This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Starting a new package

I will be putting in new packages this weekend.
I know I have to do a few things,
  • Start a package in no more than one deep box.
  • If I have drawn comb but no honey, I will spray syrup in some cells on a couple frames to give the bees food that they can access immediately.
  • I will plug the entrance with grass to hold the bees in the hive for 24 hours. I know if I don't do this the bees my abscond.
  • Installing the bees at around 6:30 pm is the best time to put in the bees. Putting them in earlier the bees may move off to one side of the box seeking warmth of a sun heated box. This will get them off of the feed pail possibly causing starvation.
  • When it is cold like Sat will be, I will not directly release the queen. I will pull out the cork in the queen cage and stick a mini marshmallow in the hole. Dip the cage in the mass of bees that I have dumped in the bottom of the hive to get bees to cover the cage. I then will pinch the cage between the top bars near the center of the hive, not under the feeder pail. The bees will chew through the marshmallow in a couple hours. The whole time keeping the queen warm.
  • The day after I install the bees I will come and pull the grass out of the entrance. Also take off the telescoping cover and lift up the feeder pail. I check the feed pail to make sure it has not leaked out. Looking under the pail I should see a large mass of bees. If I don't see this I know the bees have moved off to the side of the colony. I will have to light a smoker and open the hive to find where the bees are. If they have moved off to one side I will pull empty frames from the opposite side of the hive, then gently slide the frames the bees are on over to position the bees under the feeder pail. Failure to do this will lead to a starved colony.