Package VS. Nuc Challenge
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  1. #1
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    Default Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    3 packages vs 2 local (our) made nucs. It is time for some beekeeping myth busting. Our goal is to prove that it is not all about localized stock, but just as importantly, good beekeeping. Our goal is to show new beekeepers fundamental beekeeping, disprove the tons of unnesessary rubbish new beekeepers are bombarded with, and see which produce the most honey and bees in 2020. From installing, feeding, adding space, removing space, mite sampling, mite elimination, and splitting we are covering it here.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-14p...qelo8qkZX14yNI
    Last edited by Tennessee's Bees LLC; 04-17-2019 at 10:17 AM.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    For the past 5 years I have bought packages and caught swarms and done cutouts.

    In my bee yard the stock that consistently overwinters is never stock that comes from packages. I avg 7-10 hives going into winter for the past 5 years with an avg of about 2 packages each year.

    However as I am in central IL and our early april packages all come from GA. I am a firm believer that there is something to be said about local stock vs queens that come from an entirely different climate.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    For the past 5 years I have bought packages and caught swarms and done cutouts.

    In my bee yard the stock that consistently overwinters is never stock that comes from packages. I avg 7-10 hives going into winter for the past 5 years with an avg of about 2 packages each year.

    However as I am in central IL and our early april packages all come from GA. I am a firm believer that there is something to be said about local stock vs queens that come from an entirely different climate.
    I agree and disagree. The stock we raise ourselves has nearly always been head and shoulders above what I have purchased (including those TF queens) I believe it is due to strict selection and most importantly good mating. If one of our queens won't drop down and lay in the bottom box she is out of the breeding line and other things like EFB, Chalk, high alcohol washes etc. I purchased queens from Michael Palmer (Vermont) in 2016. They did great here, and are not bred for my area at all. They were mated very well and that speaks huge volumes about the kind of beekeeper Palmer is. His bees aren't magic bees, his bees are uniform workhorses that came about from hard work and detailed selection. Also, there is NO reason why GA queens shouldn't work here (if mated well) I think the local deal is to a degree overrated. Give me a fine, well-mated queen and I will show you the honey. The PROBLEM is finding a source for excellent queens outside your own beeyard. Very hard to find.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    I agree and disagree. The stock we raise ourselves has nearly always been head and shoulders above what I have purchased (including those TF queens) I believe it is due to strict selection and most importantly good mating. If one of our queens won't drop down and lay in the bottom box she is out of the breeding line and other things like EFB, Chalk, high alcohol washes etc. I purchased queens from Michael Palmer (Vermont) in 2016. They did great here, and are not bred for my area at all. They were mated very well and that speaks huge volumes about the kind of beekeeper Palmer is. His bees aren't magic bees, his bees are uniform workhorses that came about from hard work and detailed selection. Also, there is NO reason why GA queens shouldn't work here (if mated well) I think the local deal is to a degree overrated. Give me a fine, well-mated queen and I will show you the honey. The PROBLEM is finding a source for excellent queens outside your own beeyard. Very hard to find.
    Kamon, I would tend to disagree, but with reasons. First Tenn. is not that far from Ga. so sure for you the GA queens, could be fine, go 3 or 4 states north and the difference would get more noticeable. so would Ga queens work for M Palmer? Bee keeping is very localized, so the only real compare that would even make sense is other Beeks in Tenn. So it depends on where your "Here" is. various places have dearths and good and bad flows so any US wide compare is not apples to apples. Not sure what your attempt is here, Myth busting.....hmmm With good bad and ugly packages and good bad and ugly NUCs, I am not sure what the control is or what the end point would be , for me wintering is very high on the list and did not see it on your list. I'll just agree, your bees and methods are the best. Thanks for all your help, to the new Beeks.
    GG

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    Our goal is to show new beekeepers fundamental beekeeping, disprove the tons of unnesessary rubbish new beekeepers are bombarded with
    LOL, you are certainly going to have your work cut out to do that.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    For the past 5 years I have bought packages and caught swarms and done cutouts.

    In my bee yard the stock that consistently overwinters is never stock that comes from packages. I avg 7-10 hives going into winter for the past 5 years with an avg of about 2 packages each year.

