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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

    Default To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    ...could you please report back in several months on how your packages are doing?

    I'm trying to gather any data (anecdotal is fine too) on package performance, particularly those coming from the South.

    Thanks in advance...
    "...the most populous colonies ...are provided by queens ...in the year following their birth." Brother Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    716

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    Jeez... can't believe this is not flooded with posts.
    Here's soime anecdotal evidence. Package came with queen shaken in... queen in cage was found dead in the cage (what a waste). Laid up 2-3 frames nicely but now less than one month out, queenie is gone and the hive is superceding, estimnated this started about 10 days after install.

    Woops just saw you only want to hear from newbees.
    Last edited by winevines; 04-17-2011 at 11:01 AM.
    karla

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,659

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    Not a first year beek but I do have packages coming. From what I've been hearing, a lot of the packages being shipped to the north are delayed. The 20 I'm waiting for are a week behind & my daughter in NY was told two weeks.

    Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Dutchess,NY.
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    not new but am waiting on 4 packages, the pick up date it started out as 4/16, now moved uptil the 4/30 in weekly moves, will problably pick them up in the middle of may if like other years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Meeker County MN
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    still waiting for our packages.

    We were told they are delayed two weeks out of NoCal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    Greetings and Happy Springtime All,
    I posted this yest as its own thread.

    This is my 3rd spring. 1st yr I started with 2 full hives, did well, but got beared badly at first snow. He came back almost every night for 2 weeks, pretty much until he had eaten/destroyed almost everything. 2nd yr tried again with 2 nucs. Got my first honey, but hives swarmed late and never recouped.

    I got 2 packages about 14 days ago, 1st time with packages. Picked up the packages and set them inside deeps w/ frames overnight (16 hours) Next day, install day, was not warn, but was sunny.

    "A" queen's cage screen was loose and she crawled right out and down into the frames during install. Brood production has been very weak, only 2 sides with small (7"x4") clusters. One frame of brood had 4-6 supercedure cells with larvae inside, more being built. Queen is still there, just verified.

    "B" queen had to be released after a week. Her brood production is also weak, and some, but not as many peanuts are being built. Again, queen in hive.

    Of the 14 days since install, only 4 or 5 have been above 50F, and most have been cloudy/windy/rainy.

    Should I be concerned about weak brood production and thinking new queens, or is this more a function of weather?

    Thanks for any advice
    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    Last year I installed two packages from gardners in mid may. The one package was superceded in july that set the hive back substantially. Never finished out the 5th medium. THe other was installed in a top bar hive - seemed to do ok but once the queen stopped laying in late fall, brood rearing never resumed.

    Both of these hives died overwinter literally right next to stores of honey. The USDA lab looked at the bees and they had very high mite loads.

    This year I have started with 6 packages from koehnen's in california - 3 cordovan italian and 3 carniolan. THe packages were delivered on time for starters. I let the packages spend about 60 hours together with the new queens. I have not been able to open all hives due to weather, but I have inspected 1 of each. Both queens were filling medium frames with eggs with a good solid laying pattern on inspection. The others have been bringing in heavy loads of pollen.

    I must say I have been happier with the koehnens bee packages. The bees are more active, no drones are present like from gardners (probably was about 1/4 drones)
    Their bees are more defensive than gardners, and i have got a few more stings, but i see the benefit of this behaviour as they were actively guarding the entrance against flys and ants that were trying to gain entrance. I did not notice the gardners bees doing this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Champaign, IL, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    I got my first pkg of bees yesterday, and put them in a new Lang hive at 6pm. The italian queen walked around in the cage before I put her cage in the hive. There are some drones in the pkg, and a few dead at the bottom. It was cold yesterday, and today is sunny around 60s. There was no activity be the entrance...maybe still too early to tell?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Vincent, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    My BeeWeaver package was installed yesterday (on drawn comb and a couple of foundation frames) -- no problems, only about 10% dead bees in box, active queen, girls took about 1 1/2 quarts of syrup yesterday and were fed again today. Activity around entrance and nearby, but they haven't gone far yet -- I'll let you know how it goes. Nucs are going to be a bit later than I expected, but that's because I ordered them late ... al-in-all, looks like a good season.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,968

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    Last year we installed 3 California packages. 2 from nobel apiaries, & 1 from Oliverez. All 3 original queens where still in the hives in the spring.
    One still is. The other 2 swarmed in the last few weeks. All 3 produced about #100 pounds of honey each last year.
    Dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sandy Ridge,NC
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    i installed my packages friday they where bringing in pollen today. I put some brood in my hives with them. i looked in hive the queen is still in the cage they are working on the candy. they came from gardners. the queens are smaller than my queens, not long and fat the way i like them. I would rather have nucs but i hope the brood and drawn frames help them

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bedford, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    For me, so far so good.

    I tend to be a little anal retentive and a bit particular and I tend to over engineer things sometimes.

    After reading these forums, looking at the suppliers, and drawing some of my own conclusions, I am well off and under way.

    It has been 30 years since I kept bees with my father, now I am into it again.

    I ended up deciding to start with 7 hives (when I do something, I tend to dive into it pretty heavy.

    I chose cyprus screened bottoms from Kelley's, then painted them white. I really liked their design the best, with the ramped front landing board and the removable screen and bottom board. On top of that went a Mann Lake 10 frame deep with wood frames and the plastic coated foundation. On top of that went a top board. Sitting on top of the top board was a 4 - 1 quart feeder assembly from Kellys, in which I installed only 2 of the quarts to allow top ventilation. My initial feed mix is 5 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water, to make the syrup a little heavy at first to control mold growth. Covering that are wooden deeps from Mann Lake that I painted light gray to distinguish them from regular brood boxes, and to help keep that section warm if feed is needed in colder months. On top of those, I have a screened top boards from Dadant, and a Mann Lake telescoping cover held down with an 18" 4x4 resting on top. All hives are set up on 4 x 4 stands at 16" - 18" off the ground.

    On 4/4, I received my first package of Russians from Kelley's. On 4/11, I received my second package of Russians from Kelley's. Tomorrow, I drive to Dadant's to pick up 5 packages of Italians.

    Today I did a hive inspection. Hive A from the 4th has 3 1/2 frames pretty much built out with 2 whole sides capped. Larva was seen in numerous cells. Looks like the queen in A (which I call Natasha and her minions) is pretty much kicking butt. In hive B, frames are developing well also (Sasha and her crew). Almost no burr comb was found in either hive. All data was recorded in my bee log, which I hear is rather handy to have when keeping multiple hives.

    I recently drug a bench over near the hives just to sit and watch them. They are so relaxing just to watch.

    With that said, I currently have no issues with the packages and the installations. I highly recommend then for the new beek...it is good to see things happen from the ground up. So far, I have found the Russians to be very gentle, and I have not had to use a smoker to do my inspections.

    Hope this helps the newbies. Note my hive parts list, others may find it very useful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    I installed two packages last Saturday. Queen was relaesed in both, comb building noticed in both, taking syrup well. Pretty bad/cold weather. Lots of hugging, and cuddling (the bees too!)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: To all first year beekeepers installing packages...

    First year beekeeping for me, I started with three 3 pound packages. two of the three hives keep trying to supercedure like mad. I finally gave up and let them go ahead with it. So far I have 6 frames drawn out in each 8 frame box. hope this is what you were looking for.
    Jason
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

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