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Ordering a package, where and bee type?

 
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R Payne
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 96
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Ordering a package, where and bee type? Reply with quote

I've been reading and still plan on reading more.
Next spring I'm planning on getting a package to populate the top bar hive I built for the plans I found here.
I've been looking around and notice some suppliers are already taking orders for next spring and am interested in recommendation as to where to order from.
Also do you recommend a particular type of bee? (Italian, Russian, etc.)

If it matters, I'm in the central U.S. in Kansas.

Thank you for any advice you offer.

ron
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MObeek
Silver Bee


Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Northwest MO, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to check out another post entitled "What type of bees" in this same section. http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=54959&sid=856f76ea76269f7d954f038198af2d61

I'm a newbeek also and won't be starting my first hive until next year but I did order a package from http://www.wolfcreekbees.com/products_bees.htm because the manager from The Warre Store where I bought my hive from highly recommended their bees.

Good luck.
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Bush_84
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 802
Location: Brainerd, MN USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that it all depends on your locale. I live in Minnesota. It gets very cold in Minnesota. So the most important aspect I looked for was a bee that reacted favorably towards the cold. Italians tend to prefer warmer climates (obvious since they originate from Italy). They keep large clusters and may even continue to raise brood throughout parts of the winter. They also may not fly on colder days. I quickly realized that this was not for me. The Carniolan bee originates from Eastern Europe. They come from a cold climate. They winter on smaller clusters and eat less honey during the winter. They explode with population during the spring. They can also forage on colder/wetter days. They also have a tendency towards swarming, but it's a give/take relationship.

A quick google search brought me this.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Beekeeping/Honey_Bee_Races

I know it's a wiki, but you can do your own research.

I can't tell you much about where the best place to buy a package is. I bought local, which I strongly advise if possible. Local bees are going to be better accustomed to your local climate.

If you know of any local beekeepers, ask them what they keep and why. That is likely going to be your best resource.
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type2head
Foraging Bee


Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 218
Location: poole,dorset

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

package

mmmmmmmmm i would not have one at all

get in touch with a local beek and get a nuc or colony

any "package" will not have half the chance an established colony would have

its like picking up several differant factories and pouring a mixture of workers into a building and then getting a different ceo from anothe factory in to oversee them

chances are your bees will either fail or abscond in the first few weeks. if not they will replace the queen asap

packages are bad Sad
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Barbara
Moderator Bee


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1371
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do find it strange that packages are so commonplace in America but not sold here in the UK. Is it an issue of geography? The US being so vast that bees end up being transported long distances and this is cheapest means of doing so? Surely bees will travel better on comb than loose and will be more settled as an existing colony than a hotchpotch of individuals thrown together with a foreign queen. Is it a good or necessary thing to transport them long distances at all?

I would have thought as natural beeks it is not a practice we would wish to encourage and I certainly feel that it is the most likely reason why many of them abscond. If you are saving money by building your own hive, maybe forking out more for your bees, in the form of a nucleus, is worthwhile. My first choice would be to start with a swarm but I appreciate it is not always possible and thankfully we don't have any concerns about africanised bees here. It is definitely better to get bees from a local source though so start by contacting your local BKA.

Good luck and best wishes

Barbara
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1671
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing with nucs in north america is that there is a very good chance depending where you get them, they could be made with frames from different colonies and a queen from who nows where. So if you go with a nuc it wouldn't hurt to ask a few questions as to how they make them up.
If I had a choice I would first go with a package.
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R Payne
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 96
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, Thanks for the links. I must confess I'm not very good at searching, I seem to not get the right combination of words though I try.

I have looked for a local group and haven't found anything closer than an hours drive one way. Same with individuals, haven't found anyone closer than about an hours drive.
A package may not be the best way to start but it looks like that is how I'm going to start. This summer I didn't see very many bees around (seems like less each year) even though we have a garden and flowers.

I'll take all advise under consideration and again thanks for the responses.

ron
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professor
Silver Bee


Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 764
Location: USA, W. Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming in late on this but I tend to agree with Garret. I just don't see or hear of these negative issues with packages. The claim that nucs always do better is overstated. I believe it hinges on the beeks methodology and insight.
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type2head
Foraging Bee


Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 218
Location: poole,dorset

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

its a question of supply and demand. in the u.s bees are treated as just another piece of livestock and thus the way "most" commercial beekeepers treat their stock is for high yield and low cost.

packages are ideal for this purposes get 50+ hives in an a apairy rip the roofs of the hives shake all the frames occupants in a large hopper and weight out the required order for 1/2/3lb of bees into a box, add one queen from a breeding frame. fill with some sugar syrup and mail to the recipiant...............

it does'nt need a entomology degree to work out this is not natural selection just $$$$$$$ selection.

add to this transport of all your bees up and down the country 2/3 times a year, no downtime for the bees. pesticides on their food, monoculture fodder and replace all their stores with sugar syrup. continue this practice for several years and hey presto ccd..........................

bees are not cash cows, but keep on buying packages and support the industry that is partially destroying the thing they are making money from!

sorry for the rant but its time we all make a stand against this practice which is deemed acceptable.