    However as I am in central IL and our early april packages all come from GA. I am a firm believer that there is something to be said about local stock vs queens that come from an entirely different climate.
    A few things about that. First, seems you are only using one criterion to judge the bees, which is how they winter. But many beekeepers place importance on other things such as honey production, gentleness, low swarming impulse, etc, all important things.

    You do not say why you have losses in the winter, if you treated the bees, took all the honey and didn't feed enough, or whatever. Skilled beekeepers who manage the hives right, for the type of bee, tend to have much lower winter losses, than those who do not.

    Secondly, you collect swarms, do cutouts, and buy packages, and take 7-10 hives into winter each year. That's quite a few additional hives each season, yet you have to buy an average of 2 new packages each year. So, is it only the packages that die, or are other bees also dieing, but there is a "confirmation bias", that it is just the package bees that die.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    3 packages vs 2 local (our) made nucs. It is time for some beekeeping myth busting.
    I don't know what this means ... Is it a ratio of approximate size equality, or could it be that you plan on testing with just five chosen colonies ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    "Pick the hive model that is best suited to your locale, populate it with local bees, and the results will speak for themselves" Georges de Layens, "The Complete Course in Apiculture" 1892

    People have been researching this...

    Local queens winter better:
    Requeening packages
    Local queens

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...14574515000930

    http://umaine.edu/agriculture/progra...ybee-colonies/

    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...694&y=2010&t=0

    http://pwrbeekeepers.com/sare/sare-f...eport-2011.pdf

    http://www.southernsare.org/News-and...ybee-Colonies/

    in Maine:
    http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/Projec...694&y=2010&t=1
    http://www.nesare.org/State-Programs...ter-hardy-bees
    http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2012/0...ybee-colonies/

    "Summary
    "Our project explored the differences in strength and survival between three options for starting new honeybee colonies. Over the course of two years 54 new honey bee colonies were started, managed, monitored, and evaluated by Master Beekeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes and experienced beekeeper Larry Peiffer. The purpose of the experiment was to determine whether survival rates between the groups of colonies would be measurably different, and whether beekeeper choices in colony starts could influence winter survival probability. The project involved three colony groups: Two thirds of our colonies were started using commercially raised southern packages of bees, 3lbs of bees and a queen bee in a cage. (Packages) Packages are the most commonly purchased colony start option available to beekeepers in the United States, comprising roughly 80% of all new colonies started in New England. The second colony group (1/3 of our project) was comprised of northern raised overwintered nucleus colonies, a northern raised queen and her offspring, 5 frames of bees, along with honey comb, pollen, and nectar stores (Nucs). Northern raised nucleus colonies are less commonly purchased because they are less available for sale -- the demand for Northern Raised Nucs vastly outstrips the supply in New England. The third colony group we included is a compromise between the above two choices. Once the packages were established in hives in Maine, and when northern raised queens were available (approximately 60 days after package installation), we removed the queens from half of the package started colonies and replaced them with northern raised and mated queens. (Requeened Packages) We then managed each colony independently and measured their honey production, disease and mite load, and most importantly, survival over winter to see if there were differences between the Packages, Nucs, Requeened Packages. Our results were very promising in the survival differences. In over two years, the adjusted data for survival revealed the following: 42% of the southern commercially raised package colonies survived their fist winter strong enough to be a viable colony in the following summer. 83% of the overwintered northern raised Nucleus colonies were in viable condition, and 90% of the northern requeened packages were in viable condition the following spring. In our project, the Nucs experienced nearly twice the survival rate of the Packages. Additionally, the Requeened Packages also experienced a survival rate nearly double the rate of the 'as bought' Packages. Although executed over two years, our sample size was small (54 colonies started total, but only 39 included in this final data due to colony disqualification) and therefore could be subject to seasonal and statistical error. We will be performing additional work narrowing the study groups to just Packages and Requeened Packages in 2013. We hope to improve the statistical significance of our results through further study, but feel strongly that the promise shown by our first two years offers New England beekeepers an attractive option for increasing the survival of new colonies. "


    In Virginia:
    http://mysare.sare.org/MySare/Projec...223&t=1&y=2011
    (click on "create pdf" to see the report)

