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Once again, I thought I had it all planned out but along came Coronavirus. I ordered a couple of nucs ages ago from a regional beekeeper. Two hundred mile drive but in my part of West Texas, that is somewhat between going to the grocery store and going to see the grandkids. Along came Mr. CV and counties around me are locking down plus my beekeeper has gone dark. Nuc party for 2020 for us not going to happen so that leaves packages. Pretty much the same problem. The only packages that I have found that can be ordered at this late date are definitely not "local" bees. California bees, Georgia bees, wherever bees...definite not local to West Texas. I know from my reading that it makes a difference but how much difference? I'm sure this post will get a few "I never use packages" :) but plan A and plan B :v:

West Coast package or a package of bees from the Southeast?. Which would be a better choice for my hot and dry area?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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John, my opinion is that it is more of a north/south issue with overwintering success than and east/west thing. You should be good either way. Personally, I would go with the GA bees as there is less of a chance for any AHB genetics to be in the stock.
 

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I would go for quality & type over region. Look at some reviews, & purchase ASAP, before you can’t;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, guys for the input. ASAP like yesterday or maybe yesterweek. :) The N/S vs E/W recommendation is logical but I do not remember seeing it explained that way. A few more cases of CV reported in the area today. We are mostly in the single-digit stage but at 77 with health issues...I ain't gonna risk it. :pk:
 

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I'm sure this post will get a few "I never use packages" :) but plan A and plan B :v:
I will never buy nucs, no comb coming onto our property that wasn't drawn by our bees. If we have a desire to do re-stocking other than thru splitting our own, we buy packages. I really dont care where they come from, north, south, local, far away. The bees will start the season growing out the colony. they get requeened early summer anyways. By the time winter arrives, none of the outside bees are left in the colony.

It really doesn't matter what bees are in the colony at the start of the season, what matters, is the queen in there on July 15 the one you want raising the winter bees. Then again, do you even have a winter in Texas ?
 

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John, So buy the cheapest packages you can find, set them on some comb if you have it. In July ring up your favorite queen producer or if you make your own make 2 for each package. Split and requeen with a young vigorous queen. I did this last year, got mites in the packages so buyer beware. I got 2 packages, ordered 4 queens in late june, split in july , those 4 hives are still with me today. It works, spring is a hard time to get good queens, in july queen are plentiful, but it is too late to start a package. Kelley still had some left. I like to get them in early/mid April, give them 8-10 weeks, split and requeen, they have 8 weeks to get prepped for winter. also consider setting out swarm traps. caught swarms can be requeened as well the same way. good luck
GG
 

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Packages are safer than nucs. Buy the most reputable you can find, and you will likely do fine.
 
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