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Installing packages: 2# 3# 4#, what is too much?

1371 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  bluegrass
A few weeks ago, on one of the threads, there was a conversation about if installing more bees is better. So I did a little experiment on 4 hives this year where I doubled packages and installed 4# in one and the other three got 6#. I went back into two of the 6# installs yesterday and the two I looked through are both honey bound. They were installed on two deeps with drawn comb just about a week ago and the added workforce allowed them to fill almost every available cell with nectar. I still have to get into the 4# and the other 6#.
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Post more about this, Bluegrass. It is interesting. Were any installed on foundation? What are the queens up to?

Getting a very strong colony that can care for itself will perhaps permit a split to be made after the main flow and still get two (or three) colonies ready for the winter.
As I understand it, standard procedure with a new package is to feed it syrup while it gets established. Did you do this with your packages?
There's probably a separate question to this: with and without drawn comb.
They were installed on drawn comb. Not fed; I rarely feed newly installed packs. At the right time of year it is completely unnecessary.

The queen in one was just wandering around, there wasn't anywhere for her to lay. I swapped out a few frames and hopefully she will lay in them before the workforce fills those out.
I inspected the other two today. The 4# install had 14 frames filled with nectar and the queen is laying in the remaining space. The other 6# was the same story as the first two. I had to swap frames out to make room for the queen.

I can see installing two packs together on drawn comb as a quick way to get a honey crop. I think it would better done on two deeps and two mediums or three deeps.
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