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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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hiving in cold weather

 Hive the package at around 6 pm.
If you are hiving on drawn comb no problem. If you have some honey scratch open a couple frames when you dump the bees in. Warm up the honey two days before the bees arrive.
 No honey, fill a couple drawn frames with warm sugar water using a sprayer. If you use the marshmallow queen release. Make sure the queen cage is covered with bees before squeezing it between the frames.
 Hiving on foundation. Best to bring the bees into the basement set them on a piece of cardboard. Feed them with a sugar water sprayer by spraying the screen.
Don't soak the bees. Get the screen wet, walk away, ten minutes later do it again. Maybe three or four times.  Do this when you get the bees home and before bed. The next morning do it again and then again about an hour before hiving the package. This gives the bees a full stomach before they get dumped into the hive.
 At around 6 pm pull out four or five frames from the hive. Put the whole cage in the hive and put the covers on. The bees will warm up the hive.
After the hive is warmed up installing is the next step.
Pretty much the same as my video. Make sure the sugar water is warm. If it is cold you might not have to spray the bees at all. Just dump them in. The queen needs to be kept warm during this whole process. use the same method as above.
Take the sugar sprayer and spray the sheets of foundation with syrup keeping the frame straight and level. Ritecell foundation has a deep impression of a cell. This will hold sugar water so the cluster has food to eat right away. Usre the frames the bees have warmed up. Put the warmed up frames on top of the bees and bring the cold frames on the outside of the hive body. After the queen is installed, lay on the pollen patty and close up the hive.
The next morning come back and lift up the feeder pail. If there is a large mass of bees under the feeder pail you are home free. If there are few bees under the feeder, they may have moved off to one side. Light a smoker and open the hive removing the lids. A puff of smoke on the bees. If the are not under the feeder, remove frames opposite the cluster, there should be no bees on these. Then gently slide the frames the bees are on to the center under the pail feeder. Put the other frames back into the new open space in the hive. Close up the hive.
Look for eggs after 7 - 10 days to see if the queen is accepted.