Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    497

    Default Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    Its that time of year where my bee fever kicks in. And this year I need more bees to fit the 3 new hives I bought and one emtpy one I lost from last year. I had to buy new hives to make use of the new extractor I bought. In retrospect, seems like I have bee fever all year. Anyway.. I found a source for quite early packages, toward the end of March. Also found other sources for later April. I am leaning heavy toward early packages so they can get started but I worry about things like available forage. Do you have to feed constantly that early? Is there usually enough forage that early? Will a leftover frame of honey do the trick until things start blooming heavy? There are willow trees around and masses of dandelions. Thoughts???

    Thanks!!
    Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lake County, Indiana
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    I constantly feed a package, well at least as long as they'll take it. Feeding honey is the best but syrup will work if warm enough. It all depends on the weather March for me can mean blizzard or 60 degrees like last year. I prefer later packages because I can be more certain of the weather and I worry less.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    We annually purchased packages ( some years 45 at a time) in the mid 1990's. I've tended packages that sat for a week in early April waiting for hiving weather. Of course your right on the Norh end of Seneca Lake so your right smack in the lake effect snow zone as well ( A'm in the same situation on the South end). During those early years I purchased 3, 4 and 5 lb packages for comparison. 3 lb packages the the end of April or 1st couple days of may did as well for us as any size purchased in early april. Keeping in mind bees are limited for forage flights, comb building and brood coverage during those early april weeks while all along losing population daily. Often the earliest queens for early packages are the poorest bred due to weather as well. It always seemed to me with the more settled weather and the abundant bloom the beginning of May a good later package acted more like a swarm with that git er done attitude and required much less work. If you do go early signalten's advice for constant warm feed will help a great deal. But as he stated, I'd go with certain weather and less worry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,775

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    The gamble around here is to hit the dandelion flow a few days after hiving the bees. That USUALLY means the late packages work best, except for last year, when most plants where 2 weeks early, and the dandelions flopped. Usually the later packages have younger bees, and better queens(as noted above), so we go with the later ones.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    2,026

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    exactly what joel and roland said!! where did you end up finding the packages?
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,151

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    Key to the success of that package is the area of brood that they can cover. Strongly consider making follower boards with foil clad styrofoam, reduced entrances and Solid bottom boards. The earlier you do buy your packages the more important these measures will be. And yes, feed them! I really like gallon ziplocs on the top bars above the cluster as the bees keep the syrup warm and useable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    All good info. I think I will go with a later package and not have to worry so much. Great advice from all. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    I imagine it's the same issue there as here. It depends on what the weather does that particular year, which does better. But later is a better BET. Sometimes the earlier packages do better. Sometimes the later packages do better. Why not order a few of each and really hedge your bets...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    Why not a local nuc?
    Why try to raise a GA queen in upstate NY.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Early packages or later packages. Pros/cons best for NY?

    3 reasons no local NUC:

    1) I am not able to find one ready earlyish May, in time for Apple/Pear/Peach bloom. (Most are into June I see)

    2) I have all mediums and cannot find medium NUCS.
    I have one deep box I could use and am thinking to get more just for this purpose. One bottom deep on each hive might work. That defeats the purpose of having all mediums though.

    3) Last year my local NUCS did, in my opinion, lousy. Was it worth the extra about $40.00 per NUC vs package I paid? Does not seem it. One queen was either superceded a few weeks after hiving, or they swarmed. My thought is they superceded as there was plenty of space, and not a real huge amount of bees to cause swarm. The new semi-feral queen took off and I hope she makes the winter. I want to make a split from her.

    If I could find a local NUC somewhat early, medium, reasonable price, I would take it. So far, not able to find this combo. Closest I came was finding deep NUC several + hours drive. Tempting, but not quite.

    Out of this thread came the idea that if I get an early package, I am taking a good risk. If I go with a later package, minimal risk. I dont like gambling, so Ill go the later package. Ill keep looking for a NUC but not looking promising.

    Dan

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads