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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Binghamton,New York ,us
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    64

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    But why buy a queen you don't want. That will be an extra $20 to $30 expense. Why shouldn't the package producer put that nortern bred queen in the package to start with.

    Johnny
    It is a nice thought but Where would a package producer in Georgia get thousands of northern queens in February through May when they were making packages. Most package orders are 1-3 packages per person in my experience. Telling a hobbyist to spend 20 dollars more per package to requeen is not that big of a deal. Most people buying packages are new beekeepers probably in the 1-3 yrs experience range they need to be told the facts. I don't want to keep selling packages to the same person over and over, worrying about someone spending 20-30 bucks may save them another hundred next year if the bees dont survive.I would like to sell them queens the following year when they are splitting bees in the spring and build customers that way. Without proper knowledge new beekeepers will quit if all they do is lose bees every winter.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,531

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    You're not listening Astro. You save some of your wintered nucs to make more nucs...5-10 to 1 depending on the year.

    Oh, I'm listening to every word you post. I highly respect what you do and how you do it. I'd be very grateful if you can look at my post number 55 and explain my error.

    Thanks.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
    It is a nice thought but Where would a package producer in Georgia get thousands of northern queens in February through May when they were making packages. .
    They would raise them just like they do now. But use northern selected breeders instead of their current breeders.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

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

    >They would raise them just like they do now. But use northern selected breeders instead of their current breeders.

    In other words, raise them from Northern stock but raise them in the South. It would probably be a step in the right direction, but they would still breed with the local drones...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Binghamton,New York ,us
    Posts
    64

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    They would raise them just like they do now. But use northern selected breeders instead of their current breeders.

    Johnny
    Then they would no longer have to be able to survive a harsher longer winter and they become a more southern stock. Would not take long before the only thing northern would be the name.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    629

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

    His open mated northern stock queens would breed with any available drone including many of his own genetic makeup that he has established over the course of several years. Granted they will also mate with any other available drones in the congregation areas. It would seem to me that his breeding philosophy has significant merit.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  7. #87
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    You're comparing packages to spring splits. I'm comparing packages to wintered nucs. My nucs need their second deep and have 7 frames of brood three weeks after our first 60 degree day and the first pollen of the year.

    And here packages cost $100 and nucs $130. That's half??
    Your right, I got a little snide with Carla,, and my apolgies followed.. sometimes i type to fast, you also seem to be excited by the post on the other side give the number of your replies! its all a great discussion....
    I would agree with you on overwintered nucs. but we both know those are as rare as hens teeth... Your one of darn few Michael, and i hope to be able to winter nucs like you, last year I didn't succeed.

    My comment about 1/2 was the nucs that are ready, not cost. several of the nucs are just not ready to ship slow buildups.... way behind packages that started in March.....

    AS for monies... you mention the 25.00 we make on packages. we drive to GA and answer hours of phone calls and questions for that 25.00... I can make more money on a nuc in a heartbeat. just can't even come close to meeting demand. I make 60 on a nuc...... but I can't have nucs ready to sell in IL, in time to make the honey flow in most years.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,646

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

    the 2 largest guys do just that. Mike Garnder keeps 300 hives to Michigan and pick his queen hives from them.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,305

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

    I assume he would keep stock in the north, or ask customers to buy back queens that performed well, and use them for breeders in the southern queen rearing operation.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    549

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

    I know next to nothing about producing commercial quantities of either nucs or packages. That said it seems to me that success or failure is going to be very dependent on the supplier and his practices. It seems that suppliers will have a different set of priority traits in the bees they supply than the beekeeper has, mostly centering around early build up. I would imagine that they breed for: early build up, gentleness, overwintering success, hardiness against pathogens, honey production: in that order. I think most beekeepers order would be more in line of: hardiness against pathogens, honey production, gentleness, overwintering success, early build up. Keep in mind that these are for producers looking at honey production, pollinators would want early build up as the primary.

    With the above in mind, it would seem that the package industry is better suited to pollination bees and the honey producers more suited to nucs.

    But a better solution is that the package producers can produce an early build up bee crop, then queen them with a honey producer queen with the appropriate traits. This means that the bees in the package would not represent the eventual queen’s progeny. Packages can be queened with the desired traits when they are assembled, while nucs are not quite as easy. It would seem that nucs would depend on overwintering more than packages. Both would benefit from early build up as they are selling bees not honey. As such the package and nuc will almost always have a different set of trait priorities that they are targeting, than what the beekeepers want. To overcome the difference they need to requeen with queens better suited for beekeepers than queens better suited for bee sellers. Which means the seller is tasked with maintaining two lines.

    I am sure that some of the better producers do just that. So the question that needs to be asked of the bee seller, be it package or nuc, is not is he from the south or north, but what are the traits that he breeds for and what are the traits that he Queens with.

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
    Then they would no longer have to be able to survive a harsher longer winter and they become a more southern stock. Would not take long before the only thing northern would be the name.
    Not if you continue to bring in new breeders each year. Many migratory beekeepers come south every spring to split their hives early and build them up before moving back north. They use breeders selected for the traits they need up north but raise those queens down south each spring. It doesn't matter that they raise them in Texas or Mississippi, they are Northern selected.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  12. #92
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    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,646

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

    I think Michael, there is one other factor in play here, and I mention it in passing, not to support one side or the other, but those who are capable of makeing nucs, or overwinter them, are by default better beekeepers. In my experince nucs have not done any better or worse than packages. overwintered nucs this year failed terribly, and several have not taken off at all. same with packages. ... I see a equal success either way, as well as failures.
    I do hope to get to the point that overwintering nucs is succesful and profitable. and selling more would be fine by me......at the moment my skills are not up to par to make the math work.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Binghamton,New York ,us
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    64

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    Not if you continue to bring in new breeders each year. Many migratory beekeepers come south every spring to split their hives early and build them up before moving back north. They use breeders selected for the traits they need up north but raise those queens down south each spring. It doesn't matter that they raise them in Texas or Mississippi, they are Northern selected.

