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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on placing a hive on the roof of my home for the sole purpose of the pollination of my blueberries, grapes, cherries, raspberries, blackberries ... and garden on my 1/4 acre property. The question is what size of package bees should I purchase if I set of a 5-frame nuc? or 8-frame nuc? I don't think I'll be needing a full-fledged hive & I really don't plan on taking off any honey. I really wanted to keep the colony to a single brood-super size, as my needs are for only polination, but I suspect it would at least entail a second brood super? Any insight.
 

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the size you need is really going to be determined more by how big of a colony do you need to make it through the winter . Best way to determine that is see what other beeks in your area are successful overwintering . Regardless , I would start with a five frame nuc over a 3 pound package if I had the choice.
 

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I think I'm understanding your question.
Whether you intend to harvest honey or not, you will need a full sized hive, in my opinion. A colony of bees will outgrow a single nuc, single 8 frame or even an 8 frame with one super. First, if you don't allow for natural nest expansion your bees will swarm again and again. It won't be good for the bee colony nor for maintaining the good will of your neighbors. Secondly, your bees will need enough expansion room to store overwintering honey for themselves. Plan on a full sized hive with multiple supers and everyone will be better off for it. And when I say full sized....an 8 or 10 frame with extra supers will work.
 

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i once had someone approach me wanting to buy a colony of bees for pollinating his garden. he had no interest in honey production and didn't want to bother with inspecting them or doing any kind of work with the bees.

i told him that it wasn't a good idea, not only from the standpoint of swarming and creating a potential problem for his neighbors, but also because the bees could become weak from pests and diseases which could then be spread to other colonies.

i hooked him up with the local bee club and he found a beekeeper willing to locate a couple of colonies at his place.

i have heard that bumble bees are sometimes used by gardeners for pollination.
 

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he had no interest in honey production and didn't want to bother with inspecting them or doing any kind of work with the bees.
squarepeg's advice on this is right on target. If you are looking for pollination but don't want the beekeeping hassles....find a good local beekeeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks.

I'll be going with 2 brood supers, 10-frame and 3-lb package, and add on cut-comb supers as I really think about it. With only a single hive, versus the 60s and 70s when I had 150 hives, and today no honey house with all extracting equipment ...it isn't really feasible. Also due to the proximity of neighbors not looking to get bees to work comb honey through the wood boxes, in the old days, we use to cram the bees into a single brood super to force them to work in the wooden boxes and that required weekly inspection to cut out all queen cells.
 
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