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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Opinions on starting packages, please..

    gmcharlie, I dont doubt you a bit. I just need to figure out whats missing here...

    I do have a friend that keeps bees too and last year was a terrible year for him too. He was thinking the drought had a lot to do with that too.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Opinions on starting packages, please..

    I am sure of it also. but not sure why. I had hives right next to each other 1/2 would be booming, half a bust..... so I know it wasn't weather issues and nectar. I think the lower nectar flow stopped them from being able to out breed lost brood..... I also think that some smaller hives just decided not to try to grow much..... My only point was to keep an open mind and realize its not just becvause its a package, or this breed of queen.... My russians did the worst last year....

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Opinions on starting packages, please..

    [QUOTE=Andrew Dewey;925882]. As new packages don't have much in the way of a field force they did not produce any surplus honey for me and I ended up feeding them to get them up to winter weight.

    How do you decide what is surplus honey? And how did you determine a healthy winter weight?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Opinions on starting packages, please..

    [QUOTE=andreaf;927291]
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    . As new packages don't have much in the way of a field force they did not produce any surplus honey for me and I ended up feeding them to get them up to winter weight.

    How do you decide what is surplus honey? And how did you determine a healthy winter weight?
    That is a whole topic unto itself...... Depends on the weather, and how many bees are in the box....

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,944

    Default Re: Opinions on starting packages, please..

    [QUOTE=andreaf;927291]
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    . As new packages don't have much in the way of a field force they did not produce any surplus honey for me and I ended up feeding them to get them up to winter weight.

    How do you decide what is surplus honey? And how did you determine a healthy winter weight?
    Any honey stored in the two deep brood chambers is for the bees, not me. And how did I determine a healthy winter weight? I asked people with more experience than I who have and use scales (primarily Mike Palmer) And I got myself a scale. I see no need to reinvent the wheel.

    Location matters a whole lot with this. Mike is a Northern beekeeper so when he talks, I listen. (A good thing he sells queens, and not stocks and bonds)
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Opinions on starting packages, please..

    Rob, for our part of the country I prefer 1 Med full of food or 6 deep frames, and a hard candy board for winter. I don't leave except for breeder hives, but thats a normal amount to get them thru with 1 good deep full of bees in oct.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Opinions on starting packages, please..

    gmcharlie, are you using 10 frame equipment or 8? I have only one 10 frame hive left. My 10 frame started as russian colony & I have 1 deep & two mediums that I have left on since like 2009. I dont take any honey from this hive but I do feed them over the winter & spring. My strong 8 frame hives have used two deeps and a medium over the winter. I also throw a feeder on top of those too.

    I started a few 8 frame hives last year and they barely got all the frames drawn out on 1 medium and 1 deep going into winter. I did the mountain camp method on that them. They ate most of the sugar, but I found them all headfirst in the comb, this spring. No moths or shb in there either. That was two 8 frame hives.

    The ones that build up good early, seem to do very well through winter. As I said before, some just seem to find it a challenge to draw the frames out.

    For my packages that are coming, I do have fully drawn frames for them to start on.

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