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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why do people buy packaged bees when they can get nucs locally for about the same price and start with a much stronger hive?

Just wondering.:popcorn:
 

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supply vs. demand?

Seems all our local bee suppliers are already oversold on their nucs. But the locals don't want people importing bees from southern areas, since we still don't have problems with tracheal mites up here yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So are local nucs generally regarded as better or worse than packages shipped by mail?
 

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Packages can be had earlier. Much less risk of getting infected comb that is covered up or contaminated. Packages are easier to ship and more can be shipped at one time. Packages are much cheaper than nucs if you shop around.

I installed 100 3 lbs packages in early April. They(85%) now have 7-8 deep frames of brood. I can pull 3 brood frames with bees and queen, a frame of stored syrup plus 2 shakes of bees,and add a empty frame to make a 5 frame nuc to sell. I add a mated caged queen to the donor colony and in 3 weeks I have a strong single ready to be supered for the main honey flow and it shouldn't swarm on me.

My 3 lb package paid for itself, 5 replacement frames with foundation and a new queen. I still have a great colony for honey production and it was free except for my time and syrup that would have to be fed anyways.
 

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Why do people buy packaged bees when they can get nucs locally

You assume people can get nucs locally.

I can buy packages locally. I don't know of anyone selling nucs locally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Packages can be had earlier. Much less risk of getting infected comb that is covered up or contaminated. Packages are easier to ship and more can be shipped at one time. Packages are much cheaper than nucs if you shop around.

I installed 100 3 lbs packages in early April. They(85%) now have 7-8 deep frames of brood. I can pull 3 brood frames with bees and queen, a frame of stored syrup plus 2 shakes of bees,and add a empty frame to make a 5 frame nuc to sell. I add a mated caged queen to the donor colony and in 3 weeks I have a strong single ready to be supered for the main honey flow and it shouldn't swarm on me.

My 3 lb package paid for itself, 5 replacement frames with foundation and a new queen. I still have a great colony for honey production and it was free except for my time and syrup that would have to be fed anyways.
OK I can understand your approach. You obviously have your beecraft skills down and are maximizing your investment as part of your bussiness plan. I guess my question was more aimed toward beginning beeks with little or no experience. Wouldn't it be more advantagous, for a new beek to buy a nuc (that is much closer to an actual established hive) than a box of bees?
 

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I guess my question was more aimed toward beginning beeks with little or no experience. Wouldn't it be more advantagous, for a new beek to buy a nuc (that is much closer to an actual established hive) than a box of bees?
Like a previous poster said, there is something to be gained from starting a hive from a box of bees. I started my 1st hive last year from a package. Later in the year I got a Nuc, and it was a little less exciting. It was a definite learning experience watching the hive establish, foundation being built out, etc. from the package. I also learned how to do an inspection while the population was small and the eggs (and queen) were easy to spot. It was less so with the nuc.

I think there is no "right" answer - like most every other aspect of beekeeping as well! :)


-- Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why do people buy packaged bees when they can get nucs locally

You assume people can get nucs locally.

I can buy packages locally. I don't know of anyone selling nucs locally.
Where are you located? I am no where near "bee central" USA, but a quick check of Craigslist and I can find about half a dozen ads for nucs on any given day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Like a previous poster said, there is something to be gained from starting a hive from a box of bees. I started my 1st hive last year from a package. Later in the year I got a Nuc, and it was a little less exciting. It was a definite learning experience watching the hive establish, foundation being built out, etc. from the package. I also learned how to do an inspection while the population was small and the eggs (and queen) were easy to spot. It was less so with the nuc.

I think there is no "right" answer - like most every other aspect of beekeeping as well! :)


-- Steven
I agree that there is no "right" answer, but is there really "more to be gained" from a shoebox of shipped bees rather than starting with a laying queen, 2 frames of brood, pollen, and honey stores?
 

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Nabber- I do check craigslist nearly every day, and do a search, but usually only find people looking for swarms, or the occasional package, rarely find a nuc. I started with a cut out, so basically a nuc, but a little more work associated on my end.I did hive 3 packages this year, as it seemed that the local suppliers were using their overwintered nucs for replacing large winter losses. A nuc is only a few weeks ahead of the package, and in August, you probably cant tell the difference.
 

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In a package, the mites can not be reproducing, no brood. This can be an advantage. If there is fumiligillin in the feed can, Nosema can be reduced also.

Roland
 

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All I can say is that for a beginner with no experience, at least for me, it was sheer excitement dumping in the new bees and then seeing fresh brand new comb being drawn out. Watching the bees start from scratch has been so fun to watch and I don't think it would have been nearly as exciting for me to have started out with something already established.
 

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In our class we were told not to buy nucs because the comb in the nuc can contain pests and disease. I'd rather not risk it so I'll always purchase packaged.
 

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My first year, last year, I started with a package and one hive. It was quite successful until this past Winter. Then they died out. Nothing to do with it being a package, but rather my ignoring them and letting them die.

This year I started with 2 Nucs and 2 hives. Hopefully, I'll have more success. I learned a lot from installing the package and will apply that knowledge to this years hives.
 

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Where are you located?

The closest city to me is zip 43005. It's in between Artanna and Henpeck.

I guess 'local' is relative too. When you mention getting nucs locally, are you meaning within a 15 or 20 minute drive, or do you mean within a 3 state radius? There is a guy who sells bee packages within a 15 or 20 minute drive from me that sells a few thousand bee packages a year.

I am one of the largest beekeepers in my county that I know of. I know of no one in my county who sells nucs. I have considered selling nucs as I get larger.

You do realize that for me to sell nucs or hives legally, the State apiary inspector (who works part-time) has to inspect my hives...not just my county inspector. No special inspection is required to sell packages.

To start the thread, you commented that packages and nucs were about the same price. It is more hassle with inspections/government regulations to sell nucs than to sell packages. Why would someone sell nucs when packages are less hassle, and about the same price?

(FYI, once I do start selling nucs, they will be 1 1/2 to 2 times the price of a package; ie $100-$125.)
 
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