box last August and fed for a month. (Approx. 3 gal of syrup) They survived the winter and as of last week have 70# of surplus.
    If you see me runnin' you'd better keep up!
    http://hillshivery.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Post

    ok - Iasked a buddy of mine and he informed me that 5 pound packages are the most he's seen...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    I'm perfectly happy with a two pound package. The point was the head start that a nuc or an overwintered colony has over a package.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    I really think that, at least in my area, it has more to do with using foundation versus drawn comb. Yes, an overwintered colony has a head start over a package installed on foundation. But if the package is installed on drawn comb, I think that it has enough time to build up sufficiently to take advantage of the nectar flow. If you have enough population at the beginning of the flow, the overwintered colony and the package are basically identical in peformance at this point.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    FordGuy, did catch the drawn comb in there too. If you have drawn comb instead of foundation then the number of bees and the one month wait for brood are the only differences. If you're starting on foundation tha's gonna throw you way behind.

    If these things are even then the package could have the advantage. Or am I overthinking this. New queen. No mites. Feed. Feed. Feed. The package wins.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Ford guy, Iddee doesn't know how to act and was yanking your chain, he lead me down the path of sin and I maintain that I'm not normally sarcastic. And of course that peggjam just can't resist a good roast! Hivery, well, what can I say, he's just making trouble! Shame on you all! All Sarcasm aside the point we are making is there is no comparision for the reasons we stated (read between the sarcasm). There are no 10 lb packages. Any package is depopulating for 21 to 24 days due to no brood hatching. Once brood starts to hatch they take several weeks to repopulate. An overwitnered hive (or Nuc) with brood is a growing hive and is generally 3 weeks from production at the time of starting packages. A package is closer to 6 or more. Of course a 2nd or 3rd yr queen can also be faltering whereas a package should have young queen.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    But if you've got enough time between the installation of the package and the beginning of the flow to get the population built up . . . what difference does it make? I'd rather build up a package than take the chance of introducing disease from a nuc or a split.

    The original question was between an overwintered colony and a 3# package. My feeling is that a package that's hived on drawn comb will perform equally to an overwintered colony, provided that it is installed early enough to build up before the flow starts. Here in MN there is enough time to install a package in early or mid April and have 'em ready for the flow.

    Now if we bring foundation versus drawn comb into the disucssion, that's something different. New beekeepers tend to install their packages on foundation and then not get a harvest the first year. This isn't because they're starting with a package, but because the bees are using so much energy building out comb from the foundation.

    So my answer to the original question about a 3# package comapred to an overwintered colony . . . if you are comparing apples to apples and hive the package on drawn comb, there's little difference. But if you are, as is common, hiving the package on foundation, yes the overwintered colony will outperform it simply because they don't have to expend so much energy drawing comb.

    By the way, an experienced beekeeper who I respect is adamant that there is no significant difference between the performance of a 2# and a 3# package after about six weeks. Your milage may vary depending on your climate, your beekeeping skill, the weather that particular year, the phase of the moon, and the relative humidity.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    You guys living in bee country have a better chance of making surplus with a package than I do. Chances here really depend on weather and whether.

    With proper management a colony can be bustin at the seems when the flow starts. A package is usually delivered just before the flow. Count back from the expected flow to start your manipulations, rotating boxes feeding of syrup and pollen, you may be doing splits and watching for swarms. A package that arrives in April for a May flow is not going to be anywhere near the strength unless you boost it with brood from other hives when you get it.

    We go from cold to flow to hot. A colony can deal with it much easier, but a package once built up is all ready to go and the flow is over unless you have the ability to move it to crops.

    I have pretty good luck with early April swarms put on frames of brood giving me about three mediums of honey. Unless it is a giantic swarm, (instant colony), a May swarm or split will only be an investment for next year.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    892

    Post

    Good luck getting the package early enough Now a days to get it built up. I was "First on the List" and got mine in like early June Or Late May I think. Hard to remember now. WAY TOO late

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Depending on who your dealing with, you can be lucky to get it at all.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    MIA CULPA, Joel
    That's just my nature.
    If life doesn't have a few laughs, it's not worth living.
    Yes, Fordguy, I joke a lot, but if you read between the lines, I won't purposely steer you wrong.
    Sorry, Joel, Please don't hit me no mo'.
    I'll try to be good.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > I was "First on the List" and got mine in like
    > early June Or Late May I think. Hard to remember
    > now. WAY TOO late

    Naw, just slap a hive top feeder on 'em, and
    let 'em be until fall.

    We make "fall splits" all the time, and they all
    do just fine, even though they are only fed
    from Aug 2x through September 3x.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    892

    Post

    Now Jim, what I was referring to was the original question of producing a honey crop not surviving. And at least this year our flow is over until goldendrod. That is assuming we get some rain and we get qa goldenrod flow.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    MB said

    I'm perfectly happy with a two pound package.
    I wonder if you can get away with ordering a 3 pound package and a spare queen. Then split the package between the two queens, and give each a frame of goodies from an existing colony.
    Would this mixing of the goodies and the new package bee's create a problem??

    Dave

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads