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### Author Topic: How many bees on a frame of brood?  (Read 20132 times)

#### Tyro

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##### How many bees on a frame of brood?
« on: February 04, 2010, 03:00:04 PM »
So, a 3lb package is said to have about 10,000 bees in it.

If you purchase a nuc - how many bees are there on a typical deep brood frame (# of bees/frame of brood)?

thanks for replies.

Mike

#### John Schwartz

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 03:02:11 PM »
Not sure, but one also needs to account for number of bees in the form of capped brood/larvae/eggs.
―John Schwartz, theBee.Farm

#### doak

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 03:15:20 PM »
Don't worry about how many to the frame. Question is how many frames are covered with busy bees?
You want to house a 3 pound package in a full deep or medium.
On the other hand if you have a nuke that has all frames covered, drawn comb.etc, it's time to go to a full size box.

You should have bees continue to hatch from the nuke for almost two weeks before any start hatching from the package. If more space is not given where will these bees go? :)doak

Correction,Bees continue to hatch for nearly "4" weeks, not two. in the nuke.
Thank you., doak
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 03:37:16 PM by doak »

#### Finski

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 03:27:17 PM »
.1 kg = 2lb is 10 000 bees.

3 lb occupye about  5-6 frames which they can keep warm.
It helps brooding if you put extra wall into the box.
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#### doak

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 03:43:19 PM »
Most people here in central don't try to hive package bees till in April.
The package bees are not available till then.

Finski, I don't know how your Aprils or spring compares to ours. Father north they do not hive packages until later.

But I do have a Finnish Military surplus rifle :)doak

#### Finski

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 04:50:51 PM »
.
We have in April mostly snow in forest.
Willows start to bloom first of May. Apple trees bloom at the end of May or first week of June.

I live at Anchorage level ( 60 latitude.)

We have no package bees. If someone byes something, get byes  5 frames nuc or a whole beehive.

But swarms act same way like packages,  execpt thet they have warmer weathers and warmer nights.
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#### rdy-b

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 01:13:21 AM »
So, a 3lb package is said to have about 10,000 bees in it.

If you purchase a nuc - how many bees are there on a typical deep brood frame (# of bees/frame of brood)?

thanks for replies.

Mike
what one needs to remember about nucs is that you are also geting frames of brood-one frame of brood makes two frames of bees-of course the advantage is time when comparing the two -is the reason you asked  to compare the number of bees from nuc to a package for some sort of value repersantion-RDY-B

#### Tyro

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 01:24:04 AM »
RDY-B,

Actually, curiosity mostly.  I am going to make up nucs this spring by purchasing frames of brood/bees from a local commercial beekeeper and then ordering queens separately (to arrive around the time I get frames).  For what I am budgeted to spend, I can make up five 3-frame nucs (which I would prefer), or three stronger 5-frame nucs.

Since the 'standard' size for starting out a colony is a 3lb package, I was curious to know how the different sized nucs would compare (that is, does making more, 3 frame nucs have a significant disadvantage in terms of numbers of bees as compared to the standard 3lb package - or should I be safe and do all 5 frame nucs).

Mike

#### Finski

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 07:19:46 AM »
RDY-B,

- or should I be safe and do all 5 frame nucs).

Mike

That is absolutly better. 3-frame nuc is too slow to grow.  5 frame nuc grows 3 times faster than 3 frame.
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#### CVBees

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 09:52:13 AM »
Excellent string folks.. I am purchasing my first year bees in the form of Nuc's and I had not thought of what to look for.  Not that I am worried I am purchasing from a verified and trusted source but still good knowledge.  Nice avatar Finski.  I am a Maine Native
Bees are the key to life as we know it.

#### Michael Bush

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 12:01:32 PM »
3,742 bees on one deep frame of brood.  ;)
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

#### sparks

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2010, 01:43:59 PM »
Thank you Michael.   :-D Now thats the kind of answer that my engineering mind can deal with.  ;)

#### Finski

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 02:02:14 PM »
Thank you Michael.   :-D Now thats the kind of answer that my engineering mind can deal with.  ;)

What about when they swarm into blue sky just when you calculated them?

