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Author Topic: Are Package Bees "New" or Young Bees?  (Read 618 times)
beek4018
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« on: April 23, 2010, 02:45:44 PM »

Just curious...

Do package bee vendors attempt to include younger fresher bees in their packages?

The reason I ask is because it makes sense that with such a short life cycle many of the original package bees would die off before the queens brood starts to hatch.  So there should actually be ( I think) a serious drop in population after installing the package before the new brood catch up.  Yes/no?

If younger fresher bees are used, they might last a bit longer.

It couldn't make the least bit of difference. I'm just curious.

Pax,
Glenn
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charmd2
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 04:29:57 PM »

Yes,  and No.   Some suppliers will go out of their way to ensure nurse bees are used in the package.   Some do not.  There is normally a drop in population in the hive with packages before the numbers catch back up. 
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Charla Hinkle
beek4018
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 04:31:13 PM »

Thanks. That's about what I thought.

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Hethen57
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 04:56:37 PM »

I think mostly they are just "shakes" from existing hives which gives you a mix of both....you will probably see a high attrition rate over the next few weeks....and the appearance of your bees may even change.  Many breeders ship with Italians or whatever, but the Queen's offspring is what will make up the composition of your hive, and they are sometimes a different race of bees.
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-Mike
kedgel
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2010, 02:40:43 PM »

I think mostly they are just "shakes" from existing hives which gives you a mix of both....you will probably see a high attrition rate over the next few weeks....and the appearance of your bees may even change.  Many breeders ship with Italians or whatever, but the Queen's offspring is what will make up the composition of your hive, and they are sometimes a different race of bees.
This is dead-on.  I suppose that the time of day they do the shakes will determine the ratio.  Middle of the day will miss a number of older field bees, giving a higher number of nurse bees (since they stay on the comb regardless).  It will also depend on which frames they shake, since the the outer combs will typically have a preponderance of field bees, while the inner frames will be more nurse bees.

Kelly
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