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Author Topic: Packaged bee survival statistics?  (Read 3537 times)
Michael Bush
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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2013, 08:45:51 AM »

>The beek I got my first two packages from said not to use pollen patties as they will increase the hive beetle population.  Thoughts?

Yes, they will draw hive beetles.  They will also do no good whatsoever as real pollen is virtually always available by the time you can get packages.  The Maples started blooming a month before, probably, and the willows and cedars and probably even the fruit trees are blooming usually by the time packages arrive.  Pollen substitute makes short lived bees...
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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
greenbtree
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« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2013, 12:28:23 AM »

So far for me this year.
Ordered 10 packages.  Arrived with bottom fairly covered with dead bees, but not more than a layer of one.  All queens alive and looked good.
Installed on mostly drawn comb in ten frame deep with syrup and a frame of honey.
2 day queen release check.  One queen dead in cage. Gave that hive a frame of brood and eggs from an established hive of mine. Two queens released, the rest still in cages, although all had significant amount of candy eaten away.  Most cages had small pieces of new comb hanging from them. Pulled corks and placed cages back in and closed up.
2 week ( and a few days due to rain) check. 6 hives queen right.  The two hives that released their queens both were queen right and had the most brood. One hive had a very small amount of capped worker brood, a tiny amount of drone brood and a queen cell with the side chewed out.  Put a backup frame of brood and eggs in. 2 non queen right, one with significant drone brood and the uneven comb of laying workers, and one with a small amount of drone brood.  Put frames of brood and eggs in both.  Hive that had the dead queen, no brood yet, but found an opened queen cell. No sign of workers laying.  Gave them another frame of eggs and brood.  So those are the statistics that I have so far this year.

JC
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"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"
Michael Bush
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« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2013, 12:38:17 PM »

>So my question is. What is the success rate of packaged bees?

Steadily declining over the years, in my experience.  The last time I got some I don't think any of the packages survived.  Most of the local stock did.  I can't see me buying packges again.
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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
L Daxon
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« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2013, 09:35:55 PM »

I started with a package in Oklahoma in 1980.  Figured out how to install it by reading a book w/pictures (no internet videos back then.) Moved to Virginia and started over there with a package in 1988.  Kept moving so I quit for a while but finally settled down and started over back in Oklahoma with a package in 2010.  Got another package to expand my apiary in 2012.  Never had a lick of trouble with any of the packages. Never requeen them; let them do their thing.  Maybe I have been lucky. This year for the first time I made a nuc to have on hand with a back up queen the girls made in case one of my 3 hives goes queenless.

Linda D.
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linda d
Caelansbees
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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2013, 02:38:46 PM »

Of the three I've put in this year, last weekend of march, all three are quite strong.  After well established brood nest I pulled the original queens and put in carniolans. 
Father in law has put in 6 packages this year.  He has lost one already to laying workers.  He has replaced queens on 2 others.  Lots of people have been having problems with the queens from earlier this year from packages, at least around here.  Anyone else?
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HomeSteadDreamer
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« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2013, 09:40:43 AM »

We got two packages this year.  One is super strong and the queen has a very good lay pattern.  The other was really strong got honey bound and started swarm cells.  We are currently trying to get a few nucs with the extra queens but if it fails or flourishes at this point it is on our management.  The packages were good.  Good queens it appears.
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BMAC
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« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2013, 11:53:49 AM »

Father in law has put in 6 packages this year.  He has lost one already to laying workers.  He has replaced queens on 2 others.  Lots of people have been having problems with the queens from earlier this year from packages, at least around here.  Anyone else?

Early queens had a rough time in the south land trying to get mated.  Untypical weather pattern really messed it up.
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