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Author Topic: Package Strategies  (Read 755 times)

Offline Pond Creek Farm

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Package Strategies
« on: January 04, 2009, 11:08:10 PM »
I lost a hive to the winter and have about 18 frames of honey, pollen and some empty but drawn comb.  This is all in the freezer.  I have several packages coming this year and plan to use the supplies in starting these packages.  I need advice on strategies for how to distribute these resources.  I am now planning on four new packages.  Should I split the resources equally or start two with near a full box of drawn comb?
Brian

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Package Strategies
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 11:50:49 PM »
I lost a hive to the winter and have about 18 frames of honey, pollen and some empty but drawn comb.  This is all in the freezer.  I have several packages coming this year and plan to use the supplies in starting these packages.  I need advice on strategies for how to distribute these resources.  I am now planning on four new packages.  Should I split the resources equally or start two with near a full box of drawn comb?

That 4-5 frames of honey and pollen all with drawn comb per hive.  That's an excellent start, about 2 months worth.  So you're putting your April(?) bees into a Late May-Mid June situation.   Put those frames in the center of the hive, with new frames on each side.  Hang the queen cage from the frame with the most open comb so she can get to work quickly.  It will not be necessary to feed this bees unless you really want to. 
The hive will probably need supering in 2-3 weeks after install.  When you super move some of the outer drawn frames up and put an empty frame on each side of the brood chamber.  With that must of a jump-start it is possible to get a harvest from them the first year as by the end of the June flow should see them at full strength oat 2 deeps worth of brood boxes.  That makes any excess collected in July and August harvestable.

All the above is predicated up escaping Murphy's Law.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Package Strategies
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 06:57:10 AM »
You can do whatever you like.  There isn't a right answer.  I'd split them evenly.
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: Package Strategies
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 07:43:15 AM »
I'd split them between the boxes. The drawn comb will help, but I would not get overly excited about getting this or that. Remember, the package will have a queen that will take a couple days to get out, a couple days to start laying, 21 days to have her eggs hatch out bees, and another 12 days before her bees will become field bees. So you may be approaching 40 days relying on the package bees to not just forage, build comb, and raise brood, but they also will be declining in numbers this entire time. And the brood and buildup will be determined by the ability of the bees to keep brood warm, especially at night.

The honey in the comb is a huge plus in ensuring the package will not starve for those cold snaps that always seem to pop up in April. And any drawn comb is a plus.
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