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Author Topic: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?  (Read 1592 times)

Offline cinch123

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Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« on: January 11, 2012, 01:05:44 PM »
Shopping around for packages to start two hives in the spring, I'm seeing that some places are selling 2# packages. Could I buy one 4# package, an extra queen, shake half the bees into each hive and place a queen in each? Is 2 pounds really enough to get a hive started in Ohio that they can be ready to survive a winter?

Offline oliver

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 01:11:10 PM »
Years ago most pkgs were 2#s.A decent spring some drawn comb they should do fine..dl

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 01:20:41 PM »
Interesting question!  I would be worried about the pheromone swap of the queens. 

If she had attendants, a possibility could be to put her in a queen cage that looks like this, so she can start doing her thing while the bees adjust?  I would make the cages a bit bigger, though:



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Offline backyard warrior

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 02:16:31 PM »
that style cage is great.  But i would go with the full package of 3lbs why??  Lots of those bees will die before the queen starts laying and produces new bees.  Its important to give them a good start to get established.  Its important to keep feeding the bees to get two deep hive bodies and a medium super totally drawn out with comb before winter, you dont feed them and chances are they arent going to do well overwinter unless its an exceptional nectar flow. It becomes pricey to establish a first year hive many hives die the first year because they need the resources to draw comb plus store honey. A second year hive is less work and less money since the bees have drawn comb and can store surplus to get them through the second winter.  Drawn Wax to a beekeeper is the name of the game :)   Chris

Offline AllenF

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2012, 07:58:59 PM »
You can get the 4 pound package  and install and then feed the crap then split the new hive and add a new queen a few weeks later.


Offline Tommyt

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 08:10:17 PM »
You can get the 4 pound package  and install and then feed the crap then split the new hive and add a new queen a few weeks later.
This gets my vote

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Offline asprince

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 08:50:27 PM »
I bought 20 2lb packages last spring. The did not do as well. Mostly my fault. All twenty were on a trailer. The next day I had about four 10 lb hives and 16 boxes with abandon queens still in the cages. I had to split them up again and separate some to other yards. Some just never took off.

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Offline Jim 134

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 08:51:13 PM »
    Why not get 2-4#package and 1 extra queen split the package to 2-3#in 2 hives get 1# out of both packages and make 1 nuc. I have do this a lot. just My $0.02  



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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 09:16:00 AM »
Good suggestions above.

My 1 cent suggestion would be start with a single package (3 or 4#) in the spring.  Build them up and then split in Mid July.   A 2 frame split (deep frames) in July has time to build up to survive a Michigan winter (in a nuc), so I would imagine they could survive an Ohio winter.   A 3 frame split would be even better.

Offline backyard warrior

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 04:52:39 PM »
In my opinion, No matter what you do feed them and feed them as long as they dont backfill their broodnest and get honey bound and as long as you have undrawn comb i feed but i guess im too generous to my bees i like to have live bees in the spring.  My goal for a second year hive is to have a booming hive going into the flow those of you who are cheap and dont want to feed or have that natural mentality will be buying packages or the hives that live wont have the reserves they need to build themselves up before the honey flow, and they will have minimal nectar stored after the flow and everyone will be crying the bees made no honey.  Lets remember the more workers the more honey  no workers no honey its that simple numbers make honey if you buy a package in spring and expect a huge honey surplus you will be sadly disapointed. Or those who put one jar of syrup on the bees and walk away and come back in fall to find no comb drawn out and no honey reserves and say hmmm what happened to all the honey they made/? did the flow pan out to make enuff wax and honey or did u just assume they would?? Just like anything in life you get out what you put into it whether it bee raising your children or putting money into investments or putting reserves on your hive. A serious beekeeper who loves bees and honey will treat those girls  in that hive wisely and i todays beekeeping you have to do what it takes to make them survive.  When it comes time to raise queens i evaluate in fall what i removed in honey from each hive before i feed any syrup to see who made the stores of honey, pollen,and who comes out of winter with a nice pattern of brood as well as tempermeant lastly thats how i raise my bees but im no expert at this hobby by any means but its a goal of mine to be the best that i can bee at sustainability . From what i read from the experts a nuc going into the fall should have 5 frames of drawn comb, bees and 4 and a half frames of pollen and honey stores to get threw winter and bee able to build up in the early spring.  Chris

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2012, 09:13:47 PM »
Why not start the 4# package and split it when it hits 10 frames of bees or so...
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Offline tedlemay

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 11:53:23 PM »
Will most bee suppliers make up a 4# package on request? Just curious because i have never ran across 4# packages. Not that i am an expert but i have looked at a lot of sites. Maybe just not looking at the right place.

Offline cinch123

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 06:53:41 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I am starting 2 hives at this site next year. There's a bee tree in the yard that swarms every year. Right now I'm leaning toward putting the 4# package in one hive, capturing a swarm from the tree if it does one and I can get to it, and if not, splitting the 4# hive after swarm season. And of course, feed feed feed! Either from a swarm or a split, I should be able to have two hives going into Winter.

Offline tedlemay

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Re: Two hives from one 4# package and extra queen?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 04:46:06 PM »
sounds like a good plan!!

 

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