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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well everything I read said buy your bees from a reputable seller, and after weeks of searching, all of the people that were recommended to me were sold out. So I found a guy on craigs list and bought 2 nucs from him for me, and 2 full hive for my father in law. Well I transfered them to my hives and first thing I noticed was one of the nucs had 1 med. frame and 4 deeps, and the main thing I saw was there wasnt very many bees. The other one was better with much more bees. I got a very knowledgable beekeeper to come check them out for me and he fully agreed, that the one was not even considered a nuc and should not of been sold. He swapped out a good frame of brood and put in the weak hive for me, so maybe it will boost it some. Anyways lesson learned, just be patient.
 

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Patience should be exhibited when purchasing. Always do an inspection before walking away with them.
State it up front. When I purchase queens I always carry a magnifying glass or a loupe with me also. Never found anything but keeps both sides honest and up front.
 

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I would not be too concerned about the medium frame, the bees will build it longer. I agree with you though it should have enough bees. At the very least he should have warned you it was light on bees so you could make your own decision. I'm sure selling bees is not an easy business. Probably about as hard as a new beekeeper not letting his hives swarm the first season. If you didn't know to check it when you bought it odds are you are excited about bees and would still have accepted it even though it was light, he should have pointed it out though if he knew. You never know, it could be your best hive by the end of the year, or at the end of next march
 

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You could've waited a couple days then swapped position of the nucs as well for a quick boost in numbers w/o robbing brood from the stronger one. You only got taken if they don't make it honestly, sounds like they'll be ok but you might have to baby them a little.
 

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A nuc describes a nucleolus colony, Not a bunch of bees thrown into a box with outdated frames! a nucleolus colony should be a group of bees in a balanced ratio containing a productive queen, with an established brood pattern. and brood raising stores. Anything less is simply a package installed on drawn frames. Any competent beekeeper knows the difference, I do not sell a ton of nucs, but when I do I will go through any of them with the purchaser, I also will work with them on the nuc should they encounter a problem. I believe that you will find that to bee the rule not the exception.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was concerned about not being able to see them before purchasing, but it was a good drive and I picked them up right at dark. I'm glad to have some bees I just hope they work out. Also I went and checked the 2 full hives I got for my father in law. There were a couple medium frames In them to, but there was 1 frame with no foundation at all. It's just a lot to take in trying to start out and then it sucks worrying about if you got bees that are gonna do ok. Hopefully they'll all work out.
 

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I was concerned about not being able to see them before purchasing, but it was a good drive and I picked them up right at dark. I'm glad to have some bees I just hope they work out. Also I went and checked the 2 full hives I got for my father in law. There were a couple medium frames In them to, but there was 1 frame with no foundation at all. It's just a lot to take in trying to start out and then it sucks worrying about if you got bees that are gonna do ok. Hopefully they'll all work out.
having a medium in a deep can be a great thing as far as I am concerned. As a first year beekeeper you don't have drawn comb and you will have a hard time getting bees to move up. Some new beekeepers fill up their deep then add undrawn medium supers on top then the bees don't move up and they loose half their bees to swarming. I would leave the medium in there and then it is real easy to get your bees to move upward when you move that medium frame up to your medium super. If they build on the bottom just cut off the extra. Especially helpful in situations that are past the main flow. I always put a medium in my deeps then move it up!
A blessing in disguise!
 

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I would not be discouraged at all if I were you (or your father-in-law). Maybe you didn't get the best deal on your nucs, but I bet they will be fine and heck, you might even get some honey off your stronger one this year if you want to. Or you can rob a little brood here and there from your stronger one to catch your weaker one up faster. It's still early in the year. You probably still have a leg up on those of us who started with packages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
having a medium in a deep can be a great thing as far as I am concerned. As a first year beekeeper you don't have drawn comb and you will have a hard time getting bees to move up. Some new beekeepers fill up their deep then add undrawn medium supers on top then the bees don't move up and they loose half their bees to swarming. I would leave the medium in there and then it is real easy to get your bees to move upward when you move that medium frame up to your medium super. If they build on the bottom just cut off the extra. Especially helpful in situations that are past the main flow. I always put a medium in my deeps then move it up!
A blessing in disguise!
Thanks for that advice. Thats exactly what I will do. And thanks to everyone else also, this site seems likes it going to be very useful.
 

