When is too early to hive packages
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Factoryville,PA,USA
    Posts
    2

    Default When is too early to hive packages

    Hello This is my first attempt at beekeeping I have 2 warre hives ready to go and ordered 3 packages for delivery in early March. I live in planting zone 6/ eastern PA. Am I being too aggressive? Should I wait until later to hive the packages?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    You hive your packages the day you get them or the next. Any longer and they will die.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,002

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    It is not impossible to do what you are asking...but you are asking a lot of new packages to build comb so early in the season.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,530

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    Be sure you feed them like crazy.

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    Early March is too early for PA. I am assuming you will be putting the package into a brand new hive with no comb, stores, etc. Temperatures in early March will probably preclude liquid feeding. You will need to purchase or make solid feed for them and transition to liquid feed later in March. There won't be much of any nectar available until late March or early April. It won't really start ramping up until mid-April (typically). I suggest you reschedule your package to that timeframe or later. You don't need more challenges as a new beekeeper. Check with your mentor or local bee club. They should have good local advice.

    I have some packages arriving the last week of March. They will be hived with existing comb and some stores plus I will be feeding them liquid syrup.

    Jim.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    If you are asking if I would buy packages in March in your location, no I would not. I would shoot for no earlier than the middle of April and the end of April or the first of may would be better. The quality of the later packages is much better as well as less risk of them dying of starvation because they can't really take syrup when the syrup is cold and they have no stores. Ideally, I would get them two months later than you are... early May is a good goal.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    2,095

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    Quote Originally Posted by jfmcree View Post
    Early March is too early for PA.

    Jim.
    Agreed.

    Anyone want to turn beesource into a beekeeping gambling site where we bet on which beeks are going to kill their packages in the first week?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    bedford, NY
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardsjw2 View Post
    Hello This is my first attempt at beekeeping I have 2 warre hives ready to go and ordered 3 packages for delivery in early March. I live in planting zone 6/ eastern PA. Am I being too aggressive? Should I wait until later to hive the packages?
    Did you end up getting your package bees last year in March? If so did they made it ok? I am planning on getting bees mid March (also my first attempt at beekeeping). I am in NY, planting zone 6 just like you.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    I lived in Lancaster County Pa. for 50 years and there is no way I would order packages for March.
    Try to move your delivery date back to the end of April.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,770

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    He said new Warre hives......topbars....no comb or foundation. Yikes!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    1,856

    Default Re: When is too early to hive packages

    lol he also said 2 hives 3 packages...
    a year ago, and hasn't posted since

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