Manage episode 292968615 series 2867912
Honey bees are purchased from commercial operations in business to sell bees to beekeepers. They can be sold as complete eight or ten frame hives with a queen, frames with comb, bees and brood and some stored food. Or, they may be sold as a 5-frame small colony, traditionally called a nucleus colony, or more commonly a Nuc, with a queen, comb, food and bees. Bees can also be bought in bulk – by the pound, traditionally in a container of some sort, without frames or comb. A queen accompanies the bees, protected in a wooden or plastic queen cage.
For over 150 years the containers used to ship the bees from the seller to the purchaser was a box with the top, two sides and the bottom made of wood, with the remaining two sides covered with wire screen so the bees inside had adequate ventilation. A feeder can of sugar syrup is fastened in the box to provide food for the bees for the several days. Once received, the beekeeper removes the feeder from the opening in the top and the bees dumped through this opening.
A new shipping box is now available and popular with some package producers. Made of plastic, it had the same dimensions as the traditional package, but all sides have tiny ventilation holes and the walls, top and bottom are thick enough that the bees inside can’t reach through and sting someone holding the container, like they could through the screened containers. These, too, have a feeder provided inside with an opening on top. However, one end of the package is attached so it can be opened and the bees removed easily through this much larger opening.
There are other significant differences between these two commonly used “packages,” in how they are handled, the feeder can, how the bees can be removed, and what to do with the package when the bees are gone. Is this new package better, the same, or not as good as that decades old wood and wire box?
Kim and Jim discuss these differences, both good and bad, in this segment of Honey Bee Obscura.
This episode of Honey Bee Obscura is supported by the three generations of beekeepers at Leibengood Family Apiaries, providing Georgia certified, southern raised bee packages and queens to central Ohio each Spring!
We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at www.betterbee.com
Honey Bee Obscura is brought to you by Growing Planet Media, LLC, the home of Beekeeping Today Podcast.
Music: Heart & Soul by Gyom, Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus, original guitar music by Jeffrey Ott
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