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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to make a shook swarm for a friend in the spring and was wondering how many medium frames you would shake to ensure a stable colony. Thanks!
 

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Typically ALL the emerged bees in the box are shaken into a new box with fresh foundation ... it sounds like you're planning to do some sort of split at the same time.
 

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It all depends on how nice you want to be to your friend. A nuc box with about 4 frames of bees shaken in with honey stores on one empty comb on another the rest can be foundation plus the queen. if you really want to be nice give him all the capped brood they'll have a full size hive in no time and you may have many queen cells to make many more hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I told my friend I could give him a nuc, but he was interested in a package. Since I don’t have any packages, I was thinking I could shake bees into his equipment as if I was shaking them into a package and then put the queen into his equipment. The original colony would be left to raise their own queen. He doesn’t have any drawn comb, so I wanted to make sure I give him enough bees to start drawing comb and care for the new brood. The original colony will be left to make their own queen.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I am in complete agreement with Steve in PA. This makes zero sense. He wants a package, tell him to purchase a queen and you give him four frames of bees shook off of brood comb. Done. Best option based on what you have said so far, is for you to split out your queen and several frames of brood and make a nuc. Or is your friend trying to be cheap and get a nuc, less the comb, for the price of a package?
 

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If your friends curiosity is "how do bees establish a colony in a new cavity" he won't want to start with a nuc since the establish part is mostly done. He may not even want the stores or the drawn comb and might be a top bar candidate. If what he wants is "get bees" then the comments above are spot on. Sometimes the reason for the trip is the journey, not the destination.
Bill
 

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Saw an interesting film in from Germany from back in the 1990's of a commercial beekeeper. Her shook swarms were weighed. She brought out a funnel, package box and a scale...zero'd out funnel and scale and shook bees until she had 2 1/2 lbs per shook swarm. it was enlightening and I will be attempting to duplicate it this spring/summer.
I should note, she smoked the brood chamber to chase them up thru the excluder and took them from the supers so there were no drones and no queen obviously.
 

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Have him bring his box over shake the frame with the queen in his box plus 4 frames of bees close it up and let him take it home. My guess is they'll be dead within the year and you will have a few more hives with young queens.
 

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Going for the long shot are you? Always hope.
Usually takes a few years to come to center from that far off to the side.
 

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If he wants to see the real start from scratch hive; Chase swarms or set out traps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It’s interesting how everything on this forum devolves into the treatment free vs treatment beekeeping argument. My question has nothing to do with varroa mites. My friend lost all his bees and equipment to a bear a few years ago and wants to get back into it. Since he just bought all new equipment he’s trying to save some money. He also runs deeps and I run mediums. While I agree that nucs are better. I don’t mind getting to keep the brood and drawn comb. Since I see no difference with the method than a package install except being shipped across the country, I’ll do it and let you know how it goes.
 

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No offense intended. At post # 3 there is not much background to judge your posting style.
Wanting a package over a nuc, in the absence of other background, screams "rooky". Glad that is false.

Really not much devolvement involved.

The answer to your original question of "how big" is really when in the season will you shake. Early takes more. As you are looking at a new queen I'm guessing mid to late spring season. MD people take it from there.
 

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It’s interesting how everything on this forum devolves into the treatment free vs treatment beekeeping argument. My question has nothing to do with varroa mites. My friend lost all his bees and equipment to a bear a few years ago and wants to get back into it. Since he just bought all new equipment he’s trying to save some money. He also runs deeps and I run mediums. While I agree that nucs are better. I don’t mind getting to keep the brood and drawn comb. Since I see no difference with the method than a package install except being shipped across the country, I’ll do it and let you know how it goes.
some always have to read way more into a question than is actually there and start tearing down....not sure why it is a go-to response on social media......
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Did I miss a post? Where was TF v. T discussed on this thread? And I don't recall seeing varroa mentioned at all. I think we are all discussing the merits of a nuc over a package and how many medium frames one would need to provide for the shook swarm to have a good chance in Maryland. For that the consensus seems to be four.
 

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Jason, over at Woodcamp Farm sells packages that he shakes from his apiary. He's just a few miles from you. I would imagine he would be willing to talk to you about how many bees to shake to make a usable package.
 

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4 med frames of bees seems light to me. If it was my friend I would consider almost doubling that when you consider how much work ahead for them. Going to be a while before there will be any new bees hatching out in his hive. If they don't have enough bees they won't be efficient at building a new colony and will struggle along.
 

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If you use Medium frames and he uses Deeps... That seems ideal for sending him a nuc with mismatched equipment. Put the medium frames into the deep box, they build a bit of comb on the bottom till he gets started and then rotate those frames out of the broodnest and then give them back to you and you cut the excess drawn off the bottom.

Nuc beats 'package' any day in my book.
 
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