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Adding package bee to 6 frame NUC

Hi there,

I was wondering if it is a good idea to add packaged bee with a NUC. If so, how would I go about doing so. I have read to add newspaper and allow the bees to eat through it. Also I am assuming that I would have to add another brood box. Or should I just bee patient like I was my first time around :laughing:

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Depending on the quality of nucleus, you shouldn’t need to add package bees. It will also significantly increase your cost, and you will probably have a second queen to decide about (give her away, try to sell her, dispatch her?)

I am boosting a weak hive this year with a package of bees, but my weak hive is much weaker than a nucleus should be. This is how I am going to do it:

  1. Wait for the package to arrive and store them for 24 hours in a cool room, making sure that the package queen is alive.
  2. The day the package arrives, remove the queen from my weak hive.
  3. The next day, put a double layer of newspaper on top of the weak hive, and put an empty second brood box on top.
  4. Empty the package into the empty brood box, then gently place frames of drawn comb into the box (because I have them available).
  5. Mark and then directly introduce the package queen into the top brood box. She will have been traveling with the package for around 3 days, so there is probably no need to wait, and these packages usually don’t have marking on the queen or candy in the cage, so I want to release her myself
  6. Place a pollen substitute patty on the top bars, and a feeder on top of the inner cover and close up for a week.
  7. Inspect the hive for evidence of the new queen laying. If the top box is unused, remove it. If they are doing well and using the space, then assess the need for further feeding.

Just my plan. Hope that helps you to think about yours, if you want to spend that much on starting a hive. :blush:

Hi Dawn,

Thank you for your response. We are beginners and lost our bees over the winter, we suspect varroa but we are not sure so someone for the department of agriculture is coming by on Thursday to inspect the hive, let’s hope it wasn’t something worse.

The Nuc we are get has 6 frames, 4 of which are brood. I was just thinking to bust the hive and not waiting so long to put the super on. We will think about it.

Once I add the nuc to the brood box, I think I will wait and not add the packaged bees to the hive. Because I don’t want to introduce any other diseases that may come with the package or vice versa.

Thank you again you outline will be very helpful if I decide to add the package.

Michael Smart,

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

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