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, May 7, 2016

First package bee delivery - adding a box soon?

The first delivery of package bees that came here on April 11th. Beekeepers that put the bees on new foundation have been feeding syrup and need to continue to feed the bees syrup until around mid June. If the bees are not fed syrup constantly, the bees won't make wax and the population of bees in the hive will suffer. Keep pollen patties on the hive.
The bees should be making wax on the combs and the number of frames with wax should be expanding.
 It has been three weeks since hiving and there should be or will be soon, new emerging brood. The population of the hive will be increasing from now on.
 When I inspect a new package on new frames, as I take out the first frame and work towards the inside into the brood area, looking for eggs. When I see eggs, I know everything is good with the queen. I stop looking at this point. As I put the frames back into the hive the same way as they came out, the outside frames have pollen and nectar on these frames. If the bees are working on one side of the frame but not the other, I will turn this frame around when I put it back into the hive. This helps the bees expand the brood nest a little faster. Do this on both sides of the box. Never put new frames into the brood area, this can disrupt the egg laying of the queen.
 Next week do the same thing with the outer frames. Now if an outer frame has wax on both sides being worked on by the bees, move this frame towards the outside one frame and put a new frame in its place. The reason I do this is because the bees in most cases will never work on the very outside frames. Beekeepers that wait for the outside frames to be finished without moving them in one frame, may have their hives swarm.
When the bees have wax on both sides of eight of the 10 frames in the box, it is time to add another box. This usually happens about 30 days after hiving the package. Remove one of the frames from the lower box with honey and pollen on the frame and move this frame to the center of the second, now top box. Place this frame into the center of the top box. The honey and pollen frame is bait for the bees to move up into the second box. Now there is nine frames in the bottom box in the lower box. Evenly space them out in the lower box, there now will be nine frames in the lower box and ten frames in the upper box. Keep feeding syrup. Now with the emerging brood, the hives population will be picking up steam. With more bees are in the hive, egg laying will increase, and hive development will start moving along faster.