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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Monday, March 26, 2018

Are you ready for bees?

Our first delivery of bees is less than two weeks away.
Remember, on the days we are passing out bees, our store will be closed.
We will only be selling pollen patties, ProSweet Syrup and feeder pails.
Brush up on your bee installation process:
  • Best to install bee after 6 pm.
  • Grass in the entrance. We want to hold the bees in the hive overnight. Also if the bees are installed early in the day and they can get out because there is no grass holding them in, they can abscond and they will not be coming back. That is why we put them in at 6 pm when it is getting on towards night or anytime, if it is going to be raining all day. Bees don't fly at night or in the rain.
  • If you are feeding frames of honey. Bring the honey indoors to warm up for a few days. Put the honey in the bee boxes right when you will be putting in the bees.  Otherwise the frames of honey, left outside, will be radiating cold for several days. This may hurt the bees if it stays on the cold side.
  • If it is less than 50 degrees, you may not want to spray the bees with syrup. When it is cold, if the bees get chilled from the sugar water spray, they may not get off the bottom board and may not survive.
  • This goes for queen also. Get a big rubber band that goes around a frame. The queen cage can use a marshmallow release instead of spraying the queen on a cold day. Put the queen cage under the rubber band near the top of the frame in the center of the hive. Dip the cage into the mass of bees on the bottom board after dumping the bees in the hive. Get about 6 to 8 bees on the cage, then slip the cage under the rubber band. The bees will keep the queen warm will they are waiting for the rest of the bees to climb up the frame.
  • Do not use an entrance feeder. If it is cold, the bees cluster at the top of the hive. If it is cold, the bees will not break cluster and they will not be able to reach the syrup at the hives entrance feeder and may starve. A pail feeder is the best choice because the bees will cluster underneath the pail.
  • If you have all empty drawn comb to start your colony. Spray some warm syrup into the cells of the center frame under the feeder pail. When the bees crawl up on the frame, they will have syrup to eat and can then produce heat easier. 
  • I will be posting a few videos over the next week that demonstrates these methods.