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Thread: Package bees

  1. #1
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    Mar 2006
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    St. Louis, Missouri
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    Default Package bees

    Are there any package suppliers south of Missouri that still offer discounts if you come pick them up? I have been unsuccessful in my search. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Bees packages are usually priced at "pick up" prices, and shipping, if necessary is added on top. But there are a lot of bee vendor choices south of MO that will have bees available in a couple of months. You will likely see lots of offers starting later this month. How far are you willing to drive?
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Package bees

    It depends on how much I would save. Im looking for up to 50 of them. I have thought of even taking orders from other locals to save even more.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Package bees

    I would think the key is in what kind of bees you want? A few years ago I picked up some packages and queens from a breeder about 20 miles northeast of Jonesboro, Arkansas... sigh... name slips me now... he had Russians and Minnesota Hygenic back then.

    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  5. #5
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    Jul 2004
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    Sullivan, MO
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    895

    Default Re: Package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by BkprScott View Post
    It depends on how much I would save. Im looking for up to 50 of them. I have thought of even taking orders from other locals to save even more.
    WOW are those all for you???? I was going to offer to sell you some NUCS until I saw how many you wanted. I couldn't make that many NUCS, I'm going to stretch to make 20 this year. Is there a reason you are going with packages over nucs? Just wondering...
    Rod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
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    285

    Default Re: Package bees

    I would caution to not buy packages based on price alone. I bought 25 nucs this past March. The queens were small, hives didn't do well, and I requeened them all to bring them around.

    I think the issue is how many resources are being used to make the queens. These package providers all have to make tons of queens in a very short amount of time. It looked to me like too many cells were put into a cell builder with too few bees to raise them.

    Since you are wanting 50 packages, you might consider buying 10 frame spring singles. Each of these will have a tested production queen and 10 frames which could easily be split in two for 2 5 frame nucs for just the cost of 1 queen. Compared to packages with no drawn comb, you could get the equivalent of 3 packages out of 1 10 frame single. You also get the 10 frame deep hive body and lid instead of 2 cardboard nuc boxes or 3 throw away packages.

    I'm bringing up a load of these from Florida to Indy in April. They'll be pumped up and strong from the citrus flow. St. Louis is a little out of my way, but if you are interested, I'm sure we could work a deal where I swing by and drop off 25 singles. PM me if you are interested.

    http://DonShackelford.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
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    503

    Default Re: Package bees

    ROSSMAS All really sold out to May 2013
    http://www.gabees.com/store/index.php?cPath=23
    Bees - Queens
    We have now started taking package bee and queen orders for spring 2013. If you would like to place an order please call our office at 1-800-333-7677. Please note that the first available packages will not ship until sometime in May.


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  8. #8
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    Mar 2006
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    St. Louis, Missouri
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    WOW are those all for you???? I was going to offer to sell you some NUCS until I saw how many you wanted. I couldn't make that many NUCS, I'm going to stretch to make 20 this year. Is there a reason you are going with packages over nucs? Just wondering...
    Rod
    Thanks for thinking that Rod. I understand and appreciate it. I usually make 50-60 nucs for my winter losses and to sell to others but as you know we had such a stressful summer and poor fall flow in the St.Louis area that I have already lost a bunch of colonies since last spring. Since I need so many it will be cheaper to buy packages than to buy nucs. They will be going on drawn comb and I should have enough overwintered colonies to be able to give each package a frame of bees and brood. In addition I should have extras so I can increase my total number of colonies. I'd like to get up to about 100 colonies again.
    Last edited by BkprScott; 12-02-2012 at 07:52 AM. Reason: correcting

  9. #9
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    Mar 2006
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    St. Louis, Missouri
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Thanks for the info Don. These are replacements for this years losses and are going on drawn comb. I had already thought of splitting singles but figured since I will have some brood available the packages would work well.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Has anyone had any experience with Gardner Apiaries?
    http://www.gardnerapiaries.com/
    $71.00 for a 3# package. If they are good bees that seems reasonable to me with this year's prices.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Man View Post
    Has anyone had any experience with Gardner Apiaries?
    http://www.gardnerapiaries.com/
    $71.00 for a 3# package. If they are good bees that seems reasonable to me with this year's prices.
    The Price List is 2012 not 2013




    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Package bees

    Yeah, I saw that. When I called them last month they said they had not raised their prices for 2013 YET. Not sure if it will go up or not then.
    They wouldn't take my order until January. We will see then if the price went up. Just looking for info from anyone that has dealt with them in the past.

  13. #13
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    May 2012
    Location
    McDonough, NY United States
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    Default Re: Package bees

    I bought my original package through Gardner/Spell Bee Co. VERY good queen, and an amazing hive. I stole brood all year from them, and they still finished with 2 deep, 2 meds. The queen was laying very late into the fall. I was VERY happy.

  14. #14
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    May 2012
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    McDonough, NY United States
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    244

    Default Re: Package bees

    I should note that I bought them THROUGH Dadant here, so I haven't dealt with them 1:1

  15. #15
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    Nov 2011
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    Bourbon, Missouri
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Thanks Dam. Sounds encouraging!!

  16. #16
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    Jul 2004
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    Sullivan, MO
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by BkprScott View Post
    Thanks for thinking that Rod. I understand and appreciate it. I usually make 50-60 nucs for my winter losses and to sell to others but as you know we had such a stressful summer and poor fall flow in the St.Louis area that I have already lost a bunch of colonies since last spring. Since I need so many it will be cheaper to buy packages than to buy nucs. They will be going on drawn comb and I should have enough overwintered colonies to be able to give each package a frame of bees and brood. In addition I should have extras so I can increase my total number of colonies. I'd like to get up to about 100 colonies again.
    Holy Cow I didn't know there were beekeepers with that large or an operation in the st. louis area.

  17. #17
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    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    Default Re: Package bees

    [QUOTE=BkprScott;872164]but as you know we had such a stressful summer and poor fall flow in the St.Louis area that I have already lost a bunch of colonies since last spring.

    I think this will be a common theme for many beekeepers in many parts of the country. I think this is one of the most difficult years I recall in the last 20, that is with a very difficult 2011 included.

    I ordered a few, I think 50, Italian queens from Gardner (Spell Bee) last year to test in our operation. They really gave me good service on relatively short notice and they shipped some pretty fat queens early in the year, 2nd week of April. The bees did not stand out performance wise except they appeared very healthy and I was happy with the brood patterns. One Drawback for me was the did not have califonia cages which I prefer.

  18. #18
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    Jan 2012
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    Indianapolis IN 46227
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by BkprScott View Post
    These are ......going on drawn comb.
    I agree Scott. Comb makes all the difference. Many years ago I worked a season for a commercial beek up in the Peace River area in northern Alberta. We started packages on drawn comb, then united two hives right as the flow came on. He got whopper crops in a very short season.
    Last edited by DonShackelford; 12-02-2012 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Didn't know there was a Peace River in Florida!

  19. #19
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    Mar 2006
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    St. Louis, Missouri
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    Holy Cow I didn't know there were beekeepers with that large or an operation in the st. louis area.
    There are a couple of us that big. I am actuaally in Jefferson County but also have yards in Franklin County too.

  20. #20
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    Mar 2006
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    St. Louis, Missouri
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    Default Re: Package bees

    Joel... I have been at this 20 years now and outside of the year we had two weeks in late March or early April of temps in the teens after the trees had leafed out this has been the worst year I have seen so far. It really all began last winter and lasted until now. I am hoping that it gets better soon.

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