Smile
rant over
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trekmate
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 797
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garret wrote:
The thing with nucs in north america is that there is a very good chance depending where you get them, they could be made with frames from different colonies and a queen from who nows where. So if you go with a nuc it wouldn't hurt to ask a few questions as to how they make them up.
If I had a choice I would first go with a package.


You get this in the UK too! We're not sqeaky clean!! Shocked

If you buy a nuc from anyone you don't know, ASK!
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1671
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
bees are not cash cows, but keep on buying packages and support the industry that is partially destroying the thing they are making money from!


Not everyone over here treats there bees as cash cows. The numbers that I have heard of in the US are about 100,000 beekeepers of which somewhere around 1,000 are commercial so we do have options as to who we buy bees from. Whether we agree or disagree with how the commercial industry operates is an opinion. From my perspective I see many things done with bees that I would never do. It seems to me that what we are seeing in regards to the bee problems is nature playing its checks and balances card and we are right in the middle of the check portion. How things will look after the smoke clears is hard to invision but one thing is clear in my mind is there will be change.
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Viggen
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 414
Location: USA, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might consider contacting Michael Bush at bushfarms.com/bees.htm
He is Southeast Nebraska between Omaha and Lincoln near Greenwood, Nebraska.
A little NW of you but essentially the same sort of territory. And it's not out of driving range should you decide to have a personal chat. He would also be very familiar with your regional issues regarding bees.

Even if you do get packages or nukes from somewhere, you still might consider setting up a bait hive or two. You might check with some of the locals, if you can locate some, and find out how common swarms are in your area. A swarm is a powerful thing. They settle into a hive and if the conditions are right they can get large very quickly.
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type2head
Foraging Bee


Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 218
Location: poole,dorset

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was not tarring all in the u.s with the same brush and totally accept we here in the uk are not without blame.

my gripe is that it is deemed acceptable to treat bees in such a way that is destroying the available biodiversity in the gene pool and with any selective breeding programme you are messing with an organism which has had 80 milions years of natural selection on its side. we have been using selective breading for around 200 years.

how long before we accept gmo bees ?

maybe i am being over sensitive but when this is deemed acceptable for making up bee packages do you blame me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ShQt-AEoFM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrAsVtfcQEU&feature=related
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1671
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
maybe i am being over sensitive but when this is deemed acceptable for making up bee packages do you blame me


I don't think you are and I don't blame you. I have the same concerns as yourself but I also see positive changes in how people want to take care of there bees. When I first started reading the bee forums there were very few posting on them that even considered natural bee keeping or treatment free and if any one mentioned not treating their bees there was more than a few that would scream you are infecting my bees and you need to be strung up. The last several years I haven't seen any of this on the forms. There are many more keeping their bees in a more natural way rather than trying to look after their bees as though they are running a commercial operation. Which is grounds for things shifting in a good direction. The larger commercial operations have many challenges which they don't seem to be dealing with very well and if they can't adapt they will dwindle leaving a very different looking industry.

I think most of our problems revolve around there just being too many people on this tiny planet.
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MObeek
Silver Bee


Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Northwest MO, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to switch to ordering a nuc instead of a package after reading this post but then I had to worry about chopping and cropping the national frames from the nuc and into a Warre hive and I think it would get pretty messy and dangerous for a new beekeeper like me so I decided to go back to buying a package. I just hope they don't abscond right away. Confused
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R Payne
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 96
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

type2head wrote:
i was not tarring all in the u.s with the same brush and totally accept we here in the uk are not without blame.

my gripe is that it is deemed acceptable to treat bees in such a way that is destroying the available biodiversity in the gene pool and with any selective breeding programme you are messing with an organism which has had 80 milions years of natural selection on its side. we have been using selective breading for around 200 years.

how long before we accept gmo bees ?

maybe i am being over sensitive but when this is deemed acceptable for making up bee packages do you blame me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ShQt-AEoFM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrAsVtfcQEU&feature=related


I can appreciate your opinion. And I think you raise some valid points. If I'd had success finding someone local to obtain bees from, I wouldn't be asking, but that isn't how things went.
Part of my reasoning for asking is to get opinions on what works and why. I think right now a package is the option I'm going to pursue but am still open to hearing different view points.
I thank you for voicing your opinion and why you think the way you do.

It will likely be next week before I start contacting potential suppliers, so if anyone has further advice, I'm still listening.

ron
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MObeek
Silver Bee


Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Northwest MO, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:06 am    Post subject: to keep packaged bees from absconding Reply with quote

Somewhere in this forum, someone suggested putting a queen includer over the hive entrance (like a screen) and leaving it there for several days after transfering a package of bees into the hive. It sounded like a good idea. Would a 3 1/2 mesh size be just right, too big or not big enough?

Thank you.
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