    Johnny
    That's very true, if you were bringing in new breeders each year it would help but it would most likely require an overhaul of the queen operation to help one segment of the beekeeping population ( us northerners). And in order to get your bees down south to make splits you would be pulling them out in December, January when winter is just starting or still has months to go. What about the people in nicer climates that enjoy the traits of the southern bee.. If there was a magic queen that worked well in all climates our problems would be solved. I can't imagine the work and organization a large scale package producer like mike Gardner must have. I think these guys do a pretty good job and right now without them most people could not become new beekeepers because as we all know nucs are harder to come by.
    That's why my origional point and advice to a new beekeper is if you need a package get it and requeen it with queens from someone you trust and shares a similar climate. It will just give a better chance at winter survival.

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

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

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Your one of darn few Michael, and i hope to be able to winter nucs like you, last year I didn't succeed.
    ...several of the nucs are just not ready to ship slow buildups.... way behind packages that started in March.....

    AS for monies... you mention the 25.00 we make on packages. we drive to GA and answer hours of phone calls and questions for that 25.00...
    GM, you continue to miss several key points. No one is suggesting nucs follow a business model like packages, whereas they're made, then shipped out, then turned into a profit. Some nuc producers do that, but the main point being made is for people to MAKE BEES THEMSELVES. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a beekeeper to make his own bees and you feed him for life! My nucs coming out of late winter are in no way slow...if fed properly, they are booming...Mike already said he has to add a second deep to his. Many of my nucs swarm before I can get a deep on 'em. So how is that a slow build-up??? Many times I can make up to 3 nucs in spring out of that 1 I overwintered. Some I sell, others I use to replace my deadouts, or to make increase (build-up my colony numbers).

    Also, it's not hours of phone calls and questions for $25. $25 is PER PACKAGE, multiply that times the packages you're hauling back. Man, you're making some BANK! No wonder the package brokers don't want packages bad-mouthed... ...there's serious money to be made if people don't figure out how to make their own bees.
    "...the most populous colonies ...are provided by queens ...in the year following their birth." Brother Adam

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

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

    Anyone have an idea of what % of package sales go north vs stay in the south? I would figure its a pretty high %. I don't know many people down my way that uses packages.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison County, Alabama
    Posts
    487

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

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    ...those who are capable of makeing nucs, or overwinter them, are by default better beekeepers. ......at the moment my skills are not up to par to make the math work.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    ...if I split everything I had I could only make 200 [nucleus colonies], That would take me back to almost nothing, and only make me 20k, I grossed a bit over 50 on honey last year....
    gmcharlie, now you're not making any sense. If you have enough beekeeper skills to manipulate your colonies to yield enough honey to earn 50K in sales, then you have the level of beekeeper skill to overwinter nucs!! Listen man, you seem FAR more experienced than me -- a 6th year beekeeper!!! If I can overwinter nucs successfully (I've done it both in Northern Virginia as a 2nd year beek, and down south), then there's no excuse why you can't.

    Flora, Illinois is no further north than Gainesville, Virginia (my old stomping ground), so don't even try saying your overwintering challenges are worse.

    It seems, to me, you might just be an old dog who just refuses to learn a new trick. Overwintering nucs ain't the hardest thing to do in this world!
    "...the most populous colonies ...are provided by queens ...in the year following their birth." Brother Adam

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I assume he would keep stock in the north, or ask customers to buy back queens that performed well, and use them for breeders in the southern queen rearing operation.
    I don't know about buying back queens, but he does like to exchange brood combs from survivor hives for queens. He has also said that he hunts Ferals in MI every summer when he is back up there and brings them back to use in his queen rearing.

    In response to an earlier post: I am not trying to dis-credit you in any way. I have a lot of respect for what you do and wouldn't discredit it. Just attempting to make a point. (in how management style impacts the survey responses.)

    No offence I hope.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,308

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    Anyone have an idea of what % of package sales go north vs stay in the south? I would figure its a pretty high %. I don't know many people down my way that uses packages.

    Johnny
    i have wondered the same thing when I hear some of these numbers. Pretty much every beekeeper that I know of that summers in the Dakotas are splitting their own bees somewhere post almond bloom. I know there is a decent market for bulk bees in the queen business but after that with just a few notable exceptions it is mostly small orders. Maybe I'm missing something.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

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

    I am not sure how accurate the 750-800 K number actually is. I have seen that number cited in articles before. Knowing what the production of a few of the larger producers in GA I can surmise that GA's output alone is around 200 K. Add in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and California production and I have no reason to doubt that 3/4 of a million isn't accurate.

    I can't see that many going out to hobbyist beekeepers though. I would assume that some of the migratory operations are using some of those packages. It is much easier to dump a package into a hive than making splits, especially if they are rearing the queens them selves. And if they buy packages in quantities in the 1000s they are only paying about $50.00 each for a pack. Quite a bargain when they can earn double that for each hive on every pollination contract.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  20. #100

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

    I disagree with the statement about nucs being thrown in a box And sold. I had to call the customer and tell some of them that I wouldnt have their nuc and that suxs. But I grow them out myself and take pride in my nucs. I watch them grow out and I know what they are getting. Some of us take pride in our bees

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