Good in math but not as good  in keeping bees in the hive  :-P
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#### brer

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2010, 10:57:28 AM »
just count the legs as they go by and divide by six. ;)

#### Beaver Dam

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2010, 05:43:44 PM »
Michael are you sure? My frames must be a tad bigger than yours, or I have a better queen, my count was 3,746. ;)

#### doak

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2010, 06:26:17 PM »
Are we counting bees or cells?  Worker or drone cells?
There would be a difference. Besides, How do you keep an accurate count with the bees moving around. Glad some ones ability is better than mine. Wouldn't even attempt to count the bees. :)doak

#### Two Bees

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2010, 09:00:01 AM »
The bees that are hanging between the frames.............did everyone count these?   :-D
"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.

#### Beaver Dam

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2010, 11:29:54 PM »
Are we counting bees or cells?  Worker or drone cells?
There would be a difference. Besides, How do you keep an accurate count with the bees moving around. Glad some ones ability is better than mine. Wouldn't even attempt to count the bees. :)doak
[/quote

You say "FALL IN" :-D

#### bee-nuts

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2010, 08:11:37 PM »
Awesome topic.  I have wondered this myself.  You could take a pic of a frame loaded with bees, print it, divide the pic into so many sections. then count, times by sections times two, and have a good idea.  Yes there are top bottom and sides.  you can figure this out to.  You could also take a loaded frame and shake it and weigh the bees.

Either way It is definitely a good selling/buying point to know how many bees are on a frame and in brood if you sell nucs or buy them.

However M.B. came up with the figure, Im sure it is close enough for the girls I deal with.

So how about brood then.  If a deep frame had every cell capped with worker brood on both sides, how many would that be?  I know I could figure it out but asking is easier.  LOL.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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#### sparks

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2010, 09:08:13 PM »
Bee Nuts,

Is that small cell or what......?  :-D

#### doak

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2010, 09:16:54 PM »
I'm just glad I don't have to spend a lot of time counting bees on frames. :roll: :shock: :)doak

#### bee-nuts

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2010, 10:05:51 PM »
Bee Nuts,

Is that small cell or what......?  :-D

Its What.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson

#### Michael Bush

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 01:06:35 AM »
Hopefully everyone knows we are all kidding... of course we don't know how many bees are on a frame.  And I don't care.  I count frames of bees.  I don't count bees... and I only count a frame of bees if it's thickly covered in bees...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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#### doak

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2010, 04:27:23 PM »
I'll buy that for sure. ;) :)doak

#### Tyro

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2010, 04:53:03 PM »
Well, my purpose in asking the question was to try to get some feel for how a nuc (be it 3-, 4-, or 5-frame) compares to a typical 3lb package in terms of bees only.

But, if as Finski says, there are about 10,000 bees to 2 pounds and 3lbs will cover 5-6 frames - then one could estimate about 3000 bees/frame, meaning that a 3lb package has an equivalent amount of adult bees as a 5-frame nuc (not considering the advantage of the brood/stores in the nuc).

#### Finski

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2010, 03:31:27 AM »
.
When I started beekeeping I bought lots of swarms.  I noticed that 4 kg swarm (8 lbs) war the best start in hives. It occupied 2 boxes. It made one box brood and another box honey.

After 4 weeks new bees emerged enough and the size of colony has had same size as the swarm.

Before new bees' emerging the hives had lost half of their bees and they had difficulties to keep the hive warm.

After that the hive was ready to grow as much as  queen is able to lay.

To me the limit of hive size is one box full of bees. It takes care itself. It needs 4 lbs bees to occupy the whole Langstroth.

1) If you allready have hives and you bye a new package, put the package over the big beehive with Snellgrove board. Then the hive will grow fast.

2) If you have other hives, give 2 brood frames to package hive and it will grow much more better.

.
.
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#### Pren10

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2011, 04:21:59 PM »
:idunno: It depends very specifically on the outside temperature. There are three times the bees on the brood at 75 degrees than at 90. I don't know any logical reason for determining this number exactly.
The only thing I measure is the brood itself, and this, for the purpose of determining the queens ELR (Egg Laying Rate).
If you really want to know the number of bees on a frame, you better first count how many frames your colony fills at various times in the hive (note the temperatures). Then wait until night and shake all the bees in a trash bag and weigh it (3,600 bees/ lb). You will then obtain some very useless information in exchange for a lot of chilled brood and dead bees. Might be worth it if your writing a book. :-P

#### FRAMEshift

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2011, 07:32:29 PM »
A worker bee's body covers two brood cells of the size it came out of.   If you are using foundation, you can calculate the number of cells per frame and divide by 2 to get the maximum number of bees that will fit on a frame.  But the bees will rarely be packed that tightly.  Most of the time frames are half covered or less.  But this does vary with hive and time of year.

