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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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Setting up a hive for the packages

 This picture shows 8 frames because the layout of the frames for coloring them on the box would have been too tight and looked funky. I use 9 frames in my boxes. The 9th frame could be empty or honey, beekeepers discretion.
This is how I set up a hive for package bees when I am replacing a dead out.
The pics show the frame arrangement I put in the box. That is considering the bees will be put in the center.
If you have three frames of honey in the box you do not have to feed sugar water.
No honey? A spray bottle with 1:1 sugar syrup can be used to spray syrup into the drawn comb of a frame. It takes a bit of effort but a frame can get quite heavy from the syrup. The syrup frame can be placed in the center of the hive under the feeder pail. They bees will cover that frame and produce heat.
 The box lists the frames and the position I use for when the bees are dumped into the hive. I will take a capping scratcher and scratch open the two frames of honey next to the bees. So the bees will have food available when they are put into the box. The honey will give them the ability to create heat to warm the hive.
Even if it is cool out the bees will be fine.
It is a good idea to bring the frames of honey indoors for a few days before the bees come so they are not eating cold honey.
When it is cold out pail feeders work the best for feeding a colony. Hive top feeders can be a struggle for the bees to get to if they are in a tight cluster and there is a possibility that they could starve if it is cold out.
Entrance feeders are not meant for spring feeding in Minnesota. Bees will starve and die because they cluster under the inner cover and can't break cluster to get to the entrance feeder.

Use 9 frames in the box with the ninth being honey or empty.