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  1. #21

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    It looks as though this thread may be a day late....on the Rossman website it appears that their packages are already spoken for until May. Either there is an issue with supply or the demand is greater than ever.
    And then there are the BWeavers and their $130 packages.
    It is absolutely amazing.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #22

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    mite challenges
    And maybe even more challenging are the small hive beetles.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Reputable package dealers will replace drone layers. Most times package producers are also queen producers.
    And there is absolutely no reason for a package to struggle, no matter the weather. When installing a package, the first thing one should do is feed it! You feed it until it has at least 10 frames of drawn comb. Personally, I feed my package installations, or splits, until they either quit taking it, or have drawn two deeps of comb. that way I know they're well established before I have to worry about winter.

    If one does a walk away split, you make your increase, without even the cost of a queen. But even then, I feed feed feed until the hive is built up. I want to give them every chance possible to succeed, and not stress them when I don't have to.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    I just started keeping bees this spring. Bought a package and a nuc and then had the good fortune to catch 6 swarms and do a trap-out that left me with 9 colonies. Surely out of those I'll at least have a couple that make it through and I can replace losses with splits or more swarms. I'm done buying packages.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    It's the a similiar situation to southerns who come up north in winter and are horrified it's 40 degrees out when us northerns are quite happy it's 40 something out in December because this isn't normal for us. The same is true of bees. Bees who are use to the Florida and Texas heat aren't equipped/don't understand northern winter and vice versa. Thanks to the forums I made the smart move to get local bees who are looking for food as we speak, not foraging just lazy and want they're top feeder filled.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    local bees who are looking for food as we speak, not foraging just lazy and want they're top feeder filled.
    This is only a good thing if there is something for them to forage on. Otherwise...it is wasted energy....more consumption of stores....and an increased chance of starvation before spring.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,793

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Andrew Dewey..No I do not personally know Mr. Palmer, but, if he is saying and doing as you wrote, good for him. Wish more would do that. We could all do more to help others.

    cchoganjr

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    I guess I should have checked this thread this morning.....
    IF you really NEED a package get your orders in soon but they are getting silly expensive

    In my first post, I was referring to splitting pre existing hives for everyone that has them--even if you dont really need another hive it is really good insurance for to keep your hive total constant if something goes wrong. Michael they are raising bees north of the Carolinas? I thought everyone up your way just hibernated all winter. Oh and what is a search function I really need to have a complete new thread about how beekeeping is an extremely cheap hobby....
    --I wasn't referring to you obviously in this post that would really be preaching to the choir leader, but other beekeepers need to consider increase a top priority not a secondary one as many do.
    This is really for your second year and over beekeepers to keep as a mentality going forward. Treatments and techniques are all well and good but if you do not have bees you can not experiment with any thing. Also for those who want to save some cash you can really save alot by expanding with splits instead of forking over package cash
    Last edited by xcugat; 12-06-2012 at 03:25 PM.
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,166

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    If people would really take care of them, they can make a split or two in early Spring and still not hurt the parent colony, and have the new colony for only the cost of a new queen.
    Very well said Cleo, we push the pollen sub & syrup, not because we sell it, but, because it's the cheapest way to keep bees. You can take care of what you have in the late summer thru fall or you can spend a bundle next spring. I would rather not pack all that equipment from the field to the shop just to turn around next spring and pack it all back out to the field and fill it up.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,835

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post

    If more time was spent concerned with propagation at least through splits, many new and intermediate beekeepers would have more stock to play with treatment free, top bar hives etc, but instead people waste too much time and energy only on treatment methods and alternative beekeeping first. Making more hives should really be a beekeeping basic its not that advanced or mysterious but many feel that way because they never try it.
    What a load of
    Package beekeeping is all about economics, managing work load and filling in losses.
    Supply and demand, thats the basics of business,
    Would you not say the same thing about these small and intermediate beekeepers needing packages for for treatment free, and top bar hives ?
    Package beekeeping is as very important tool for commercial beekeepers and the package industry has build around the commercial beekeeping industry.
    Last edited by Ian; 12-06-2012 at 05:45 PM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Ok Ian--dont get excited-but I think you are misreading my post completely the point is that the people who want to try alternative beekeeping methods would be better served and have alot more money in their pockets if they worked on standard beekeeping first, built up some numbers in stock and then experimented with other techniques that may result in failure but are important experimental learning experiences rather than blindly forking over money for packages.

