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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone here ever tried to place a 2lb package into a 5-frame deep nuc box or double nuc box and fed with inverted jar feeders and new foundation? Then moved them to the normal 10 frame stuff.:scratch:

I am thinking about trying it this spring with some packages I'm getting, if anyone has tried it let me know.
 

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Are you talking inverted jar feeders at the entrance, or in a super on top?

I've done what you are thinking, only used a hive top feeder. And I kept ahead of them with frames of foundation. Before they had all the foundation drawn out, I transferred them into a 10-frame hive on their location, to avoid the possibility of a swarm. By the end of the season I had a two-story 10-frame hive, and had extracted 2 shallow supers of honey from them. I'd say go for it! But stay ahead of them!
Regards,
Steven
 

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Down side is you would have to shake all the bees out of the package. With a full size hive body you can leave the package inside the box for the rest of the bees to crawl out. This is with 4 or 5 frames removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Usually i have bought 3lb packages and put them straight into 10 frame boxes.

I am planning on using the jars over the tops, 2 for each one. I did think of one thing that could be a problem with the doubles. I wonder how easy it will be to put 2 packages in and not have them all go to one side or the other being so close? I have each side sealed pretty good though.
 

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I can't say i've done it with a package but I regularly put about two pound swarms and splits into a nuc box and they do well. If you are going to make them draw out foundation they won't progress very fast as it takes a lot of resources to draw out foundation. If you can start them with at least one or two drawn frames for the queen to lay in then it gives them a decent start. Anything you can do to help them along helps them build up enough to make into a 10 frame. The two pound package would be the same principal as a small swarm, some literature refers to it as an artificial swarm. I would assume you might be better off with a package as you should have a mix of foragers and nurse worker bees. I think I've read with a swarm they are mostly field forager bees which are the older bees and less of the nurse bee types. I'm following this thread with curiosity as I've considered this very tactic myself. Good luck in 2010 with your bees.

Tim Goodin
 

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I did this with 51 3 pound packages last spring and it worked great. I placed the queen cage, then shook them in, put a second five frame empty box on top, with an inverted feeder jar. Didn't loose any of them, and they all built up nicely. Win/win as far as i'm concerned:).
 

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""I wonder how easy it will be to put 2 packages in and not have them all go to one side or the other being so close?""
it sounds like you are talking about a normal hive body divided into two nuc's. i think there are lots of complications with that compared to a 5 frame box. you would need to cover one side to do anything with the bees in the other side, entrance drift might be a problem, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have seen where people use the single 10 frame box (divided into two sections)for making nucs out of splits. They place the entrances on differant ends of the box and then use a cloth sortof as a inner cover that they can fold over to one side or the other for working on. Worked well for that, I just don't know how well the double would do for packages. I could end up with a mess on my hands.
 

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Has anyone here ever tried to place a 2lb package into a 5-frame deep nuc box or double nuc box and fed with inverted jar feeders and new foundation? Then moved them to the normal 10 frame stuff.:scratch:

I am thinking about trying it this spring with some packages I'm getting, if anyone has tried it let me know.
Hi I am wondering !. why?? If you have the ten frame equipment start them their if you do not.. and have the nucs this works as well for up to 3+ pounds for a short time then you just have to have more space for them .. feeding any package is a must if you can not give them frames from other hives unless you know if you are in the middle of a flow then just drop them in, drop the lid on and say what ever you say for good luck.... and make sure they always have space to grow, do not CROWD the girls
 

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Hi I am wondering !. why??
I can’t answer for the original poster, but here’s my reason.
I teach beginners beekeeping classes. Last year I bought a number of packages and resold some of them to these new beekeepers. As new beekeepers, some missed the evidence of failed queens, laying workers or rogue queens. I wound up replacing bees and queens from splits and package starts that I had planned to use in expanding my yards. It was a costly experience. I put it in my ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ file. This year, my plan is to buy those packages, start them in my yards and then sell or use them as nucs. I can catch most of those failures pretty easily and fix them before the colony has declined beyond saving.
put a second five frame empty box on top, with an inverted feeder jar.
How did you manage to keep those bees from drawing comb in that, empty upper box? I’m just curious.
Didn't loose any of them, and they all built up nicely. Win/win as far as i'm concerned:).
This is good news to me…..this spring’s package to nuc is an experiment for me….hopefully more successful than last year’s enterprise (fiasco).
 

