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Monthly Archives: April 2017

  • Installing Your Package of Bees

     

    installing a package of bees

    How to hive your package of bees

    This method is very easy on the bees (as well as a new beekeeper) and involves no shaking.

     Day 1 (Monday April 17th) – At dusk

    Tools needed:  Bee Suit with Veil, Gloves, Hive tool, Bee Brush, & Sugar Syrup

    1. Set up your deep hive body on the bottom board with 4 frames and the frame feeder.
    2. Fill the frame feeder with sugar syrup (1-part water & 1-part sugar – just under 1 gallon) to help the bees build wax comb on the frames. (Left over syrup can be added tomorrow when you candy the queen.)
    3. Use your hive tool to pull the feeder can out of the package cage and brush any attached bees onto the center of the frames.
    4. Place the package cage inside the deep hive body in the empty space where the missing frames are.
    5. Grasp the aluminum strip and slip the queen cage out of the package cage. Gently brush away bees from the screened side of the queen cage to make sure the queen is alive.  You should keep as many bees attached to the queen cage as possible.  Use the aluminum strip to hang the cage between the center frames with the screen side of the cage facing up. DO NOT remove the cork at the end of the queen cage.
    6. Put the top cover on the hive.

    Day 2 (Tuesday April 18th) – At dusk

    Tools needed:  Marshmallow, Screw, Bee Suit with Veil, Gloves, Hive tool, Bee Brush, & left over Sugar Syrup

    1. Remove the top cover of your hive. Remove the package cage from your hive box. Shake out any remaining bees into the box.
    2. Top off the frame feeder with leftover sugar syrup from yesterday.
    3. Grasp the aluminum strip on the queen cage, and gently pull out the queen cage.
    4. Brush bees off the queen cage. Check to make sure the queen is alive.
    5. Remove the cork by twisting a small screw into the end of the queen cage, being careful not to release the queen, and insert a marshmallow (enough to plug the open hole). This step might be easier to do without your gloves on.
    6. Rehang the queen cage between the center frames insuring the screened side of the cage is facing up.
    7. Add 5 frames to your hive box where you removed the package cage from.
    8. Put the top cover on the hive
    9. DO NOT open the hive for 10 days.

     10 Days Later (Friday April 28th or Saturday April 29th) – Mid Afternoon

    Tools needed:  Bee Suit with Veil, Smoker, Hive Tool, Bee Brush, Sugar Syrup

    1. Watch the bees flying in and out of the hive. Are some of the bees flying into the hive carrying pollen in their pollen pockets on their rear legs? This is an indication that the queen is laying and the bees are raising brood.
    2. Lightly smoke the entrance of the hive.
    3. Remove the top cover of your hive, noting where most of the bees are cluster (that is where the bees will be raising brood).
    4. Remove the outermost frame from the hive to allow all the other frames to be slid apart easily.
    5. Remove the queen cage and insure the queen was released (cage should be empty). Set the empty queen cage aside.
    6. Carefully remove a frame in the center, one where most of the bees are on it, and inspect the frame. You should be able to see eggs, larva and maybe even capped brood.  If you are seeing larva that indicates you have a laying queen.
    7. Carefully replace all the frames into the hive where you removed them from.
    8. Refill the frame feeder with sugar syrup and close up the hive.

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