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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm assuming that's cold weather related. I was wondering if that would happen.

Last year my package was delayed a couple weeks (it was a cold spring last year) and I found my bees seemed stronger for that. By the time I got the package, there was a beautiful white comb built in it. They did great all summer. So I'm kind of glad it's delayed again, from late April to early May.
 

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Who are they coming from? Last year the problem was too many rainy days for mating flights. This year it has been too cold to graft queen cells. Yes later packages tend to do better. For the North East the any time in May is ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From Georgia (trucked up by a fairly local re-seller). May is more ideal for them, and more ideal for me because it's warmer on this end, less stressful on them. Good to know why they're late.
 

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Wonder if all packages from Georgia will be delayed.
 

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Who are they coming from? Last year the problem was too many rainy days for mating flights. This year it has been too cold to graft queen cells. Yes later packages tend to do better. For the North East the any time in May is ideal.
Are you saying a May package will out produce an April package?
My past experience with packages has been the earlier the better, cool temps at installation are ideal. Anything that ventures too far into May had better have a good late summer flow if you expect any surplus.
 

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So it is delayed because if the final location. Being I am int SC I should be ok for delivery this week?
 

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Wet and cold is your friend in package installation.....heat is your enemy. The key is to use a small enough box so that the bees can control the temp of the entire box to provide lots of feed and give your queen as long a laying season before the main flow as possible. Ask Ron H (whose living depends on it) if he would prefer installing a package the last week in March or the first week of May.
 

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Are you saying a May package will out produce an April package?
My past experience with packages has been the earlier the better, cool temps at installation are ideal. Anything that ventures too far into May had better have a good late summer flow if you expect any surplus.
I have found that April packages have really high queen failure and supercedure rates in comparison to later ones. Feeding syrup to newly installed packs in sub freezing temps provides it's own set of problems.

I installed packs on May 9th last year. I pulled surplus off of all of them and have only fed one so far this winter.

May is pretty cool still in VT... Ice out on the lakes isn't even until the first week of May often, Higher peaks still have snow and often there are patches in the woods still.
 

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Queen supercedures at the 2 to 3 week time frame after installation can be a problem. My take is that it is related to the lack of nurse bees in relation to the brood area and that it happens primarily to hives that lose bees to drifting during installation. Control drifting and you minimize the problem. For that the cooler/earlier is better.
I guess my real problem is when I hear about people accepting really late packages out of desperation. What you are getting is the second round down south at a time of year when your chances of success (at least as measured by a first hear honey crop) are rapidly decreasing.
 

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I chock it up to poor mating r/t lower drone populations earlier in the season. Many of the GA outfits are open mating 500-1000 queens a day March through May.. Drones are one time use and some need 20000 a day to get their mating done well... Plus weather is more volatile earlier, so some days matings just do not happen.

It would be interesting to pit a bunch of early NZ packages against a bunch of US Packages and see what the differences are in queen failures. NZ package queens are getting mated at the height of summer when drone populations are optimal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wet and cold is your friend in package installation.....heat is your enemy. The key is to use a small enough box so that the bees can control the temp of the entire box to provide lots of feed and give your queen as long a laying season before the main flow as possible. Ask Ron H (whose living depends on it) if he would prefer installing a package the last week in March or the first week of May.
It's nicer if the dandelions are up. Wet, cold, and nothing to eat doesn't sound like a healthy way to start.
 

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I chock it up to poor mating r/t lower drone populations earlier in the season. Many of the GA outfits are open mating 500-1000 queens a day March through May.. Drones are one time use and some need 20000 a day to get their mating done well... Plus weather is more volatile earlier, so some days matings just do not happen.

It would be interesting to pit a bunch of early NZ packages against a bunch of US Packages and see what the differences are in queen failures. NZ package queens are getting mated at the height of summer when drone populations are optimal.
So when is height of summer in NZ? I know my hives in Ga right now are chocked full of brood and drones. There should be adequate drones available in Ga when grafting is done.
 

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So when is height of summer in NZ? I know my hives in Ga right now are chocked full of brood and drones. There should be adequate drones available in Ga when grafting is done.
February is equivalent to our July.
 

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coincidence with pollination time for Almonds???

If memory serves well the FIRST NZ packages allowed in this country was directly related to pollination for the Almonds.

That must have been back in the day before frame count.

I have seen those packages crap with bad queens too.
 

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Logic says mid April should be better than the first of May, but that is not what I see unless it is dandelion warm. They start a little brood in the cold but just seem to drag on slowly from there. Nuc might help that, true. Queen issues aside, just draggy acting.
 
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