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Author Topic: Question about buying all mediums and buying local bees  (Read 1672 times)
jpryce
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« on: November 11, 2009, 11:53:17 AM »

Hey there,
  I'm still researching my equipment but plan on having 2 hives by this spring.  I've been reading a lot about using all medium boxes.
The problem is, there is a local apiary who sells bees in the spring who I'd like to buy me bees from and he has us bring him a box and he trades out our frames with plasticell for his full of bees, brood and a mated queen for a very reasonable price.  He uses deeps.

If I was to have all medium boxes is there a way I could still do this?  You all are so ingenious maybe there is a simple way I haven't thought about.

Thanks,
Julie
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lmehaffey
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 12:00:37 PM »

Good question....I had a similar situation last Spring. I had already bought my hives - all mediums - when I discovered that the supplier I wanted to use provided deeps. I had to order a couple of deeps and a few frames (the nucs had 5 per box) before picking up my bees.
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specialkayme
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 12:12:16 PM »

I've heard that you can contact the seller and specially request that he create a medium nuc for you. I have no experience with that, and I'm not sure if he would be willing to do it though.

As far as switching out medium frames for deep nucs, it would be up to the guy if he wanted to take them. Ask, you never know.

But if you are getting a deep nuc, you can't exactly surround it in medium frames. Put the deep nuc in a deep box, then put a medium box over top of it. When the brood size grows, they will eventually move up into the medium box. Then you can take the deep out from under it, and perhaps sell it back to the guy you got the nuc from. Or just hold on to it.
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lmehaffey
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 12:21:38 PM »


But if you are getting a deep nuc, you can't exactly surround it in medium frames. Put the deep nuc in a deep box, then put a medium box over top of it. When the brood size grows, they will eventually move up into the medium box. Then you can take the deep out from under it, and perhaps sell it back to the guy you got the nuc from. Or just hold on to it.

That's pretty much where I am at, now...a deep and one medium as brood boxes, an excluder (I know some folks don't use them, but I'm still new at this - better safe than sorry, for a while), and then mediums on top of those. It's worked pretty well.
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specialkayme
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 12:27:22 PM »


But if you are getting a deep nuc, you can't exactly surround it in medium frames. Put the deep nuc in a deep box, then put a medium box over top of it. When the brood size grows, they will eventually move up into the medium box. Then you can take the deep out from under it, and perhaps sell it back to the guy you got the nuc from. Or just hold on to it.

That's pretty much where I am at, now...a deep and one medium as brood boxes, an excluder (I know some folks don't use them, but I'm still new at this - better safe than sorry, for a while), and then mediums on top of those. It's worked pretty well.

Your Queen Excluder isn't still on, is it? When winter comes, if the QE is still on the brood can't move up to take the honey, and they end up starving (did this my second winter).
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jpryce
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 01:55:24 PM »

I'm thinking I'll start with at least one deep brood box in each hive so I can have locally raised bees, and switch to mediums some how later.  I'd also like to be foundationless- looks like I have some more research to do.
Thanks
Julie
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lenape13
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 02:01:54 PM »

Sounds like a good plan.  You could still contact the supplier and see if he would be willing to create some medium nucs for you.  If I were a supplier, I would be more than willing to help, knowing the advantages of staying with one size box and frames for all of your hives.  It never hurts to ask.  The worst he could say is "No."
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2009, 02:17:20 PM »

# 1... Ask the supplier if he will make you a medium if you bring him the hive in Jan. for him to work with.

# 2... Set up two mediums with 5 frames each. Add your deep frames on one side. About once a month, you can remove the outer deep, as the queen normally doesn't lay in it. Slide all frames over one space, and add two mediums, one in each box. By the end of summer you should have all mediums.
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lmehaffey
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 04:34:08 PM »

I removed the excluders from both hives about a week ago. Not for the reason you cite, but just because it didn't seem to make sense to have them on, once the honey stores were pretty much complete.
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specialkayme
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 04:47:37 PM »

I removed the excluders from both hives about a week ago. Not for the reason you cite, but just because it didn't seem to make sense to have them on, once the honey stores were pretty much complete.

Phew  Wink you had me a little worried for your little girls  Undecided
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 09:05:26 AM »

You have a few options.  One would be to cut out the nuc and tie the combs into the medium frames.  Another is make a 3" shim with a frame rest (like cutting the top 3" off of a nuc box) and set that on top of the medium with a board to cover the gap on the side for a lid.  That way the deeps are down into the medium.  Or cut out a couple of frames of brood and put them in mediums above an excluder with the queen and then after the brood  emerges from the box below remove them.  of course, the easy solution is to buy a package...
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Michael Bush
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jpryce
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 03:49:44 PM »

Believe me I know the easy solution is to buy package.  I guess I  was thinking that locally raised bees would be super benefical.  But may it not THAT important.  I'm sure I can find quality package bees, it's just being my first hives and not knowing who to buy from and who is reputable.  I have joined the local bee club and they are planning on doing a big order or package bees.

Are nucs more successful than packages or is it a bit of a crap shoot?
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specialkayme
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2009, 07:01:33 PM »

From my experience nucs are much more successful than packages. Nucs hit the ground running right after being installed, while packages have a period of decline before they can get set in.
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annette
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 07:20:54 PM »

Believe me I know the easy solution is to buy package.  I guess I  was thinking that locally raised bees would be super benefical.  But may it not THAT important.  I'm sure I can find quality package bees, it's just being my first hives and not knowing who to buy from and who is reputable.  I have joined the local bee club and they are planning on doing a big order or package bees.

Are nucs more successful than packages or is it a bit of a crap shoot?

I have no experienc with nucs, but I have started 3 hives from packages so far and never had any problems.
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Chrisd4421
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2009, 07:57:00 AM »

Being completely new, I am now just narrowing my search for my 2010 bees.  In NJ, picking are limited and packages are not in the mix (at least for what I found so far).  I want to stay relatively local and NUCs seem to be my only option.  Luckily I found a place that ONLY sells med. depth NUCs which makes my choices not as limiting.   I am leaning toward all mediums on advise from several here.

Chris.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2009, 09:04:24 AM »

One can always start with a package and requeen with a local queen later in the year, if she's not doing well and next spring or fall if she is doing well.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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