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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This spring will be my first year. I have a package on order. I didn't go with nuc even though they say its easier. I like the cost effectiveness and I think I will enjoy the process more in the long run. Anyway, my question is should I plan to install the package to a nuc box first or go straight to my 10 frame deep? I plan on building some nuc boxes anyway and I like the idea of letting them get established before moving the frames to a bigger box. Is it better to let them start in a nuc box or will it matter much?

edit: Second question

I know they also say to order more than one. Is that really necessary? I know they may die due to my error but I'd rather lose one colony than two or more. Am I doing myself a disservice by only ordering one? What are the odds here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It looks like some older posts say the brood box is fine. Can anyone offer any reasons why this would be bad?
 

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You will need not only ONE deep (8 or 10 frames), but actually TWO and TWO honey supers.

All this your first year.

Bees are a strange superorganism; as a swarm, or in winter after the season is over, the hive is the size of a toy poodle. By May for an overwintered colony (July for a package), they will be the size of a Standard poodle.

That's right, the 3 lb package you get will become large enough in population by July to cover not just 20 frames in the brood box, but also at least one more super (as in, the medium box for honey). They may take longer to finish making all the comb for the frames, but they will still need extra room for lots of bees.

As for the question about one hive or two, realize that a queen from a package undergoes a lot of stress. At least 1 in 10 will not be viable. If that is the case, your package of bees will be hopelessly queenless by week 3, and unable to accept a new queen. The bees' bodies can change to be in a state where they can't feed larvae and so will kill an introduced queen.

This can be avoided if you can get a frame with eggs and larvae at week 3, for a package that has a queen failure. If you have 2 hives of your own, this should be easy. If you don't, you'll need to make some beekeeping friends quickly. ;) up to you what is best option.

Check out my webpage chickabuzz.com - newbee section - for tips and tricks with new hives...
 

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I have hived packages in nuc boxes, and in 10 frame deep boxes. The ones in the nuc box 'appear' to be doing better for the first 4 weeks, but invariably, those in the full size boxes end up being larger and stronger colonies, even after transferring the nuc into full size gear.

As mentioned above, you will need more than one box by the end of the season, when that is depends entirely on where you are. In some areas it's completely reasonable to expect a package to build up into 2 brood boxes then fill a couple of honey boxes. In other areas, it's a stretch to expect a package to build out two brood boxes. This is also highly dependant on when you hive them, there is a world of difference between a package hived in early April vs one hived in mid June.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I actually have secured 2 deep brood boxes and 3 medium supers so I should be good for one hive. I know I'll need more and I am working on that because I'm starting to lean more and more toward ordering a second package. The place I ordered from is planing for late April or early May.

I think I have decided to put the package in a deep and hope for the best. I'll use my nuc boxes later whenever I do splits and if I am somehow lucky enough to catch a swarm.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Sounds like a much better plan. Please indicate where you are located. Late April early May to take delivery of a package is late in my area.
 

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This spring will be my first year. I have a package on order. I didn't go with nuc even though they say its easier. I like the cost effectiveness and I think I will enjoy the process more in the long run. Anyway, my question is should I plan to install the package to a nuc box first or go straight to my 10 frame deep? I plan on building some nuc boxes anyway and I like the idea of letting them get established before moving the frames to a bigger box. Is it better to let them start in a nuc box or will it matter much?

edit: Second question

I know they also say to order more than one. Is that really necessary? I know they may die due to my error but I'd rather lose one colony than two or more. Am I doing myself a disservice by only ordering one? What are the odds here?
Last year my packages came a bit early, we still had snow.
I hived them both in NUCs (5 frame deep lang) on comb with stores, IE some pollen and 1.5 frames of honey.
they did fine. 3LBs of bees will cover 4 or so frames, they create a roundish shape with no bees on the bottom corners of the outer frames.
IMO it was easier to heat for them, as well they will not gain 1 additional bee until brood hatches 21 days after the queen is released and starts to lay (bout 4-5 days for mine) so they are fine there for 30 days or so.
USE will also clean and seal the NUC, season it, so it would be better for swarms.
FYI I ended up adding a second NUC, then Xfering them at 8-10 frames of bees, I needed to move them up north and the place was still snowed in. transporting the NUCs was easier than a 10 frame.

I have also did the other and put the package into the 10 and 8 frame, straight away. I actually think the NUC way worked out better.
Somewhat your choice, do reduce the entrance and try to feed if they do not have comb with stores. consider a divider frame.
If you have other bees, I have stole a single frame from the edge, with honey and pollen, any little help is good.
they have Nada when you dump them in.
IMO what they get for comb and stores is more important that the box size. It can easily take a month to build 4-5 frames of comb, and carry a frame of honey, giving them that out of the gate, lets them focus on making bees and not, making a home, getting food and making bees.

GG
 

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I you are running deeps, a package will fit nicely in a five frame nuc box. If you are running mediums, then it depends. If you have no drawn comb a package will fit in a five frame medium nuc box but with drawn comb it's a bit crowded and they will quickly run out of room. With drawn comb and if they are early enough that I need to feed them, I put them in two eight frame mediums with a frame feeder. It's a bit bigger than they need but they can start at the top where the feeder is and when they run out of room they will start filling the next box. If I'm not feeding because there is a good flow going when I get the package or I have a couple of frames of capped honey to give them, then I would put them in one eight frame medium box with no feeder.
 

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You could put them in a nuc box if you want. Then add another nuc box on top when they almost fill the first. Then move to a deep box. The nuc boxes will come in handy later any way. Yes, I think you should go with the standard advice of starting with at least two hives. Its not that you may loose two instead of one. Its more so you will have some resources to help one if something goes wrong. If something goes wrong with your one hive your options to help it will be limited to say the least. If you have another hive you will have options to help save it. Options with bees is really what keeps you successful.

For instance. If you install your package and end up with laying workers because the queen wasn't accepted and you did not notice until it was too late and your being new. Your dead in the water right out of the gate. Now if you have 2 hives you could combine the bees to make one good hive and then make a split later in the year once it gets going. So instead of failing right out of the gate you had the option to be successful. As long as you have a good viable hive you will have options. Hope that makes sense.
 
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