How late is too late to get bees?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by rw02kr43, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

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    We haven't gotten our bees yet. We called our supplier this morning. An assistant says bees may be here Saturday. She didn't know. I think we're going to go with a different supplier from now on. This one seems to flake a bit too much and is terribly disorganized. So, how late in the season is too late to get bees and have them be productive?
     
  2. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    Well there is an old saying about swarms that says A swarm in may is worth a load of hay, a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July ain't worth a fly.

    I guess if a swarm can make it in June, surely a good start in a full box would make, although depending on the weather, you might have to feed it & help it along. Time is running out quick though.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Is this a package or a nuc? Do you have any drawn comb frames to give them, or is this your very first hive?
    'Productive' in this case means the best goal is for them to be all fully drawn comb and well stocked up with food stores in time for winter. Chances are very low that they will produce enough honey this year for you to take any. Do not take any honey this year unless there is a surplus beyond what they will need for winter. First they need to build up their brood/home boxes. That area is for the bees' use.
     
  4. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

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    It will be 2 Nucs. We had a hive last year that left us with one deep with 10 frames of drawn comb. Another deep with 10 frames of honey. So I was going to distribute those among the new hives along with whatever comes in their nuc. I'm hoping that will give them a head start.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    That will indeed give them a good head start! Lucky you! :)
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I'm sure it ls true---but the question is Where? The differences in length of season and timing and amount of nectar available for the bees is a big variable from one location to another. Down south (in Florida) they've been collecting swarms all winter long. Up in Canada things are just starting to move. I'm "from out of state" and can't speak on behalf of Indiana, but I would assume, given that you have built frames to give the nucs, you've got a good chance to meet your mark. Maybe even extract a litle bit of honey--but consult with the locals before you go overboard and put your families at risk.
     
  7. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    You should be all right getting them this late, since you are giving them a good start with drawn comb. Who is your supplier? If you are uncomfortable with putting their name on an open forum, you can pm me. I'm right next door in Ohio, and want to know who to avoid if I decide to diversify the gene pool in my yard with some Hoosier bees. Where are you at in Indiana? Apple Blossom Honey Farm is in Star City, I've never dealt with them, but it may be worth your time to check them. They claim to be Indianas largest supplier.
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    rw,
    what breed of bees are you ordering that you have not yet received nucs? if you are uneasy about the replies like "maybe saturday", and your thoughts of "seems to flake a bit too much" and "terribly disorganized" , then these thoughts have some validity. some suppliers can experience various problems with delivery of bees, but communication is a key. i guess my question is when did you first order these? and what was the promised approximate delivery date? and were you required to pay for these when ordered? also maybe, why so late?

    i will chime in with what ef and gunsmith said, with good nucs and good queens, and your drawn frames, they should do alright. i have received 5 frame proven queens/laying nucs up here between mid and late june. they typically build up very well to overwinter in 2 deeps for me, but i don't typically expect to harvest any honey for the first year, your location may be different. i hope everything works out for you. :grin:
     
  9. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Given that you're getting nucs and have drawn comb for them, you should be fine.

    Keep in mind there are a lot of variables with getting nucs. Overwintered nucs will obviously be available much sooner than nucs made up in the spring. Nucs made in the spring and given southern-state queens will be available sooner then nucs made with locally-raised queens. Also, many providers of nucs do so in "batches", i.e., they are making nucs throughout the spring, and depending on when you ordered, you may get a nuc from a later batch.

    I'm planning on making some nucs here in a week or so now that my spring packages have become established.
     
  10. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The condition of the nuc when it arrives will have a influence on the hive build up if the nuc is full of bees and frames of capped brood ready to emerge over the following week, the nuc will be a full super of bees in a couple of weeks time. If if is only made up with 2 frames of brood with the queen only laying in the 3rd frame and only enough bees to cover the brood it could take 6 weeks to fill the 1st super full of bees.
     
  11. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

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    I'm in my 3rd year, so still pretty new. My first year I started with 2 nucs which I didn't get till late May/early June. They were started on foundation only and They built up great, plus I got 8 frames of honey off each. It was also a wet year. Last year....totally different. They made it through the winter, but even with drawn comb I didn't get squat for honey. Also extremely dry last year.
     
  12. franksgirl

    franksgirl New Member

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    Star City, IN

    We purchased from them and have been pleased with our bees - however, we had a little conflict in regards to the purchase . . . . they were weeks late with the bees and when we tried to cancel to purchase elsewhere they said we could not have our money back because they were going to supply. No biggie - we completed the sale - just felt they could have been a little bit more understanding and helpful to a newbie.
     
  13. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Welcome to the forum franksgirl:

    I think that once you are established in the bees and have a few years under your belt you'll understand that "they" weren't a few weeks late but instead the bees and the weather forcasters didn't understand our agreement lol
    I picked up some Certified Russian nucs this spring and they were 2 weeks later than normal....all because the weather didn't cooperate.

    Enjoy this hobby. We're in our 3rd year and having a blast!
     
  14. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Welcome franksgirl.
    You have found the friendliest bee forum there is.
    If you get a minute, go to the introductions thread and tell us a little about yourself.
    As Eddy Honey said, all the bee suppliers had problems this year getting bees out, although, you're right-they could have been a little more understanding. Much of what we, as beekeepers, do, hinges upon the weather.
    Again, welcome, and enjoy your time here. I'm sure you'll learn a lot. I sure have. We're a friendly, international bunch who love our hobby (some would say obsession) and like to have a few laughs along the way.
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    :hi:Welcome to the forum, Franksgirl. A first posting is always an event. WE may not be able to help with the tiing of your deliveries, but we're usually here to help---or at least give a word of encouragement. It sounds like you are an understanding individual and not a complainer. Hopefully, your supplier will remember that the next time you place an order and do his best to make up for your dissatisfaction this time. As Eddy Honey and Gunsmith said (each in his own way), we beekeepers are working with nature and we have no control over it, just have to learn to work with it.
     
  16. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. The store in question is Graham's bee works in Morgantown. I paid in mid march. There has been no communication at all. My wife and I called 4 times to make sure yesterday was the correct day. We got there and they had a list of 6 people. 4 people weren't there at all. All others weren't on the list. We also were then informed that there is a $20 deposit per nuc since the place they make the nucs at was no longer available. It was sold. Think they would have known that. The woman at the store was also trying hard to make excuses. Truth is, there aren't any. I'll go to pick them up to,or row night and then I will not spend another dime with this place. I got the impression that at least 12 people yesterday now share my opinion. It's too bad, cause the guy there is awesome and very knowledgable. But they just can't run a store. We have 3 frames of honey in each deep and 3 frames of drawn comb. Then we'll put in the nuc. I hope that combo will work.

    ​Jason
     
  17. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

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    I picked up our bees last night. But not without more hassle. I installed both nucs in their hives. How long should I wait for the queen to get out of her cage? I also put the 2nd deep on already cause the bottom one is full of nuc, capped and uncapped honey, and 2 frames of drawn comb. The top deeps have 5 frames of drawn comb and 5 of foundation. How long should I wait to put on the supers? And, I didn't get stung even once. Whooo hooo

    Jason
     
  18. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Queen in a cage in a nucleus hive???? Explain please?

    Did you buy an established nuc with a laying queen, or a few frames of bees with a random caged queen?
     
  19. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

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    nuc

    We were told it's established nuc with laying queen. But the queen is in a little cage. Last year after a day she hadn't been released yet. So we opened it up. Maybe also aren't selling what they say they are.

    Jason
     
  20. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    there seem to be some very interesting suppliers around. Sounds like you found one.