Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 116
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    I was told that package queen problems (from GA/AL) seem a bit worse this year, probably influenced by hard winter and cold spells into April. What are experiences good or bad? I have read the messages about problems with queen raising -- my question is does it seem that more delivered packages/queens are having trouble.
    Last edited by RudyT; 05-03-2013 at 09:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Shelbyville,Indiana,USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    I bought them from Kelley, which gets them from Hardemans in GA. I hived my packages Saturday, they were released Monday, and I had eggs Wednesday. They are doing pretty good in my view. Even the extra carni and Italian that I got are running the same line as the Russian packages.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,770

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    1 don't have an answer to your question rudy, but in general it has been a more difficult spring due to weather and packages are somewhat less reliable than nucs for starting a new colony.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    767

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Quote Originally Posted by RudyT View Post
    I was told that package queen problems (from GA/AL) seem a bit worse this year, probably influenced by hard winter and cold spells into April. What are experiences good or bad? I have read the messages about problems with queen raising -- my question is does it seem that more delivered packages/queens are having trouble.
    There were several loads of packages coming in to Northern Virginia. The late March packages that came in to Virginia which were packaged during the time GA experienced a real drop in temperature were the worst I have ever seen. While a small percentage of failures may be due to beekeeper error or the cold- we are surveying our student class to try and have some hard facts. Off the top of my head I can tell you that 20% had queens dead on arrival, several of the queens died after install in the cage suggesting a queen or virgin queen was shaken in to the package, and several have turned into laying workers- again suggesting a virgin queen who came up North and could not mate due to lack of flying weather and lack of drones. My best guess without the hard data is a nearly 50% or more total failure rate. Thank goodness we have an active nuc program and most had ordered a local nuc. The only good thing I can say is that a year like this feeds our sustainability model promoting making bees from your own bees.
    karla

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,735

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Hey Karla,

    I also got packages this spring. I suspect from the same supplier. My packages arrived on March 20th out of Wilbanks, and yes very cold temps. Although some of these struggled, none were lost and no queens were lost. These packages were to give a quick boost to my queen rearing activities. So, 100% success on 36 packages. Some of the queens look fantastic, others are just OK, a few are poor, but all alive. Nothing too noteworthy. BTW, I purged all drones out of these packages as I did not want lots of unknown boys hanging around. Also, all bees seem very well-behaved. Achieving 100% success didn't just fall into my lap, it took all of my experience and lots of effort to make it happen. I suspect that losses in the hands of newbees would have been pretty dramatic. Cold weather installs wasn't something I had done before, but having gotten through it I learned some things. I tried to capture these and reported them here on beesource. See thread : http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ackage+install

    Had the temps been more like our typical March, I have not doubt that I'd be bursting with bees right now. As it turned out, the cold temps set my schedule back some but things are now progressing well.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    767

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    I also got packages this spring. I suspect from the same supplier. My packages arrived on March 20th out of Wilbanks, and yes very cold temps.
    NO actually- these came a week later and not the same supplier. They should have pushed the order back IMHO
    Glad you made out well.
    karla

