First of all, if you space a brand brand-new beekeeper, please take into consideration purchasing a nuc. Watch Lesson 1: Nucs and also Packages. You will have much more success v a nuc. Promise. Then next year, as soon as you are addicted to bees, obtain some packages.

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If you have determined on packages (find our much more about packages here), girlfriend will have actually the alternative of 2- or 3-pound packages (sometimes 4-pounders too). Either package size have the right to yield a successful beehive. It is a management decision, and this write-up describes some things to think about while making the decision.

Packaged bees space measured by the pound. There are 3-4,000 bees every pound, or about 7,000 bees in a 2-pound package and around 10,000 bees in a 3-pound package. (Honestly, no one yes, really counts the bees!) The early worker bees in the package are not offspring of the queen, and also may be any type of breed. They are usually Italian, together Italians are recognized to build up fast.

Once the parcel is in the hive, the 2- or 3-pounds of early worker bees gain to work. They draw out comb, collect nectar and also pollen, and the queen begins laying eggs, and those eggs begin to mature and also emerge. The takes around 21 days because that the egg to grow into a bee. Meanwhile, the initial work force will gradually die off, hopefully to be replaced by young bees. The emerging bees are offspring that the queen, and will it is in true come the queen and her mates.


If the weather is good (sunny/warm), bees gather nectar and also pollen for the upcoming brood. More workers deserve to gather an ext nectar and pollen and can treatment for more brood. This can offer a head begin to 3-pound packages.

If the weather is poor (wet/cold), which generally happens in a Utah springtime, beekeepers will must feed bees. An ext workers mean an ext mouths come feed, and much more time because that the beekeeper at each apiary. (This becomes more of an issue with boosting hive numbers.) Packaged bees are provided to having actually plenty to eat, as they come from sunny California (or the South). Thus, a 2-pound package can be simpler to feeding in the springtime.

The queen bee will certainly lay as many eggs as bees can treatment for. Caring for eggs is commonly a job for newly arised nurse bees. She deserve to only broaden her brood chamber so much with the initial package workers. 2 pounds of employees will increase to cover about 4 deep frames. (“Cover” method they will certainly take treatment of egg laid in the comb, precise “cover” the an are with their small bee bodies.) 3 pounds of workers will broaden the brood room to cover about 5 frames. At the point, the expansion stalls out because there room no new emerging nurse bees to care for a bigger brood chamber. As soon as the an initial set of new bees emerges, the hive really takes off.


If us conservatively say the the queen have the right to lay 1,000 eggs a day, then it would only take her 3 days to consist of the difference in between a 2-pound package and also a 3-pound package. About 4-6 weeks ~ the package is hived, you won’t notice any difference in between 2- and also 3-pound packages. They will certainly have similar bee numbers and accomplish the very same amount of work.

This management decision yes, really only effects the first 4-6 mainly of growth. The 3-pound package has actually a slight benefit in great weather. The 2-pound has an advantage to the beekeeper in bad weather.

And then there is price. In 2013, 3-pound packages price $75, and 2-pounders were $65. The $10 distinction is far-ranging if you space buying, say 30 hives. It would save you $300.

Because of the price difference, we usage 2-pound packages for our operation and also they work-related well. Over thousands of hives, over there is no significant difference between the 2 sizes after 6 weeks. Also, 2-pound packages room standard in the beekeeping industry.

We begin our 2-pound packages in a nuc crate (like the great barn hive below) until they to fill up the space, and then carry to a typical 10-frame hive.


Posted in Beekeeping, the Honey company and tagged box, boxes, deep, gaining started, honeybee biology, medium, nuc, package, spring.
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