Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Taking Your Bees Home
Keep bees cool and well ventilated during the drive AND once you have reached your destination. It is best to hive your bees the day you get them, but if you must keep them in the package overnight – lightly mist them with a thin sugar water solution.
Installing Your Package
A few things to keep in mind
Your hive should be properly assembled and placed in its permanent location before installing your bees. The best time of day to install a package is early evening – just before dark. This gives the bees overnight to orient themselves before heading out to work the next day.
Suit up with the proper protective gear (at least a veil).
Lightly mist the screen of your package with a thin sugar water solution to start a sticky cluster effect for the bees. Remove 5 frames from your hive and slide the remaining 5 to one side. Use a hive tool to pry the wooden lid off the top of the package, exposing the sugar water can. Lift the can out of the package and set aside.
In the center of the package you will find a shipping strap that is holding the queen cage. Remove the queen cage and temporarily replace the lid on the package. This is the best time to inspect your queen. Remove the cork from the CANDY END of the queen cage. DO NOT REMOVE THE CORK FROM THE OTHER END. Place the queen cage securely between frames 2 & 3 of the five remaining in the hive. Make sure the candy end is pointing UP. Installing the queen cage with the candy end down may hinder the queen’s ability to exit the cage.
There are 2 methods for installing your package – 1: Mist your bees again and lightly tap it on the ground so that bees fall to the bottom of the package. If there is sugar water still in the can, shake some of this through the hole in the top of the package. Tap package again so that bees are in one corner of the package. Shake some of the bees in the area you placed the queen. Sit the package with the remaining bees in the empty space in the hive. Leave the open top facing up. Close your hive and leave it overnight with the package inside. Remove the package the next day. If there are any bees remaining inside, shake them out, and return the five frames you removed. 2: Follow the same steps for installing the queen, but after putting the queen between frames 2-3, gently shake the bees into the open space. Wait for them to move over to the frames & slowly replace the other 5 frames.
Feeding Your Bees
Sugar water should be prepared at a 1:1 ratio. Put a feeder on as soon as you install the package. Continue feeding your bees until they have filled their first TWO boxes – these will be their food stores for cold weather.
Checking the Queen
Wait a MINIMUM of 4 days before checking for queen release and acceptance. I f she has not been released, poke a small hole in the candy (be careful that you don’t poke bees!) and wait another few days before checking again.
A Few Disclaimers
Bees become your responsibility upon pickup. When installing your package, ensure your queen is ALIVE in the cage. You must call us THE DAY OF PICKUP if you find that your queen is dead in the cage and we will replace her. Beyond this, we cannot guarantee the success of your hive.
Questions? Contact us at (864) 898-5122 option 1 or [email protected]
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