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having a medium in a deep can be a great thing as far as I am concerned. ... I would leave the medium in there and then it is real easy to get your bees to move upward when you move that medium frame up to your medium super. ...
A blessing in disguise!
That's what I was thinking. I've bought a full strength colony in a deep hive body (due June 20th) and am planning to move them into medium boxes. Having a medium frame in there already would help me with that. As it is, I'll just move a deep frame up into a medium box, leaving the space below it open so that it hangs down into the deep a bit, move it back down when they start working on the medium frames, and cut off anything they build on the bottom.

If I was planning on keeping them in a deep and expecting ten deep frames, one medium in there coupled with a nuc short on bees might make me a little ticked, too. But at least the rest are good and there's not really THAT much wrong with them, relatively speaking.
 

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Any competent beekeeper knows the difference, I do not sell a ton of nucs, but when I do I will go through any of them with the purchaser, .>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Tenbears when you go through the nuc with the new beek, do all the foragers and airborne bees stay with you ? I do the same, I want them to see the marked Queen first, then the pattern. Also where can I get the additional brood to make up the nucs You are a little north of me,so I am sure you don`t have mated layin queens yet ,unless they were overwintered that are on new frames? my Queens are mating now so I won`t see brood for at least 2 more weeks. I have to put some old combs in the nucs, if that is where the brood is, that is just the way it is. Maybe some day I can only give all new brood comb, but not yet. Laying queen , brood in all stages and a food comb, and plenty of bees I agree. Good luck awm, call your supply guy and make him aware of what you got, he might make good. Nobody wants a bad reputation JMHO,,,,,,,Pete
 

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I also sell a few nucs. Always ask if they want to go through the hives and find the queen and look at the brood, then put them into their ten frame box or do they just want to pick them up and go.

If they want to look through them I tell them to come about an hour before dark so that they can hang around and collect most of the foragers. If they just want to pick them up and go, I will screen them up that morning before the sun comes up and put them in the shade.
 

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most of the nucs I sell are to beekeepers that live within 20 minutes of me so going through the hive is not a problem, we do so Just before dark and then head to the store to drink a pop, and sit around my pickle barrel discussing bees, It gives me an opportunity to get a feel for the buyers bee knowledge and offer and advice I may feel pertinent. it also allows the buyer to get comfortable and they may think of questions or concerns about the bees.
With every sale I not only earn a customer, but a friend. it is how I have based my entire life.

I want to make it clear that using frames with older comb for nucs is not a problem nor unethical as a rule the dark comb has the best brood pattern. Most of us do not want to put brand new frames on a box that is going down the road, and I am no exception. but there are some guys who seem to think that is the way to cycle out their old frames. Filling a nuc with frames that have been repaired or are warped is just not right.

" Nobody wants a bad reputation JMHO,,,,,,,Pete" As much as I would like to agree with you, my experience has taught me that some people just do not care. they seem to think there is an endless supply. When I asked a fellow why he would treat an old man so unfairly. He answered. " I did him a favor, I taught him not to be so trusting" I wish that was not the world we live in, but unfortunately it is.
 

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A nuc describes a nucleolus colony, Not a bunch of bees thrown into a box with outdated frames! a nucleolus colony should be a group of bees in a balanced ratio containing a productive queen, with an established brood pattern. and brood raising stores. Anything less is simply a package installed on drawn frames. Any competent beekeeper knows the difference, I do not sell a ton of nucs, but when I do I will go through any of them with the purchaser, I also will work with them on the nuc should they encounter a problem. I believe that you will find that to bee the rule not the exception.
I agree 100%. People get greedy and try to make up splits with as few resources as possible.
 

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Sometimes I hate to see that older drawn comb leave the farm, it is a good resource.
 
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