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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    126

    Smile Should I get a 3 or 4 lb package?

    There is a $12 difference between the two. Is it well worth the money or not? I'd hate to not spend the $12 and regret it later. Obviously more bees means they can build more quickly but how much more?
    Thanks for your opinions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,894

    Default

    Are you picking them up? Or mailorder? Assuming they are in good shape (which they usually are when you pick them up) then three does just as well. If you're getting them mail order or they aren't in as good of shape, the extra pound can help.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Four pound packages would get started a little faster, but I have had three pound packages shipped for Texas, Arkansas and Georgia with almost no problem. I wouldn’t spend the extra $12, just buy another package with the savings.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    719

    Default

    You would be much better off buying a five frame nuc. Might be able to get some honey at the end of your first year. Just about the same price.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Like others have said, a 3# should be fine as long as
    the bees are "fresh" and in good shape.

    I also believe a Nuc is a better way to go, faster build
    up. And often Nucs are the same cost.......

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    Other consideration are how much house cleaning and wax drawing are they going to have to do? Remember the population will decline for the first three weeks until the first laid egg hatches. Sometimes that extra pound can make the difference in being fully prepared for a honey flow.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Enderby, BC, Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default nucs or packages

    I think if you buy just bees (package?) then it does not matter so much. If you buy nucs then you want as many frames as possible. Inquire to make sure there is brood in them of course and with it a quick start is possible. With packages you most likely (at least in my region of BC, Shuswap) will not get any honey in the first year or very little. Then it depends if you install them into drawn frames or if they have to draw the foundation first. New queens seem to have problems with plastic foundation, so wax would be better. An ealy start (dandelion flowering) may improve the picture. I could not find a price for packages, as my computer is soooo slow at times.

    With nuces you have a very good chance to harvest a decent crop. Specially if you can start out early, a natural pointer beeing when the dandelions are flowering. Pricing I called up just now is:
    6 (+3) Medium Frame Nuc - $110
    6 frame nucs with 3 extra new frames with foundation in a standard 10 frame medium box (painted). Comes with temporary bottom board and top for transportation. http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/nucs.phtml
    These nucs are on half hight frames and boxes not full supers but that is included in the price.

    I would tend to buy the nucs, but that is just my way of thinking.
    Hope that helps


    Quote Originally Posted by Fishdude123 View Post
    There is a $12 difference between the two. Is it well worth the money or not? I'd hate to not spend the $12 and regret it later. Obviously more bees means they can build more quickly but how much more?
    Thanks for your opinions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Washington Island, Wi
    Posts
    350

    Default I was wondering the same thing

    I had the same question - I decided to go with the #4 - the difference for me was only $7. I also already have a few drawn out deep frames. If you get them when the temperatures are still cool - more bees=more heat - also more sugar water or corn syrup if there isn't a flow on.

    I agree with the others that a nuc is the way to go if you have a choice. However, a lot more places are getting to be pick-up only and the additional cost of shipping a nuc when compared to a package can be quite large, especially if shipping a long distance or quantity of nucs.

    The risk of having problems with queen acceptance is another plus for an established laying queen in a nuc.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    I have a friend who is picking them up in California. It is $75 for 3 lbs and $87 for 4. I have a hive and some drawn foundation from my existing hive but was planning on letting them draw their own foundation.
    I was thinking that I would look for nucs but way up here in Seattle there aren't a lot of bees for sale. I was also going to set a few traps and maybe pic up a nuc if I find one cheap.
    I appreciate the advice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,314

    Default 2s 3s 4s and 5s

    The bigest consideration is the lenght of your season. The shorter the bigger you want them. Last year our 5s made a little honey in Alaska on a rainy year while the fours that were purchase elsewhere did nothing at all. There are lots of variables. In 96 I made 160 barrels on 750 2lb packages with lots of love and syrup.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    719

    Default

    Why not take three + frames out of your existing hive in May or June. It's excellent swarm control and it will serve as your package. Let them make their own queen. You will be further ahead moneywise, you'll have a head start on building your own stock of locally adapted bees and you will probably quite pleased with your own locally grown queen.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Arlington, WA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    I was planning on doing that too, (splits) I would like to have 5-10 hives but don't want to break the bank. SWMBO thinks this is another hobby I don't have time for (3 little kids and a run down farm, plus I like to hunt and am a scoutmaster, etc, etc.) so if I can keep spending to a minimum it is better. Plus having them majically appear will be much better for me.
    I made 8 deeps so far and now need to make the top and bottom board and the frames and I will be ready to go for this year.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    719

    Default

    Be very careful this is a hobby that "grows". Mine went from 1 to 350. Good source of income in pollination but hard work. If I recall correctly, there is a beekeeping badge in scouting. Don't forget the Epi-pen.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    My son is in scouting and I was told that they did away with the beekeeping badge.

    I don't recall the reason, but I assume it has to do with fewer and fewer people living in a agricultural area, so very few have the opportunity to do beekeeping.
    Troy

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grafton, NY, USA
    Posts
    190

    Default http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discontinued_merit_badges_(Boy_Scouts_of_America)


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