    "Summary
    "The Prince William Regional Beekeepers Association (PWRBA) producer SARE project compared hives
    started from packaged bees to hives started from nucleus colonies (nucs) positively demonstrating higher
    survival for nuc started hives than package started hives, with survival differences more pronounced in the second year. Education and training resulted in adopting more sustainable beekeeping practices. These centered on utilizing existing colonies to produce sufficient nucs to (1) replace dead hives, (2) increase apiaries, and (3) provide starter hives for new beekeepers and association members instead of relying on commercially produced packaged bees from outside the region. The number of nucs made available to association members in lieu of packaged bees increased dramatically over the course of the project. Queen rearing was successfully initiated."
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Wow I got busy working bees and didn't realize people were commenting. Is this going to be a perfect trail / test no but we are debunking alot of hobby level notions like "throw away moldy combs or throw away combs every 3-5 years. I also use engineered woods and many other things some would say bees wouldn't like to use or could kill them. The goal is to have 5 hives go thru the winter and come out healthy and produce honey next year. I think bee genetics are very important but I think the bigger issue is a lack of bee KEEPING and management. We are being taught these days to be lazy beekeepers and not diligent ones. More than anything new beekeepers are going to get to see the flaws in package production..... already had one start to supersede. However nucs are not without their own problems. We will be covering alot of different things. It won't be perfect but instead of typing out opinions folks will be able to see how it works or doesn't work in this video series.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge


  12. #11
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    LOL, you are certainly going to have your work cut out to do that.
    Ain't that the truth. Probably will get made fun of the whole way or told like I did yesterday by a fella on my channel, and I quote. "I have 7 hives and had them for 9 years and never lost a colony, never treated, and they produce over 100lbs a year! My best colony produced nearly 200!" ...... The dude is in an area in TN that is not known for producing great honey crops. When I asked what his secret was he responded they are immune to varroa because they are wild bees.... This kind of irrational thinking is hurting newbeekeepers all around the country and I use to be one of them. My information is not sexy like treatment free but it adds up for anyone and everyone who is willing to roll up their sleeves
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    While I appreciate your goal here, i think it's going to be pretty tough to definitively prove one way or the other. You could end up getting a couple queens with great genetics and a couple that are doomed to failure (improperly mated, or just genetically deficient). You can't really prove that a hive failed or succeeded due to beekeeping practices alone.
    Visit my YouTube channel 📺
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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Kamon, I would tend to disagree, but with reasons. First Tenn. is not that far from Ga. so sure for you the GA queens, could be fine, go 3 or 4 states north and the difference would get more noticeable. so would Ga queens work for M Palmer? Bee keeping is very localized, so the only real compare that would even make sense is other Beeks in Tenn. So it depends on where your "Here" is. various places have dearths and good and bad flows so any US wide compare is not apples to apples. Not sure what your attempt is here, Myth busting.....hmmm With good bad and ugly packages and good bad and ugly NUCs, I am not sure what the control is or what the end point would be , for me wintering is very high on the list and did not see it on your list. I'll just agree, your bees and methods are the best. Thanks for all your help, to the new Beeks.
    GG
    Thanks for commenting Gray goose,
    You are right there are huge variables. Dearths are a huge deal. Also the quantity of varroa I can raise compared to a northern guy. We primarily in our videos are targeting fundamental truths. I think commercial raised queens are mostly garbage and MANY beekeepers here in TN will tell you GA queens don't work in TN. I truly believe with proper mating they would be fine and not garbage. When you go to extreme areas I agree it takes a specialized queen. Palmer likely will tell you GA queens stink. But I wonder if they were raised for quality instead of quantity if we would be so against GA queens.