We have one hive that just decided to consolidate this fall.  The bees moved all the stores into the smallest number of frames possible and then spaced themselves out to cover all the honey frames.  It looked like a very different distribution than all the other hives at this time of year.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

#### Vance G

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2011, 07:41:31 PM »
Tyro, it depends an awful lot on when you are getting the bees.  I doubt if your commercial beek is going to come back north til some time in mid May.  Last year you and I were still seeing wet freezing nights and snow showers in mid May!  I got five frame nucs the middle of April with queens and it was too early really.  With the cold they just sat there until it warmed up.  Now I bought six five frame nucs with queens and four extra queens that were supposed to be spares in case a consortium of 55 of us hobbyists needed them.  No one wanted them so I split off three two frame nucs from the strongest of my nucs and split another in half.   The weathert stayed cold and it was not my best idea!  But I had the bees in a threeway nuc over the strongest colony and the split over the next strongest and it worked out better than I deserved.  I drew all comb and ended up with 12 colonies with hopefully enough stores to winter and 15 deeps of surplus mostly drawn out a crop I was well pleased with.  I was lucky and have quite a bit of experience so I am not advocating trying any of it.  If you are only budgeting for 15 frames of brood, your best bet is to put them in three or no more than four boxes.  You might consider building two deeps with a wall in the middle so each could house a four frame nuc and they will benefit greatly from each others heat and a smaller amount of space to keep heated.   You can take that even further and make one of your duplex nuc boxes with a screened bottom so the top will benefit from the lower colonies rising heat.  But whatever you do, you need to make sure your queens arrive very shortly after you get these frames of brood!  You can probably buy the queens from the guy supplying the brood and gettingthe supply from him will take a big worry away from you!  Probably the only reason I got lucky with my mad splitting of nucs last spring was I had all ten colonies sharing three bottom boards.  My entrances all pointed in different directions with the outer three way nucs having entrances out the sides.  Since you are shopping for ideas, I thought I would throw this in the mix.  Winter bee dreaming is a fine way to pass the cold.   Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

#### bee-nuts

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2011, 05:43:41 AM »
Heres some food for thought.  A deep frame has about 7000 cells so there would be about 3500 bees if packed tight like carpet over a deep frame.  Now they should be covering part of the frame as well so lets call it 3600 bees a frame and at 3600 bees to a lb, thats a lb of bees a deep frame.  A three pound package should then crowd three frames.  That would make my six frame nucs six pound packages, hmm!

Now if a queen lays 1600 eggs a day, or 33,600 in a 21 day cycle from egg to hatching bee, you would only need five deep frames if brood was wall to wall, hmm!  2000 eggs a day, (42,000 in 21 days) would take up only 6 frames, hmm!

Now if bees live 6 weeks (42 days) in summer you would end up with 67,200 bees for 1600 egg layer and 84,000 for a 2k layer.  Thats 9.6 frames and 12 frames of bees, hmm!  Diss stuff does not add up, I have hives that have at least 3 deeps of frames covered with bees in summer time.  I also believe though that my best laying queens probably would cover 8-9 frames of brood if it was all wall to wall.  So I do believe good laying queens lay up to 3000 eggs a day in peak of season.

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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#### kingbee

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2011, 03:28:56 PM »
I go with Michael's advise and only count the frames of bees.  I mean this is obviously what was intended, a double deep ten frame brood box set up has 20 frames, the exact number of fingers and toes on a bee keeper, duh!!!  :-D

I think I read some where that a well covered frame has at least 5 bees per square inch of drawn comb, now the ball is in your court.

#### jaseemtp

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##### Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2011, 11:50:08 PM »
This is my understanding [off the top of my head]. There are about 3,000-3,500 bees in a pound. A deep frame has about 6,000 cells and assuming about 75% filled that would be about 4,500 brood per frame. My guess is that it takes about 1,500 bees to cover the frame so a frame of bees would have the potential for about 6,000 bees or say 1.75 # per frame. That is just how I would figure it, so I would say a 3" package would be about equivalent to two deep frames covered with bees and with a good queen.

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