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  1. #1
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    Default Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    I'll requeen as soon as good queens are avaliable, so other qualities don't really matter. I just need bees early so they can start building comb/brood before our 45-day nectar flow that starts late April/early May.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    If build up is an issue, why not purchase nucs? or better yet, get full hives?

    Last year I saw plenty of ads for full hives for sale. People getting out of the business, sickness, or whatnot. I bought 5 hives off a guy in Tenn last Feb.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    People don't generally have nucs for sale that early (March-April), or if they do, they're for pickup only. From what I've seen. Do you know of any companies that ship nucs early?

    I'm attempting to overwinter several of my own, but I'm trying to get as much buildup as possible next spring AND get a load of honey since I joined too late to get any this year.

    Also, I want to try starting from a package. I started with nucs this year because I got in late, but I think trying a package or five would be fun.

    I'd prefer not to buy full hives--disease transfer and all that, esp since you can't really inspect them in Feb before buying, and usually hives are a lot more expensive than packages or nucs. How much did you get yours for?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    Do you know of any companies that ship nucs early?
    I don't. Sorry.

    But don't be confused. You can get overwintered nucs, both local or for a small drive, MUCH sooner than you can get packages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    I think trying a package or five would be fun.
    It's a blast, and something every beek should try. But if it doesn't offer the benefits you are looking for . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    I'd prefer not to buy full hives--disease transfer and all that,
    You have the same chances of diseases from full hives that you do from overwintered nucs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    How much did you get yours for?
    Five hives, each either a deep and two mediums, or four mediums tall, and a six frame extractor (almost new) for $350. Good luck trying to find five packages for that, let alone that early, not even counting the extractor.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Oh, wow. I'll keep my eyes open for local deals like that!

    But I'd still like to try a couple packages, and the earlier the better. Might combine them with PermaComb for a good start.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Maybe you should consider buying booster packages (queenless) to add to your over-wintered colonies for your main flow, and then split them on the downside flow when some nicer queens might be a available.

    I would find a dealer selling Wilbank's bees. They may not be able to meet the demand for the mail order market. Dealers are increasing their orders a great deal this year. So be sure your on the right list.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    That sounds like a fantastic idea!

    I've looked around on several sites, but never saw anyone selling queenless packages yet. Is that something I'd just specifically request when ordering? And expect them to subtract the usual cost of their queens?

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    I'll requeen as soon as good queens are avaliable, so other qualities don't really matter. I just need bees early so they can start building comb/brood before our 45-day nectar flow that starts late April/early May.

    Thanks!
    Beesource is wonderful, but you really should attend a bee club and ask folks about their methods. Many folks have been through these same exact ideas you have. Some have worked out and some have failed.

    I guess every beekeeper is on that eternal search for great bees come the honey flow. IMHO, the only way to get there is to put great bees into winter. Throwing a package- queenless or not onto an existing hive seems not only very invasive to me, but won't necessarily work. How old are these package bees? How long will they really forage for? What is the weather here in late March and when does the honey flow really start? For five years now, it has been cold and raining on the early package pick up day. I guess the real question is what is your primary goal? Strong healthy regionally adapted bees or a big honey crop. Both are achievable if weather conditions are right, but IMHO, I had to start with a big focus on the former before achieving the latter, and even still, I have some weak hive this year anyway. Oct. 1st and I have a hive superceding right now. What is the chance of that ending succesfully I wonder??? So before following advice from folks, you might want to ask them not only how long they have been doing this, but what is their primary goal so you have a better idea where their focus is. And how successful have they been?

    As a frame of reference, in our club, the overwintered nucs were ready, on the average, on the Spring equinox (March 21st). Spring nucs in this area are generally ready around May.
    karla

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    I've looked around on several sites, but never saw anyone selling queenless packages yet. Is that something I'd just specifically request when ordering? And expect them to subtract the usual cost of their queens?

    Thanks
    I bought my queenless packages through a package seller who gets bees from Wilbank's.

    If you call Wilbank's, they may be able to direct you to a reseller.
    I believe the booster package was $10 or so dollars cheaper.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I
    I believe the booster package was $10 or so dollars cheaper.
    So they take a $20 queen out, and discount the price by $10?

    You'd be better off getting full packages and reselling the queens.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    So they take a $20 queen out, and discount the price by $10?

    You'd be better off getting full packages and reselling the queens.
    Yes, but they have to go thru the trouble of a special package with no queen in it. Plus when you buy queens by the 100 there 16 bucks a peice.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by giant pumpkin peep View Post
    Yes, but they have to go thru the trouble of a special package with no queen in it. Plus when you buy queens by the 100 there 16 bucks a peice.
    Granted, but it's still better off for you to get the queens and resell them.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    Granted, but it's still better off for you to get the queens and resell them.

    Seems like a personal choice...

    I don't think I could be 100% certain to find a buyer or buyers for unwanted queens.

    But, I could be 100% certain that I saved $10 or $12
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Bee clubs may have packages earlier than bee suppliers because someone in the club might be making up packages early for their members. They can make packages with last years queens and they don’t have to wait for new queens to start laying. If ya order 100 pkgs. ya might get them earlier than if ya only order 5. To get the earliest pkgs.ya better order today.Last year I ordered a week after a friend from the same supplier and he got his a month before me. When ya get em feed feed feed.
    Im really not that serious

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Seems like a personal choice...

    I don't think I could be 100% certain to find a buyer or buyers for unwanted queens.

    But, I could be 100% certain that I saved $10 or $12
    Probably, but at the price difference, even if you only sell 2/3 of the queens you order, your still making out better off.

    If I order 100 packages without a queen, I save $1,000. But, if I order them with the queen and sell the queen, I'm spending $1,000 to make $1,600. At $16 a piece, even if I don't sell 40 of the queens, I'm still in the same boat as if I didn't order them. So the remaining 40 queens you sell for whatever you want. Tell someone you've got a queen you need to get rid of, and you want to sell it for $5. Someone will buy it and bank her. $5 for 40 queens, $200 profit, your still better off ordering the queens.

    More work though, I know. So probably personal choice. I just can't see taking something out that's worth $16-20 and discounting the price by $10. That's just me though.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    snip

    So probably personal choice.
    I thought you would agree!
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    How early is early?

    http://www.simpsonsbeesupply.com/ has updated their website and it looks like their first load of packages is scheduled for April 11. They will mail packages if you don't want to pick up in person.

    Don't wait too long to put in your order or the first load may be sold out and you will have to wait for a later load.

    Simpson's has a pretty good reputation, but I am not sure who they are getting packages form this year.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Who usually has the earliest (healthy) packages?

    Thanks Countryboy! I'll take a look at their site.

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