Hello. I'm in North Texas and new to the forum. I used to keep several hives of bees back in the 70s in the Houston area, but gave it up for several reasons. Back then, you could get almost all of your beekeeping supplies from Sears. A lot has changed since then and especially the health issues a colony faces these days. But, I guess that is a topic for another conversation. I'm re-introducing myself strictly as a small time hobbiest. I used to pickup swarms as a means of increasing my hive count. However, with the current mite problem, I was planning on purchasing my bees for two hives. Can anyone offer suggestions on the preferred method of establishing a new colony; a 5 frame Nuk or packaged bees? I have no experience with either. My initial thought would be the Nuk because you are starting with an established queen, workers, brood, and possibly some amount of honey stores, but I just wasn't certain. Also, does a Nuk contain a similar number of bees as does a 3# package? I will be purchasing Italians with the intent of introducing a VSH strain of queen; Russian maybe, in the not to distant future. Any input would be appreciated.