Sunday, May 1, 2011

Package Installation

With 20,000 bees sitting on the kitchen table for a day, it was time to get them into their home(s). These poor bees were shaken out of their hives in GA probably mid week last week; put on a truck and trucked up to RI; sat overnight in a garage in RI; driven to my house in MA; and sat overnight on my table.

Sunday late afternoon was when I decided to hive the bees. It's good to do it in the late afternoon / evening, so the bees will stay in the hive and get used to it. If you install bees in a hive in the morning / early day, there's a chance they might abscond.

I took a video (embedded at the end), but since I was the cameraman and beekeeper, I didn't get a video of the actual shaking of the bees (since it required two hands to do). Here are some pictures of the event:

Here's one of the packages sitting on it's new home. I sprayed the package with some sugar water, to give them something to do to keep them from getting too agitated.

I took out some frames to leave room to dump the bees

The queen is in the cage, along with a few attendant bees. Note the candy on the left side that the bees slowly eat through to release her.

Bees dumped in!

It's got to be a little traumatic to be dumped this way. But they weren't aggressive at all!

I wedged the queen cage in between two frames, screen down (I left out a frame to leave room). Some people embed the queen cage into the comb, but I prefer to do it this way.

The bees are on the queen cage.

The second package was installed just like the first.

Here's the final result. I left the packages in front of the hives since there are always some stragglers. The syrup cans are left in the middle for them to be emptied later.

And finally, here's the video of the event:

I'll go back in about 5 days to check and make sure the queen was released, and to put in the missing frame.


  1. I'm surprised you don't add feeders to your package installations. Typically that is when they need it most and it's also a chance to add fumagilin-b treatment.
    Saw your other issues with plastic bucket feeders. I use 1/2 gallon mason jars over the inner cover hole, they conveniently fit inside an empty deep. They are available from Ace hardware shipped free to your local Ace store.

  2. @Peter - I thought about feeding, but given the fact that I was installing them on drawn comb, and that there is a lot of honey in the frames I installed them on, I decided not to. When I check the hives (maybe tomorrow) to make sure the queen was released, I'll see how they are coming along and may decide to add feed.

    I have a set of these 1/2 gal. mason jars; is that what you mean?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin