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Discussion Starter #1
This will be my second year. I would like to expand my apiary a little each year. So this year I'm going to be hopefully adding 6 hives. 4 of which I'm going to start with packages from Gardners. I sent them a letter and they sent me an invoice but on the invoice for a shipping date they have May 5th. I got my packages before around April 10th...and that seemed to be a good time because everything was right about to bloom. What do PA and other NE state beeks think of getting packages in May...I hope that isn't the first date they have avaliable to ship packages.
Thanks all :thumbsup:
 

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That's when I get mine. The weather is getting better and everything is starting bloom. The packages need the abundance of necta and pollen, unlike the nukes who are already up and running so to speak. I always give my packages a pollen patty and sugar solution to help them along.
 

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You'll probably just have to feed a lot of syrup and pollen throughout the year especially in the fall before you close it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will feed sugar syrup like normal till I see that they have drawn good comb. If there is a good nectar flow I will probably feed little to no syrup. Had to feed heavy last fall regardless of how you started a hive or how old the hive was. So I don't think May package installation will effect fall feeding though.
:cool:
 

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Not necessarily true regarding not getting a harvest this year. Hasn't happened in a while but about 10-12 yrs ago I put in some packaged bees and got 140lbs off them and they still had enough to get through winter. You never know.
------Deb
 

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Getting packages in May is no reason for alarm. It means you were further down their list. You have to order earlier to get an earlier delivery. It was a lesson I learned.

I disagree, respectfully, with the ideas that you're going to have to feed outrageous amounts of syrup. Early packages actually need more syrup (due to fewer blooms and nastier weather) than later packages (better weather, more blossums).

I think beekeepers continue to believe that earlier is better, but the weather can be cold for three weeks in April and basically equalizes the dates of delivery. Secondly, there are a whole lot more variables than delivery date on how a package takes off.

I think instead of worrying about a May delivery, give thanks you were able to secure bees. The worst case is you have a fully developed hive ready for next year!

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not worried or unthankful. I was just thinking that it might be past a lot of the main bloom in PA..but got to thinking and it actually should be about perfect. I also agree that it shouldn't take more syrup to get these guys going then April packages.
:thumbsup:
 

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Sam,
We found packages started in May did well, often as well as packages started mid april.. You are less likely to have rain delays when your packages arrive. Settled warmer weather, makes for a larger brood nest while you have the bulk of your dwindling population that is part of the package scene. Quicker wax production due to higher temps, more foraging and from the feeding aspect warmer weather will result in more bees taking feed vs protecting the brood nest/cluster temperature during the cold nights and cooler days of April. Your area will still be up for prime dandelion bloom (tons of pollen) as well as fruit bloom and clovers such as white dutch and yellow and white sweet clovers. You have 3 brood cycles before the July Basswood bloom and if you feed during dearth periods you should be ready for the late summer/fall flow which I would expect you your area around the 2nd week of August. One other aspect is you will likely get younger bees as many of the older, quick dying winter cluster bees will have been shaken out in earlier made packages of bees.

I think you'll be happy with the result of the May Packages and if you manage them consistently and are attentive to their needs you'll do fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Me too Joel, I did mine last year in April and had them in the packages an extra 2-3 days till it was nice enough. I think they will do fine. They are also going onto foundationless frames and I will be able to get into the hives as much as possible....and will feed all.
:thumbsup:
 
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