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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't have any drawn comb.

I have 3 empty ten frame deep hives.

I have 3 empty eight frame medium hives.

I have 5 nuc boxes.

I will be getting 3 packages in one week and then 5 more packages four weeks after that. Do I need to get a couple more ten or eight frame hives set up? Or can I install packages in nuc boxes?

I like pictures! Here is my existing equipment.
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I start all my packages in nucs. Makes it easier for the bees to regulate the temps. Be sure to feed them so they can build comb quickly. I also put a patty on all of mine for the first few weeks, no matter how much pollen is coming in. They can't gather pollen at night or on rainy days and the amount of foragers will diminish for the first month. Makes it easier for the bees to build up.
 

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five frame nucs are fine. I personally prefer to install new packages in 10 frame deeps. The bees usually gather in the three center frames. Where they can control the temperature. Bees being fed especially in early season can build comb very fast. I start many hives every year with new boxes and undrawn frames from packages. It saves me from having to move the bees into a full size hive in just a few weeks. And gives the bees room to build at their pace. Some like to spend a lot of time working with their bees, so moving them and fussing about is no problem, I do not have enough time to get done what I need so I use techniques that are time saving. Either way will work.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I have put a 3# package in a five frame medium nuc with foundation or foundationless many times. It is too small if the comb is drawn. I have put a 3# package in an eight frame medium box with foundation, foundationless or drawn comb and it's fine. I would decide if you want them on deeps or mediums first, and go with whatever the smallest box you have on hand in that size is. I wouldn't go buying anything special...
 

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You have 12 med and 4 deeps. 8 packages total when they all arrive.

Why not put 2 packages in a deep and the other 6 in the med and see which one you like best.

You'll still need to build or buy 2 more tops and bottoms.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I start all my packages in nucs. Makes it easier for the bees to regulate the temps. Be sure to feed them so they can build comb quickly. I also put a patty on all of mine for the first few weeks, no matter how much pollen is coming in. They can't gather pollen at night or on rainy days and the amount of foragers will diminish for the first month. Makes it easier for the bees to build up.
I had not thought of giving them a protein patty. I think I'll take your advice on that. Anything that will help my bees get a good start is worth a try.

five frame nucs are fine. I personally prefer to install new packages in 10 frame deeps. The bees usually gather in the three center frames. Where they can control the temperature. Bees being fed especially in early season can build comb very fast. I start many hives every year with new boxes and undrawn frames from packages. It saves me from having to move the bees into a full size hive in just a few weeks. And gives the bees room to build at their pace. Some like to spend a lot of time working with their bees, so moving them and fussing about is no problem, I do not have enough time to get done what I need so I use techniques that are time saving. Either way will work.
After thinking about it, I think I want to go with all mediums. I'll try to sell my deep boxes and frames. To keep from having to move them from nuc boxes into larger hives I will start them in the 8 frame and 10 frame medium boxes. That way I can just add boxes when needed.

I have put a 3# package in a five frame medium nuc with foundation or foundationless many times. It is too small if the comb is drawn. I have put a 3# package in an eight frame medium box with foundation, foundationless or drawn comb and it's fine. I would decide if you want them on deeps or mediums first, and go with whatever the smallest box you have on hand in that size is. I wouldn't go buying anything special...
You're right, due to my back pain from a career on a professional fire department. I have decided to stay away from the deeps. I will stick with medium frames. Should I cut my nuc boxes down to medium height, or just put medium frames in the deep nucs. I know if I do that I'll have to cut comb off the bottom of the frames.

You have 12 med and 4 deeps. 8 packages total when they all arrive.

Why not put 2 packages in a deep and the other 6 in the med and see which one you like best.

You'll still need to build or buy 2 more tops and bottoms.
You're right, I'll buy 2 more 8 frame tops/bottoms and 1 more ten frame medium box. I'm going to sell the deep boxes and frames that I've already bought.
 

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Have you thought about how your going to set up your feeders. The deep hive bodies (without the frames), are pretty handy with a screened top and gallon bucket feeders...just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you thought about how your going to set up your feeders. The deep hive bodies (without the frames), are pretty handy with a screened top and gallon bucket feeders...just a thought.
Hmmm.....no I hadn't thought that all the way through. I have 3 8-frame top feeders, 1 two gallon frame feeder (deep), and 5 boardman entrance feeders.

Can I put the two gallon frame feeder in a deep box on top of a medium box full of frames? Would I need to put an inner cover between the boxes?

I will need to get a few more feeders I guess, how would I set up the bucket feeder/screened top?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>I had not thought of giving them a protein patty. I think I'll take your advice on that. Anything that will help my bees get a good start is worth a try.

They should put a sign on those patties: "Don't feed the small hive beetles" If there is fresh pollen it will not only get wasted, it will feed the small hive beetles...

>After thinking about it, I think I want to go with all mediums. I'll try to sell my deep boxes and frames. To keep from having to move them from nuc boxes into larger hives I will start them in the 8 frame and 10 frame medium boxes. That way I can just add boxes when needed.

That's what I would do.

>Hmmm.....no I hadn't thought that all the way through. I have 3 8-frame top feeders, 1 two gallon frame feeder (deep), and 5 boardman entrance feeders.

I have used deep frame feeders in mediums by leaving one frame out of the medium box below. It will get a 3" long comb hanging from it but it's not a big issue.

If you have some kind of can feeder etc, that is too tall for one medium, you can use two.
 

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They should put a sign on those patties: "Don't feed the small hive beetles" If there is fresh pollen it will not only get wasted, it will feed the small hive beetles...
Not been my experience. Right now the bees are bringing in good amounts of pollen and are still utilizing the patties. No SBH in the patties yet, although I have seen them in the patties in the past.
 
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