Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Monday, March 28, 2016

Installing Bee Packages

Yesterday Mr. Ellis and I went to Goldsboro and picked up 4- 3 lb packages of bees (one for him and three for me).  Each package has a queen (marked this year with a white dot) and anywhere between 6000-7000 bees - more or less.

Packages are stapled together with a small strip of wood.
It was not a good afternoon for installing and I had other things to do anyhow so I put them in the wheelbarrow and left them in the barn overnight.  I sprayed them with sugar water and partially covered with a sheet.  They were fine this morning. 
So I have finished putting the girls in their new homes.  It was much easier than I had anticipated.  I did watch some YouTube videos (some were just crazy but some had good information).  I put the bees in a deep/brood box with 5 frames (a deep holds 10 frames).  The queen is left in her cage and after taking out the cork and taking a toothpick and poking a hole thru the candy, she was put in the hive using the rubber band method.  You put a rubber band around a frame and her cage/container fits between the wax and the rubber band.  Holds it perfectly and you don't have to worry about her falling to the bottom or the bees not being able to chew thru the candy to release her.  

Got the queen settled and then I took the lid off the box and put the whole thing in deep beside the 5 frames.  The queen is between frames 4 and 5. No shaking of the bees, no thumping them on the ground - just put them in and they come out of their box on their own.  Wednesday I'll check and take the box out and put 5 frames in the hive and they'll be all set.
The package box fits perfectly in the hive.

Beehive March 2016
There's so much more involved in putting a package in than I can tell in one of my posts and everybody's eyes start to glaze over after about five minutes so just know it's fascinating and I would have never thought I would be a beekeeper.  I think it might skip a generation with my girls.  My parents weren't interested and that's an understatement but my paternal Grandfather and maternal Grandmother both kept bees.