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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    621

    Default Packages in June

    I am teaching a summer course this year - essentially an introduction to hobby beekeeping through our University. The summer session doesn't start until 28 May. My plan was to introduce students to beekeeping through immersion - they will build their own equipment, install their own packages and manage their own hives as part of the 'lab' portion of the course (there will also be a separate lecture).

    The trouble is, the class won't be ready to receive packages until early June (ship either 4 June or 11 June). I haven't found any suppliers who are willing or able to provide June package bees in this time frame (probably somewhere between 3 and 10 packages).

    Does anyone have any sources or know of any suppliers who might be willing to fill this sort of order? We are in North Dakota, so as long as the bees weren't being shipped from the deep south, I don't think that temperature should be a problem.

    Thanks

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    raleigh, NC
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Packages in June

    why not start with nucleus hives and have them install the nucleus hives into the 10 frame equipment?
    Instructionally you can prepare the nucs before hand and you can teach the class however and whenever you want without being dependent on anybody else?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,861

    Default Re: Packages in June

    Last year we didn't have any problems getting packages in June, even though they were ordered for May

    How about shaking your own if you are unable to get any?
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Packages in June

    Kind of off subject, but a package started in June will build up just fine for the fall flow, just like a package started in early May. You just need to take care of them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: Packages in June

    Nucs are more expensive - equipment costs, tuition, etc. Have to keep costs down. Additionally, where will I get the nucs? I am surrounded by commercial beekeepers. By the time the class starts, they will have already split their hives down and will be focused on making honey. They won't be willing to weaken their hives any more because it will potentially affect their honey crop.

    I make nucs for myself in the spring by purchasing frames from the commercial beekeepers. That happens in mid-May. Making nucs for the class isn't possible then, because I won't know what the final enrollment will be.

    As for shaking my own packages - I don't have the stock. I run between 10 and 20 hives. They overwinter here in ND. I don't have surplus bees to shake in early June. They are still trying to build up from winter (dandelions do not bloom until May 1 at the earliest).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,490

    Default Re: Packages in June

    Mike, do not count on me but if all else fails, let me know and maybe we could work something out. I ordered nucs in case of winter loss and am so far wintering gangbusters. The biggest question for me would be shipping costs to you for packages. darn near 900 mile round trip so my delivering is probably not a player. I will see what UPS and USPS say. I would rather not do it, but will if you come up dry elsewhere----and I have the bees! Vance

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