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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm starting two packages in medium boxes this spring and was wondering how many boxes to start with. Two per package? Three? One? Hmmm?

They will be with foundation and not drawn comb.

What do you recommend?

Pugs
 

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IHMO; I'd start with one each, feed 1:1 heavly till they woun't take any more, and add more boxes after the bees 'boil' out of the box when you look in. 1:1 will help them start the comb, adding to many empty's at a time woun't help and may even hurt. Their again this isjust my HO. Does any else agree???? Or am I wrong???
 

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Thanks Silverfox! I guess I should have mentioned I am planning on feeding the heck out of them.

I think we'll have plenty of pollen going by the middle of April here in Salem, so I'm not sure If I should feed pollen too.

Pugs
 

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Just got done installing "bee pro patties" on mine very little coming in so far hope to build them up by the end of next month. I've 4-people that want me to bring hives to their places. allmost all of my hives will be out and about.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
SilverFox,

Where is Rochester located in WA State?

Another question, have you been collecting feral hives? I think I've read that you have. I'm wondering how they are doing.

Thanks,

Pugs
 

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I am brand new here, first post. Just discovered this Forum.

Where do you guys buy your “packages” (queen + 2-3 lbs of workers)? I had 3 hives that I started in the Spring of 03 and they were going great guns, but, for some reason they “bailed out” about this time last year.

Could have been one of several reasons, but I think it is because we had a wetter winter than most last year and I probably located the hives in a bad place, relative the splash back of the rain.

I want to start up 2-3 hives this spring again and the folks I bought the original “packages” from are not shipping this year. I am in SOCAL, so if I had bees right now, they would be VERY productive as things are in full bloom due to the heavy rains we have had the last month. It is going to be a GREAT flowing season this year!
 

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If you mean how many boxes will you need as in you are going to order your boxes. I would have 3 minium if not 4 for each. When you do put the bees in just give them one box until they build up. Add the boxes as they need them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Hillbilly!

Yeah, I plan on having 3 boxes for the brood nest and 3 more for honey supers. What I was/am asking is when the package is installed, how many boxes to start them in at first. And you gave me the answer; 1.

The first year, I think I'll only get to 4 boxes, but I'd rather have too many ready that not enough.

Ya know, no matter how hard I try to write clearly, I never seem to write what I mean. I've noticed though, that here, someone usually answers the question I'm trying to ask.

Thanks!
 

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Why mediums for brood? Seems to be asking for swarm probs if you don't pay attention and add more in a timely manner.

I start everything (splits, nucs, pkgs) in a deep as brood chamber, add one medium as bee stores that is NEVER robbed, and then add mediums for harvesting.

Less work, good production, less swarm probs.

BubbaBob
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I've done side by side with a package in a medium depth five frame nuc, a four medium box hive and one medium box. The nuc did much better than any of the rest of them. But they all did ok. Personally I'd start them in a nuc. But that may be a climate thing. It gets below freezing in April here sometimes.
 

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<<I am in SOCAL, so if I had bees right now, they would be VERY productive as things are in full bloom due to the heavy rains we have had the last month.>>

Until you get packages, you might want to put your hives out as swarm traps. But I'd be careful with swarms caught in your area:)
 

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The coment about deep boxes over the use of mediums. There is no difference in volume of the brood area. 3 X 6 5/8 inches is 19.875 inches tall. 2 X 9 1/8 is 18.25 inches tall. when you take out the added top and bottom bar of the frame and bee space they are right at equal. Yes it is another box and more frames to deal with but with a bad back like mine I can not lift a deep hive box. I am going to make a few 8 frame boxes as a regular medium when full of honey is still over my weight limit. So my brood chamber may end up being 3 8 frames mediums next year.
 

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I'd have a follow-up on starting in mediums. I have a truckload of mediums that were used as honey supers. They're full of drawn comb that's in decent shape. Is this kind of comb ok for use in starting from packages or nucs, or would I be better off installing just foundation and saving the drawn for supers?
 

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>I had 3 hives that I started in the Spring of 03 and they were going great guns, but, for some reason they “bailed out” about this time last year.

Mites are a likely suspect. Varroa or Tracheal, but I'd tend to suspect Varroa, just because it's more common. You need to decide what you will do to handle them. There are lots of alternatives available and discussed regularly here.

>Why mediums for brood? Seems to be asking for swarm probs if you don't pay attention and add more in a timely manner.

And I start mine in a five frame medium nuc. But then, as I said, it's pretty cold at night in April and they need to be warm. In a month I move them to an eight frame box and then a ten frame and then add boxes. But in the end they end up with as many boxes as they want for a brood chamber since I don't use an excluder. Why would they swarm?

Why mediums? Deep full of honey = 90 pounds. Medium full of honey = 60 pounds. Eight frame medium full of honey = 48 pounds.

>I start everything (splits, nucs, pkgs) in a deep as brood chamber, add one medium as bee stores that is NEVER robbed, and then add mediums for harvesting.

Why would you want two different sized frames in the brood chamber? Isn't it a pain when you want to rearrange things?

>Less work, good production, less swarm probs.

Than what?

>I'd have a follow-up on starting in mediums. I have a truckload of mediums that were used as honey supers. They're full of drawn comb that's in decent shape. Is this kind of comb ok for use in starting from packages or nucs, or would I be better off installing just foundation and saving the drawn for supers?

Well, it depends.
If you want small cell, then I'd put them on that from the start. If not, drawn comb is always an advantage.
 

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That helps but things go bad or accidents happen. 2 years ago I threw a hundred pound of feed on my should and took off toward the barn. Today I am glad I can pick up 50 pounds. I am young(33) so I should not be limited the way I am. I am glad you have good health.

Another plus is all one size of equipment for easy exchange. No worries about picking up the wrong frames for your box ect.. Drawn supers as long as they are drawn the right size cells can be used in the brood chamber with everything being the same.
 

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dcross?? Why do you say to be careful with swarms caught in my area???? :confused: I've found them to be more resistant and guicker to build up than packages. They seem to be stronger. Also they are the strain that is called (or at least appear) 'black bees', possiably the true wild bees.
Plus for the most part, if I don't capture them or extract them either they go somewhere and no honey to me or someone kills them. the only time I've had any problems w/mites and the like (so far) have been with 'dosmestic'.
 

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Hillbilly...your point about all one size is sorta why I do what I do....I look at a colony as two different parts...a "hive" and "honey supers"...I use all one size "hives" (deeps) and all one sized "honey supers" (mediums).

BubbaBob
 
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