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  1. #61
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    I was going thru emails this morning cleaning up stuff and I realized that I traded notes with Erin Forbes on the project MB mentioned. They also forgot to mention that all the packages were started on foundation only. in order to better represent how a now beek would start a hive.

    Her words were "we are trying to represent a on farm study, not a scientific experiment"

    The SARE is Sustainable Agriculture Research.. while its interesting in it findings, Its also worth while to really look at the methodology.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,946

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    >ALL of his are local swarms. He does nothing else. PERIOD. hes not a great beekeeper

    Good management makes a big difference of course. In the wild if you figure most hives throw a swarm most years then most of those would have to die in order for the population to stay stable. If we doubled the number of colonies on the planet every year we would soon be knee deep in bees...

    As beekeepers, we make sure they don't starve; we help them with resources when they are getting established; we help them manage the space so they don't get overwhelmed with small hive beetles or wax moths. Management is why we don't have as high a rate of losses as in the wild.

    I don't see that this disproves anything.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #63
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    Disproves may not be the right term. The question was which is better. My point was to show that guys who catch nothing but locals and don't use good beekeeping skills have no better success than packages or nucs.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,209

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    guys who catch nothing but locals and don't use good beekeeping skills have no better success than packages or nucs.
    This is comparing apples to oranges, you are not measuring bee survival, you are measuring how much the beekeeper does to get the colony established and in the process using two entirely different starting points. You can't compare a local swarm with a purchased package. Most packages come with a new queen, swarms have old queens. Most packages come with a fixed amount of bees, swarms are highly variable. etc. etc.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  5. #65
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    Back to the OP.... without counting the varibles. Beekeeping skills have more to do with it than where you got your bees, which was my point.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Back to the OP.... without counting the varibles. Beekeeping skills have more to do with it than where you got your bees, which was my point.
    I agree mostly. Hard to keep bees that are wimps though. Yes awesome bees can and will be wasted on a novice or lazy beekeeper.

    But if I had to choose I would go swarms over packages, then high quality nucs over swarms. Kent Williams nucs I bought 5 years ago still are in my hives. No mite treatments and make my life much easier and my crops are what I need them to be. I have been selling queens for a few years and people who try one over the standard package bee always say they are better survivors. Those keepers are trying unlike the other guy you mentioned.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Back to the OP.... without counting the varibles. Beekeeping skills have more to do with it than where you got your bees, which was my point.
    Well, sure, but isn't getting the best bees part of being a good beekeeper?

    The arguments I've heard for the superiority of swarms for starting colonies make a certain amount of sense. This is the method bees have evolved for reproduction of the colony, and it seems reasonable to assume that evolution has chosen the optimal approach. A swarm comes from a colony successful enough to reproduce, it has the optimal mixture of bees for starting a new colony, and it has a proven queen.

    I can say that the swarm I trapped last August has been a pretty strong hive.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    In my experience, there are good bees and there are good beekeepers. The good bees will survive the bad beekeepers, the bad bees will not survive the good beekeepers.

    Ever seen a queen that at the first sign of a hive disturbance will run and hide in the deepest corner of the hive never to be found? Ever seen a newbee open a hive every day?

    Both good beekeepers and good bees are needed.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    bridgton maine
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    Hey SS1, what has been successful as far as trapping swarms? Are you using a standard type box or special configuration and lures? what location works best for you and how far are your traps from your bee yards? I like the trapping aspect agree with you regarding packages. it is s roll of the dice it seems...

    thanks and cheers!

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Packages vs Nucs vs Prime Swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    your realize that around 2 MILLION queens are shipped from HI to Canada every season?? and they do just fine...why are queens not raised in Canada?? too cold to get many queens breed timely.....
    From those I have talked to the California queens here don't do as well here. Winter losses are higher. The reason that most use them is that they are available much earlier (April/May) than locally bred queens that aren't widely available to late June or early July. This allows for earlier splits that will build up in time to make a crop and the creation and sale of "Spring" nucs.

    I see 3 types of nucs available here:

    1) Winter nuc - overwintered nuc where queen and bees overwintered together
    2) Spring nuc - basically a small early split with an Australian or Californian queen
    3) Summer nuc - a small small split with a local queen

    The winter nuc is by far the best performer. The spring has a better chance at crop than the summer nuc, but the summer nuc has better overwintering success.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

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