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Located in MD, USA. Received 10 packages from GA on April 6th and installed them all within 18 hours of being shaken. They all looked great and had very active and alert queens. All were set for colony release queens, and all were given 1 gallon cans of feed. The weather did take some overnight dips into freezing range and has been fairly inconsistent. All were given some built comb and some honey frames, half were started in 5 frame equipment, the others in 10 frame. Out of 10 packages, 1 did not release the queen and a replacement queen was obtained and released immediately. Of the 10 packages and 10 released queens, 6 are viable colonies. 2 started in 5 frame equipment are the strongest, and one of them was split. 4 are happily raising drones via workers, released queens were no where to be seen, and the other 4 are struggling but seem viable. The packages dwindle until the first brood emerges, so I suspect that the 6 will survive. One of them, the smallest of the 6 were only covering 1/3 of 5 frames, the queen was active and seemed in control, there were fresh eggs in worker cells, but there was also a sixth frames where there was a small pocket of workers that were obviously anarchists and raising their own drones via laying worker, i.e., cells with multiple (3-4) eggs per cell. At nearly the 1 month mark, I am at 60% 2013 package success. Will probably combine the 4 duds with other colonies this weekend, and hope that warmer and more stable weather turns the tide for the remaining colonies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chester County PA USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    I received two packages on March 30 from GA. I live near Philadelphia. Packages were nasty from the getgo. One package never had any eggs produced, the other had partial laying (50 cells) and supercedure procedings. Could find neither queen which were marked and clipped. Packages were released on drawn comb with plenty of stores and feeding. Tried to find replacement queens but was tough because so early in season. Cut out supercedure cells and finally reqeened on April 26th. 5 days later released queens from push in cage. with good acceptance-- i did NOT use a Southern queen from the same source i got my packages. lol in one hive i noticed i had eggs/larvae in the hive at time of queen release....strange since 5 days earlier upon queen introduction saw nothing. Didnt look like worker laying...
    Going to let things be and recheck in about 10 days--both hives starting to bring in pollen whereas before rather listless and aggressive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    killen,al
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Where are you getting queens in AL.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    The primary issue this year has been poor weather for mating flights in the south. All of the suppliers have been having trouble with poorly mated queens. If the queens can't fly they don't get mated.

    In years like this you see improvement as the season progresses. March queens may have high fail rates, but by May the weather is improved enough that the queens get properly mated.

    I always try and encourage people to order packages later in the season, but year after year we are under constant pressure to go earlier and earlier. Everybody wants their bees early and they start yelling if there are any delays.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Yes, there are more queen problems this year, Its been really cold and nasty in GA and queens have suffered. FYI despite the claims of the NUC sellers, packages are not any worse off. Many of these nucs are nothing more than a new queen with some brood from another hive. A good nuc will have been laying for a month first, and when a 5 rame nuc is placed next to a new package the growth rate is pretty much identical.

    My packages this year had a bit over 20% queen issues. Nucs have been running around 18%.... the only difference is that the nucs get weeded out before they get to customers. which is why the price is twice as much.

    I belive a lot of the queen issues have been due to the queen getting chilled at some point. In my experince anytime the queen gets chilled (guess being she gets colder than 60 ish )she goes sterile..... never done any test to prove it, just noticed it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Hands down a quality Nuc is better than a good package of bees. The problem I see with Nucs is that only about 10% of what is produced are quality Nucs. There are a lot of rather newish beeks making and selling Nucs now days. Not that they are intentionally scamming anybody, but it is way too easy to throw 5 frames in a box, add a mail order queen, and sell it for $130.00 to the droves of people who are willing to hand over the cash to get a nuc.

    Package bees on the other hand are produced by people who's livelihood depends on their success. All of the producers are relatively well known and operate off of reputation and experience.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,735

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post

    My packages this year had a bit over 20% queen issues.
    Out of how many? 20% from 100 would be more significant than 20% out of 5.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    70.... Last 2 years its was effectivly 0..... so I am not upset its farming.. Bluegrass, nice to see you not bashing package guys... but I would disagree with the claimed supeiority of nucs. In side by side test of 10 each, there was no diffence at the end of the season for mites or honey production.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,725

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    I got 10packages from Drew Apiaries in Hahira,Ga. They were installed Mid. March. They are all doing pretty good. Most have 2 or 3 supers on them already.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    your in FL.... quite bragging... its snowing here... 3 supers indeed!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Bluegrass, nice to see you not bashing package guys... but I would disagree with the claimed supeiority of nucs. In side by side test of 10 each, there was no diffence at the end of the season for mites or honey production.
    That would require I bash my self as I am a package guy. I am currently sitting in Baxley GA with a truck and trailer waiting to pickup at Mike's place in the AM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    The problem I see with Nucs is that only about 10% of what is produced are quality Nucs. .
    Where did that number come from?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    it is way too easy to throw 5 frames in a box, add a mail order queen, and sell it for $130.00 to the droves of people who are willing to hand over the cash to get a nuc.
    Just as easy to dump 3 pounds of bees in a box, add a mail order queen, and sell it for $100 to the droves of folks willing to hand over cash for what?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: quality of 2013 package queens from GA/AL?

    Tell mike good morning!... head over at 6:30 and go out with the crews! I will be there next week for my 2nd run....

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

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