View Full Version : How to make packages of bees
04-28-2005, 09:08 PM
I can not find anything that explains how to make a package of bees. Any suggestions or places to find out would be helpful. Thanks in advance
04-29-2005, 05:51 AM
i'm located in quebec , I usually make most of my nucs the second week of may , when there is a large source of pollen from the dandelions. What I do is take 1-frame of eggs and 1-frame of brood (sealed larvae) from a strong hive , add a frame of honey and place a new frame of foundation. This is all placed in a 4-frame nuc box . If you have queens available at this time you may add her (in her cage ) if not they will raise there own (however they will be set back a month)
04-29-2005, 06:23 AM
You might want to search on how to do a shaken swarm. Same thing.
04-29-2005, 07:20 AM
You just shake bees from a number of hives in a box and add a queen in a cage. smile.gif The confusion of bees from different hives (I'd do at least three or more) causes them to try to reorganize and form a "swarm". When doing it in bulk they shake lots of bees into a funnel into a large box and then dump them down a funnel to get them into the package.
04-30-2005, 06:22 AM
I saw a picture of this once. The empty package was sitting on a scale, and they shook bees into a funnel until they had enough.
Lesli St. Clair
04-30-2005, 06:43 AM
I wonder how they make sure they aren't shaking in the queen. Do they find her before they start in each hive? Only shake bees from above an excluder. Hmm.
04-30-2005, 09:49 AM
There are special shakers where you shake the frames into a box that is excluder material welded together.It sits in a larger box that has a funnel at the bottom.This funnel goes into a screened bulk bee cage.If the queen was on the frame you shook,she is usually easy to find in the excluder box.I dont know if these are being manufactured anymore.I use a funnel box (without the excluder material) and shake frames from above an excluder.Seperate the hive boxes with an excluder and 4 days later you can shake the part without eggs.I screwed a coffee can to a wooden handle and use that to dip out the bulk bees when making up nucs.
04-30-2005, 11:38 AM
There is information on this in the book: The Hive and the Honeybee. If you don't have this book you should get it.
The operations I'm aware of don't use either scales or excluders. They have a 3 man team. #1 works ahead of the other 2 locating the frame the queen is on and setting it aside. The next 2 then use a large metal funnel inserted into the top of the screened wooden cage to shake bees off of the remaining frames into the funnel and thus the package. Periodically the #3 man bangs the package on the ground to knock the bees into the bottom allowing him to gain a rough estimate on quantitiy. Experiance package guys have a pretty good idea how deep the bees are in the cage to make 3, 4 or 5 lbs of bees. Then a can of sugar syrup and a caged queen is added, the package closed and set aside.
04-30-2005, 03:04 PM
I got a queen loose in a package this year, they must have missed her. The rest of the bees killed the queen they had in the cage. Shes huge too and laying like crazy !!!!
Somewhere there is a hive without a queen and some guy wondering why that hive isn't doing too well. Are you going to do the honest thing and send her back? :D
04-30-2005, 10:37 PM
I helped shake 100 packages 2 days ago... I can tell you that often a queen may be shook from the parent hive.... and of course the beekeep has to requeen. BUT.. the guy selling the packages is also raising queens and almost always has mated caged queens on hand anytime... Just go back and check the hives 2 or 3 days later and drop a new queen if they look like they are queenless. Is many different methods of making packages I am sure.... I have only done it one way with the man I help...I will sell packages next year and I already know the things I will do different.. : )
05-01-2005, 06:08 AM
First you start with a bunch of strong hive with the purpose being to 'bump' the excess worker bees to be utilized for packages. Some folks sell the bee without queens which are use by northern bee keeper to boost their existing hives. Most package have a queen added which are used to start new hives. The catch device for the bumped bees is an empty hive body with a screen bottom and top. Another empty box with a queen excluder is placed on top to sieve the hive's laying queen. You have to be careful about not bumping the bees too hard during a good necter flow or soon the poor girls will become wet with nectar and can quite easily overheat. A funnel box is then used to fill screen package which are weighted using a common dial type scale. panther passing in the night....
05-01-2005, 07:25 AM
Yep, theres more to it than just banging bees into a box.A man with the right technique can get the bees off with scarecely any nectar coming out.An overfilled bulk bee box full of nectar drenched cooked bees is one of the saddest,sorriest things there is.