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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Adams County, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default How many bee's -- 4 frame nuc vs 3# package

    I'm trying to decide how many 4 frame nucs and 3# packages to get this spring. I've only gotten nucs before, so I'm not sure what the difference would be in bee's. I do have some drawn out comb, so would it be better to get nucs and combine with the comb, or get the package and add the bee's to hives with the drawn out comb?

    I guess my question is, how many pounds of bee's are in a 4 frame nuc?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,299

    Default Re: How many bee's -- 4 frame nuc vs 3# package

    To my way of thinking, comparing a nuc to a package is like comparing apples and oranges, they're two different critters. It isn't necessarily the quantity of bees you start with, it's how quickly they'll get to where you want them to be. A package takes time to set up housekeeping and start producing bees which in turn produces honey. A nuc is already up and running, they simply need more space. The nucs I've bought have always built up faster and out produced in the first season any packages I've bought.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: How many bee's -- 4 frame nuc vs 3# package

    I think the better question is... how many drawn frames do you have? The biggest drawbacks, as I understand them, of getting packages is 1) queen acceptance is at your own risk, and 2) that the queen can't start laying until the bees build comb. So if you can put your packages onto comb, possibly comb filled with sugar syrup, you're probably only slightly behind a nuc. Given that a nuc can cost double a package in some areas, you'd *probably* be better off buying as many packages as you wanted hives, and then maybe a couple more for the queens that don't get accepted, and distribute the extra bees into your hives if you want more bees up front. Or just get the number of packages you want and have a source for queens lined up if some aren't accepted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,299

    Default Re: How many bee's -- 4 frame nuc vs 3# package

    Tara raises a good point about the relative cost of the bees. In my area, nucs and packages (because of shipping) are pretty close in cost. So don't forget to factor in the cost of shipping for packages, or pickup for nucs.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: How many bee's -- 4 frame nuc vs 3# package

    I would talk to any commercial pollinators in your area, in my area you can get a nuc at a good price. After they come back from California they will start nucs from their pollination hives. Than I will just re-queen them with a good production queen from what ever stock or breeder i want. In the end it cost about the same a package (with shipping) and you get a nuc with what ever genetics you want.

    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

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