    I have purchased local queens and caught local swarms in the past that were terrible and I am tired of the ever elusive magic bees everyone keeps saying they have until I buy them and the fairy dust is gone. Good stock and consistent stock comes from the same place everything else worth having does. Hard work.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Kamon, I would tend to disagree, but with reasons. First Tenn. is not that far from Ga. so sure for you the GA queens, could be fine, go 3 or 4 states north and the difference would get more noticeable. so would Ga queens work for M Palmer? Bee keeping is very localized, so the only real compare that would even make sense is other Beeks in Tenn. So it depends on where your "Here" is. various places have dearths and good and bad flows so any US wide compare is not apples to apples. Not sure what your attempt is here, Myth busting.....hmmm With good bad and ugly packages and good bad and ugly NUCs, I am not sure what the control is or what the end point would be , for me wintering is very high on the list and did not see it on your list. I'll just agree, your bees and methods are the best. Thanks for all your help, to the new Beeks.
    GG
    Thanks for commenting Gray goose,
    You are right there are huge variables. Dearths are a huge deal. Also the quantity of varroa I can raise compared to a northern guy. We primarily in our videos are targeting fundamental truths. I think commercial raised queens are mostly garbage and MANY beekeepers here in TN will tell you GA queens don't work in TN. I truly believe with proper mating they would be fine and not garbage. When you go to extreme areas I agree it takes a specialized queen. Palmer likely will tell you GA queens stink. But I wonder if they were raised for quality instead of quantity if we would be so against GA queens.

    I have purchased local queens and caught local swarms in the past that were terrible and I am tired of the ever elusive magic bees everyone keeps saying they have until I buy them and the fairy dust is gone. Good stock and consistent stock comes from the same place everything else worth having does. Hard work.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by dkofoed View Post
    While I appreciate your goal here, i think it's going to be pretty tough to definitively prove one way or the other. You could end up getting a couple queens with great genetics and a couple that are doomed to failure (improperly mated, or just genetically deficient). You can't really prove that a hive failed or succeeded due to beekeeping practices alone.
    Very true. The goal is not perfection, to the contrary, it is just as much about how to correct issues when they arise. I don't need to order queens so it is no big deal for me. I believe giving the hobbyist a broad view (though not perfect) will help form in their minds the complexities of beekeeping. This is not a hobby one can take lightly.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Keep up the good work kamon !!!! I think if everyone that has the same ideas as you do. Be honest, show what should be done with your Bees in a work ethics standpoint. Show all the new folks the common sense approach. Keeping bees shouldn't be dump em in a box and expect them to live. But thrive. All the folks on here think about this... if you have the same ideas as kamon, or are close to agreeing with some basic principles. Put out the videos, spread the word. There is a message here, simple common sense approach. It really doesn't have to be complicated, just show new folks the correct way to put in the work. Tools are good start, but teaching folks how to use them correctly would help. I like the cideos on nucs, vs. Packages. Seems direct, focused, and very practical and doable.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    3 packages vs 2 local (our) made nucs. It is time for some beekeeping myth busting. Our goal is to prove that it is not all about localized stock, but just as importantly, good beekeeping. Our goal is to show new beekeepers fundamental beekeeping, disprove the tons of unnesessary rubbish new beekeepers are bombarded with, and see which produce the most honey and bees in 2020. From installing, feeding, adding space, removing space, mite sampling, mite elimination, and splitting we are covering it here.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-14p...qelo8qkZX14yNI


    Two thoughts:

    1) To prove or disprove anything in beekeeping, a researcher needs a well designed study that is carefully conducted. Due to the highly variable nature of weather, locale, the bees themselves, etc., a researcher needs to run a lot of colonies in a test to have statistically meaningful results. Think of the efforts Randy Oliver goes to to test a hypothesis. To do anything less just adds to the confusion.

    2) Setting out "to prove something" indicates the researcher is invested in achieving a particular outcome, which means the study is biased before it even starts.

    JMHO




    .
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Hey Kamon! I found you on youtube a few weeks ago and have been enjoying your videos. You're always down to earth, honest, and you give good tips.

    I have to admit, when I first saw you on youtube I thought you were a young kid and almost changed the channel. But I quickly realized that although you are young, you are no kid. And you are very knowledgeable! You have a good head on your shoulders, and keep up the good work!

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post

    2) Setting out "to prove something" indicates the researcher is invested in achieving a particular outcome, which means the study is biased before it even starts.

    JMHO
    This one is fact, not opinion. As a researcher in the biomedical field, I can say that results are results, they are neither good or bad.

    Now, they may be good or bad for the company producing the product but as the researcher, I'm most concerned with my data being accurate.
    zone 5b
    Back in 2019!

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Package VS. Nuc Challenge

    The nucs are installed and one package is starting up a supersedure plus we show you how to feed bees like G.M Doolittle. https://youtu.be/v06PEhKrU1Q
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

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