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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default How many packages?

    How many packages does a person know to order if you don't know if the bees are going to make it to the end of winter??? For a backyard beekeeper with only 2 hives, + or - 1 package could be a big deal.

    This is like playing the lottery!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,665

    Default Re: How many packages?

    If you order too many, you will have no problem getting rid of them.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: How many packages?

    Good Point.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: How many packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by chr157y View Post
    How many packages does a person know to order if you don't know if the bees are going to make it to the end of winter???
    Over ordering won't be a problem for long. There will most likely be someone who will be happy to buy unneeded bees.

    If you have the space, try to overwinter a couple of nucs. Again, if you don't need the bees, someone will be happy to buy an overwintered nuc...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: How many packages?

    Last year I figured one of my two hives wouldn't overwinter so I ordered an "insurance package". When I lost both hives I had enough to start over with the single package but not to have honey to harvest. Since I wasn't going to get any honey I concentrated on making bees with the hope of coming through with at least two colonies to get honey this year. If I hadn't brought the bees into the garage for this cold blast I would probably be ordering another "insurance package" this year. If you have doubts that at least one will overwinter I would order some insurance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: How many packages?

    I just filled out my order form for 2 packages. One is for a new hive and one is just in case. My hive seems to be wintering well for now, but only time will tell.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: How many packages?

    chr157y, Don't you also plan to split your TBH to reduce the chance of a spring swarm? I've got 3 new hives to populate this year, but I decided to order queens instead of packages since I didn't know if they were coming from down south. Now I find out Mann Lake is getting theirs from California. So if my local club does a group buy from them, I will get a package too. My hope is to steal a few frames from the TBH at different intervals for the new queens.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: How many packages?

    Oh, I don't know! I need a local mentor. The President of our local club works down the street. I'll have to have him come over during one of my first spring inspections. He doesn't have any langs though, so I'm not sure he'll be any help with the new lang. My hive is strong, but to split for the lang, I'd have to cut the comb and rubberband. Easy enough, but not sure if that's the right decision..... I have empty bars, so I can open the brood nest to prevent swarming. I'd like a large strong hive instead of many small colonies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    588

    Default Re: How many packages?

    I currently have 7 hives, and ordered two Georgia Packages and two California Packages. I don't have any idea how the bees will fare this Winter, but I will probably end up with too many hives or not enough!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: How many packages?

    I can tell you that if you are looking to order bees from the large GA suppliers, they are now sold out until mid May 2014. My guy was sold out by last November and is not taking new customers. When experienced folks tell us to order early, we should all listen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: How many packages?

    There's a local guy up here who takes orders. His packages come from the south. He still has packages available.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,255

    Default Re: How many packages?

    It has been a long time since I have ordered packages for myself, but I usually get a bunch for customers, I order 50 packages and start taking orders if I get 50 orders I add 10 more packages to my order, if available. If those 10 get sold I order 10 more, I do this until the supplier has no more available, or the orders quit coming in. I usually sell my extras to last minute buyers, if not I put them in nucs and when someone calls for a colony I sell the nuc. They all sell and I usually wish I had 10 more. Today, Bees are like money in the bank. You can sell every package, Nuc, and hive you have.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How many packages?

    I started last year with just one hive. I ordered a nuc for this year. I will either be doubling my hives or replacing the one I lost. Hopefully I'll be doubling.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: How many packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edymnion View Post
    I started last year with just one hive. I ordered a nuc for this year. I will either be doubling my hives or replacing the one I lost. Hopefully I'll be doubling.
    What about boxes?? New hives are expensive. I'd hate to have an empty hive sitting all season.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: How many packages?

    Just placed an order for 1 package from California with my local bee club. That order, plus the 3 queens I ordered from 2 different sources may be too many now for the boxes I have bought. Guess I need to go build more TBH's and plan on selling entire setups come June. It wasn't my intention to keep 5 hives...well, maybe if they were all in other people's yards On the other hand, I might be able to cancel the one order that has 2 queens on it...Suggestions????

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