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Some folks here start a package in a 5 frame so they will build faster. Last year I put a 3# package in a 5 frame nuc just to see how they would do I always start packages with frames of honey so I dont feed them, I put the queen inbetween the frames just under the hole in the innercover then sat the innercover on top of the package and turned it upside down on the nuc box ( I dont like to dump bump or shake ) and put an extra empty overe it to cover it next day all the bees was down inside the nuc with their queen I removed the extra box and let them bee.

Fater build up - I didnt notice any I put them in a 10 frame deep about 2 weeks later later in the season the hive had queen failuer so all the expermenting was lost.
another 2¢
 

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"How did you manage to keep those bees from drawing comb in that, empty upper box? I’m just curious."

Just kept an eye on them was all. I would suggest you keep them close enough that you can check on them every couple days.

Reasons why this is a good idea:

1) smaller space so new hives can patrol it better..(yes you can close down the entrance on a 10 frame box, but, you still have a whole bunch of empty space inside that needs attention).

2) Bees are better able to control the environment in a smaller space. Let's face it, when we are installing packages, the weather is unsettled at best. Yet we expect the girls to draw foundation, raise brood and build colony strenght, all during a period of time that taxes most larger colonies, and do it in a ten frame box, that they can only use 4-5 frames of?

My observations are that package bees placed in a nuc box, allowed to build and then placed into a ten frame box, will out produce packages placed in a ten frame box from the start. They are also less likey to abscoud(sp) on you. Just something to think about..:).
 

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2 pounders in a 5FN:

:)I have 250 five frame nucs ready for the 2 pounders this spring. They will be shook out on 100 % Pierco Plastic frames.
I had considerd dumping 4 pounders into these nucs because they draw out the frames faster.
Keep the packages bees in a 4 or 5 frame nuc and they will perform much better than a 10 frame.
But, we all have a different reason,s for our management decisions.

Ernie
 

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As others have observed, and my experience as well, 3 pound packages build up so much quicker... if the cost differential isn't that much, might be a better route to go.

I appreciated the observations about the differences in build-up between hiving a package in 5-frame nuc, versus `10-frame hive body. I think I'll do my next ones in the nuc and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ultimately, How many hives are you wishing to achieve ? Commercial, Hobby, just enough to annoy the neighbors ?
I would like to have between 400-500 in the next 5 years. Eventually raise our own queens and sell nucs (that's the idea anyway:D)
 

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In our area of the country the 5 frame nuc has the advantage over a 10 frame in that we get wild temperature swings in March and possibly April. The bees can cluster and have less space to warm in the smaller box. Unfortunately we have the small hive beetle to contend with also, the larger boxes require the bees to patrol a larger area and sometimes those darn beetles get a foothold. That is what I have found in my area and could be a consideration in some parts of the country. Keep in mind you have to watch them very closely and shift them up quickly when the late April flow starts or you will have swarms like crazy by late April early May around here.

Tim
 

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this is kinda off subject but ....well.... need help

i have 10 hives from last year 09 and they did good - and here in washington the winter is very mild this year - anyhow - i took yesterdays nice weather to see how things are going and 9 were doing GREAT - but one was full of dead bees - about an 1 1/2 inches of dead on the bottem screen

but there was still about 2 lbs of bees left - with lots of honey still -
queen was doing great - she had brood also

so i took her and brood and put her and survior bees in to a 5 frame wooden nuc - and them put another 5 frame nuc on top full of honey.
then gave then half of a pollen patty - to get her to build up her numbers again ----- but slowly with limited pollen in take
its only january but im hoping this idea might work --- has anyone else tried this or am i training a 3 legged horse with my time ???
 

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Concrete... Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Why not see what you can do to keep them going? A learning experience that may stand you well in the future. Keep us posted, too!
Thanks,
Steven
 

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If you have a lot of problems with SHBs then 5-frame boxes are the way to go. I put some swarms in 10-frame boxes, only to have to reduce them down to 5-frame boxes so they could have a chance of making it with the SHB infestation.

I am also thinking about taking a couple of swarms this coming year and raise them in 5-frame boxes with 2 deeps and then a medium or two. I have heard that the bees will build up better if they are raised on 5-frame boxes instead of 10. I also have be gradually moving over to 8-frame boxes.
 
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