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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.
I'm using 10 frame Lang style boxes for my bees. I have another package on order that I should in a few weeks. I started off last year with hiving my packages into new boxes and letting them build from there. Over the course of the summer with stripping/combining/hive losses I've ended up with several deeps that have drawn comb in them, but are bee-less. I also have several nuc boxes I've made in preparation of possible splits I'd like to do this year. So, my questions are this

1. should I start my new package out in a 'already drawn' full deep box? I know I'll save 'drawn out' time using this method as the frames are already drawn out, and won't have to transfer them later.
2. should I start them off in a 'smaller box', like either a 4 or 5-frame nuc box and then transfer later? Doing this process will require me to transfer them later, but give/provides them a smaller footprint to manage initially both for SHB, and protection.
3. should I start them off in a 'regular' deep, but only initially (possibly the first week) only put in 1/2 the frames for them to work?

thoughts and suggestions from you 'old timers' and experts are much appreciated. Either way I'll still be feeding them 1-1 sugar water and possibly some megabee to jump start them.
 

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Either way will work,some folks say they will build quicker in a nuc but never ever put them in a box without all the frames unless it is for a day with the package in the box
 

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I'm not an expert, but I guess some might consider me an old timer. ;)

As honeyman mentioned, either way will work. If you are planning to be attentive and check on your bees regularly I'm going to break from the consensus and suggest starting the package off in a nuc. In a 5 frame nuc I would put 4 drawn frames and 1 frame empty or with foundation, to give the young bees something to work on if they are ready to build comb. It won't be long and they will be ready to be moved into a 10 frame box. But when they are first starting out I think it's important to have them in a smaller space, especially if you have periods of cold weather pass through. JMHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I'll reserve my nucs for splits then and hive the new package in a fully drawn deep box. By looking at some of the frames, they'll have plenty to do for a week or so cleaning, repairing, and setting up their new home.

thanks ..
 

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1. should I start my new package out in a 'already drawn' full deep box? YES,but limit the number of drawn frames to what the bees can cover. Add as needed.
2. should I start them off in a 'smaller box', like either a 4 or 5-frame nuc box and then transfer later? Only if you are in a cold climate when you get your bees.
3. should I start them off in a 'regular' deep, but only initially (possibly the first week) only put in 1/2 the frames for them to work? Number of frames will depend on how many frames your package can cover and protect. Add as needed, until your brood box has 7 to 8 frames, then add the others. By that time they can take care of the hive.
cchoganjr
 

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A package sure does take off a lot quicker on drawn comb, but you miss out on the fact that for about a week or so a package can draw (relatively) a lot of new comb. Do you need comb?
 

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I certainly agree with David above.

If you give your new package 3 or 4 drawn comb it gets them started, save that other drawn comb for a swarm you might catch later in the Summer, or, just save it until you need it. Use foundation (or foundationless) for their expansion beyond getting them started.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for all the valuable information -does this plan seem to make sense ?

1. new package - into a deep brood box, with 4 or 5 frames of drawn comb into it (as this is probably only enough frames for a package to cover) , and steal a comb of honey (putting it on the outer most frame initially) from another hive so they have some honey, while feeding 1-1 sugar water.
2. check for queen release after 3 days.
3. 10 days later, check for eggs and brood.
4. if the queen is laying, add a frame or 2 of brood/and-or-pollen from another hive to give the bees something to 'monitor'
5. check back in another week or so for brood laying
6. after the initial 'stolen' frame starts to hatch, fill up the remaining frames with either fully or empty frames for them to draw out.

keep fingers crossed, and watch :)
 

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Sounds good to me.

The only thing I might change would be to give them a frame or two of mostly "capped" brood immediately when hiving the package, if you have it to spare from other colonies. That will give them additional emerging bees over the first week or two when the package population typically starts to dwindle down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
great - sounds like a plan. If I remember correctly, 'nurse' bees are 'nurse bees' and can be taken along with the brood - from different hives so I'll give them a little shake, to remove the 'flyers/older-bees' and take the brood and a few 'nurse' bees along for the ride.

I appreciate all the suggestions ..
:) ;) :)
 
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