Well, my bees arrived yesterday after being in transit since last Wednesday from Rossman in Ga. I wasn't able to work on getting them loaded until early this AM. I feel like it went well, (I'm a brand new keeper), but I was unable to shake all the bees out of the box. Also, I only have 1 deep hive body and 1 shallow right now per hive, so I couldn't get the cage in the shallow with the food and the top on, so I propped the shipping cage at an angle in front of my Hive, on the ground. Does this sound ok?
I received two 4-pound packages, for two hives; that was a pile of bees when I knocked them out into the bottoms of the hives! Also, I put my door restrictor in with the wide part open to cut down on traffic for a day or so. I weighed the whole works on a shipping scale and the package came in at 16 pounds. I will weigh just the packaging when all is done for those of you wondering about that issue (see other posts about suppliers shipping 4 true pounds of bees)
For all you other newbies out there, I didn't get stung, the bees were quite docile (I had sprayed them well with syrup prior to opening the cages) time was around 6:30 AM, sun was up and bright, it was a clear morning.
I will admit I was somewhat nervous, but believe it or not, they are more child-like than vicious-like yellow jackets. I realize thatÂ’s a lousy comparison, but the closest I had ever been to a bee before had been when those little monsters stung me. Plus they harass, where as it looks like Honey Bees do not. About a dozen or so just buzzed around my head, some landed here and there and kinda just checked me out.
I'm a happy camper today!!
I probably would have done it in the afternoon to cut the odds of them absonding, but they will do fine. Sounds like it went well.
Drat. I had forgotten about the absconding factor. Oh well, we shall see. Hopefully putting the restrictor in will discourage a mass exit. That would be a lot of traffic through a small space!
The reason I went ahead and did it this AM was the shipper told me there was enough food in there for 7 days, which obviously is tomorrow. The can(s) actually were still about half full, but once you start, I figured you needed to forge on. Plus, doing the math, I had already lost 6 days and had right at an inch of dead workers in the bottoms of the cages.
All true, and I would have been tempted to do it in the a.m. also, but it depends on the weather and what the weather report is for the rest of the day. As far as starving you can feed them by brushing the screen wire with syrup or some people spray them with syrup. I always feed like this before I install anyway. A hungry bee is a nasty bee. A full bee does not sting. As far as the size of the opening. It will not slow them down at all if they decide to leave. You can stuff some grass in the opening so they can't get out until they remove it, to slow them down though.