    I have no beef with the package producers they are only meeting a need for their biggest and most important customers--the commercial beekeeping industry. I purposely did not include them at all in this whole discussion--they are dealing with economies of a much bigger scale and have commitments to meet with pollinators etc. Just looking at the responses here other than Honey Householder and Michael Palmer I would argue that most of the people on this forum are not commercial beekeepers, or even side-liners, but rather hobbyists. As hobbyists it should be required knowledge to know how to make a few extra hives each year at least with walk away splits if nothing else

    That being said, since you have brought up the commercial beekeeper/package producing relationship I will bite:
    I would argue that the bees that have been met to meet the commercial demands of today--huge and fast population buildup for pollination, honey production and so on have resulted in a less resilient bee for all of us who occasionally have to by these same packages. Its nobody's fault per se but rather the whole industry model. The commercial producer would like his bees to live year after year--it would be hugely cheaper, but longevity and disease resistance and winter hardiness are not the key breeding characteristics that get pollination contracts filled and paid. If I remember correctly Honey Householder dont you sell your bees each year and start fresh each season--the commercial model is very different than the hobbyist one.
    Last edited by xcugat; 12-06-2012 at 05:42 PM.
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Winter losses = empty boxes. Empty boxes = swarm traps. Swarm traps = more bees. No packages. No splits.

    That's my plan for now at least. Though if I have empty boxes after prime swarm season I might sacrifice some honey and do a split or two.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,373

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Luterra View Post
    Winter losses = empty boxes. Empty boxes = swarm traps. Swarm traps = more bees. No packages. No splits.

    That's my plan for now at least. Though if I have empty boxes after prime swarm season I might sacrifice some honey and do a split or two.
    good plan. if you have enough hives, find 'cut down spit' on mike bush's site and try it out on one.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,835

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    producers they are only meeting a need for their biggest and most important customers--the commercial beekeeping industry. I purposely did not include them at all in this whole discussion--they are dealing with economies of a much bigger scale and have commitments to meet with pollinators etc. Just looking at the responses here other than Honey Householder and Michael Palmer I would argue that most of the people on this forum are not commercial beekeepers, or even side-liners, but rather hobbyists. As hobbyists it should be required knowledge to know how to make a few extra hives each year at least with walk away splits if nothing else
    pretty much every beekeeper uses splits and nucs in their operation. I think you are absolutely out to lunch on that fact. That is the very basic of beekeeping.
    Packages come into the equation for other reasons, and because beekeepers use packages within their annual management strategy does not make that strategy wrong. A whole industry I built around that strategy
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Yes but it seems that you are commercial if you have an Industry which as I have repeatedly said is not part of this discussion, and no I would not say that splits are basic in beekeeping. I help many newbees in my area who have no idea about splitting hives at all
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,835

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Ok Ian--dont get excited- .....
    I would argue that the bees that have been met to meet the commercial demands of today--huge and fast population buildup for pollination, honey production and so on have resulted in a less resilient bee for all of us who occasionally have to by these same packages. Its nobody's fault per se but rather the whole industry model. The commercial producer would like his bees to live year after year--it would be hugely cheaper, but longevity and disease resistance and winter hardiness are not the key breeding characteristics that get pollination contracts filled and paid. If I remember correctly Honey Householder dont you sell your bees each year and start fresh each season--the commercial model is very different than the hobbyist one.
    Yes the commercial beekeeping model is extremely un natural and we are asking soo much from the bees. But it is the model we beekeepers have decided to follow, and a good thing in fact. Otherwise I would not be able to make a living off beekeeping. Bees dont naturally live in my area. But with the success of modern day agriculture, there are vast acres of flowering crops here, which I can pull hundreds of lbs of honey per hive from, and make a good living from. I need to keep bees in an un natural state, as in I need to manage the hive throughout the year to exploit all the characteristics to keep them going here. That management strategy sometimes needs the ability to buy in packages.

    your blaming commercials for not raising their own stock rising the prices on packages so that smaller beekeepers have to pay more for their packages, yet the commercial package industry lives off of commercial patronage
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,835

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Yes but it seems that you are commercial if you have an Industry which as I have repeatedly said is not part of this discussion, and no I would not say that splits are basic in beekeeping. I help many newbees in my area who have no idea about splitting hives at all
    okay, I must of mis read your opening comments,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    deleted redundant
    Last edited by xcugat; 12-06-2012 at 08:21 PM. Reason: redundant
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Some beekeeping clubs in Virginia have been bringing in packages to meet the needs of new beekeepers over a period of years. The bees mostly from Georgia, where there is now a threat of africanised bee intrusion. So our local club has decided to produce nuc's to meet this need and try to minimize the possibility of bringing in AHB to uour bee population. That is the plan and it remains to be seen how it will work out.
    Johno

  20. #40
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Getting off the "package treadmill"

    Hey, I started this stupid hobby that keeps growing..............with a package of bees!! And even then I screwed up a bit on the installation due to being so nervous!! I could only imagine how bad I would have looked if I would have just caught a swarm to start!!

    Of course since then I have caught numerous swarms, made nucs and so on, so I wont be buying bees again..............but I also have the luxury of living in swarm central!! If all my hives were to die out over winter it would suck, but I know spring is just around the corner and the calls for swarms will be blowing up my phone!! And with all the drawn comb, there will be a very good jump start for them!!

    On another note, I really dont like the disrespect shown to major contributers to this site like Cleo and Palmer, stuff like that will make them go away and the wealth of knowledge will be lost. There are other major contributers that dont post much because of people like Acebird telling them they are wrong in one way or another.
    Coyote Creek Bees

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