As you are probably aware one of the disadvantages of a package (or swarm) of honey bees as compared to a nuc is that while a nuc should be growing in population from the very first day, a package actually loses population until eggs laid after it is installed begin to emerge. Here is an estimate of how the population of a package falls and rises after installation day…
- Day one – package installed in hive.
- Day 23 or 24 shows lowest bee population.
- Day 30 shows return to package initial population.
- Day 40 shows twice initial package population.
- Day 42 marks the point when all bees in hive are truly your bees.
- Day 50 shows three times initial bee population.
- Day 59 marks beginning of population stabilization as deaths offset births.
So, as you can see a package takes about a month before its population grows past the initial size – while a nuc grows from day one.