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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bedford,KY,USA
    Posts
    29

    Question

    I live in northern Kentucky and am expecting my first package of bees this Saturday 3/29/03. We have recently had terrific weather 60's and 70's, however the forecast high for Saturday is mid 40's in the day 30 at night, and Sunday's temps will be highs in the 30's lows in the 20's. Can I still introduce my new package to their hive, and if not how can I keep them alive and healthy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    Make up some light syrup and get a clean paint brush. Brush the syrup on the screen wire and watch their little red tongues lap up the syrup. Keep doing it until they lose interest in the syrup. You can postpone a day or two this way, but the sooner you can get them hived the better. It might be worth doing even on a cloudy cool day as long as it isn't really cold. Keep them in the house where it's warm until you introduce them to the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Post

    It is best to hive in warmer weather. That way the bees can orginize themselves inside the hive and take in some feed. Though, it sounds like it may be best to hive them on Saturday if the long range stays cold. Hive them on drawn foundation!! Your bees will be able to cluster more efficiently in the cooler weather. You have to place feed, honey or sugar, in frames right beside and a protien pattie directly above them. As long as they have access to feed they will be okay. Hive them quickly and in a calm place. Hiving them in cool conditions is not the greatest, but if done quickly they will be okay.
    If the long range is warming, I would store them. Do not brush surip onto their cages!! It can be very damaging to their tounges. Simply spray it onto the screen with a spray bottle. Store them in a quiet, room temp, dark place. Only disturb them to feed them until you are ready to hive.
    A bit of a judgement call

    Ian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    mn, wi, tx
    Posts
    174

    Post

    one year I hived 40 packages in a rainy--sleety very cold late afternoon. The following day was warm and sunny, and I hived another 40 packages. All 80 were hived onto drawn comb with some honey. 30 days later the 40 that were hived on the cold rainy afternoon were much stronger than the 40 hived the following warm sunny day. I think those hived first had no opportunity to fly for more than 12 hours, and organized the hive--adopted the hive before flying, whereas those hived on the warm day could fly as soon as they moved the grass out of the door, probably within an hour, and may not have identified that particular hive as "home". In either case, ensure they have plenty food to carry them through.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bedford,KY,USA
    Posts
    29

    Question

    Would feeding them honey be any improvement over syrup?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    >Do not brush surip onto their cages!! It can be very damaging to their tounges. Simply spray it onto the screen with a spray bottle.

    In my humble opinion I think spraying bees with syrup is a bad idea. Maybe it's just that I've seen so many syrup coated dead bees, but it makes them all dark and I've seen dark syrup coated bees crawl off and die before. I would guess it's because it clogs the outside of their body in some way that it needs to breathe. I do realize that a lot of people do it and it seems to be the standard answer to some things, but I do prefer a nice soft paint brush.

    I agree that the temperature is a judgment call. If it's cool, it might not be a bad time to put them in the hive, but if it's freezing it's probably best to wait. I have hived them when it was in the 50's but haven't been in a position to need to do it in the 40's and I wouldn't do it in the 30's.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Post

    >>I think spraying bees with syrup is a bad idea. Maybe it's just that I've seen so many syrup coated dead bees, but it makes them all dark and I've seen dark syrup coated bees crawl off and die before.

    I did not say dunk the bees in surip. I don't know how much feed you give your packages, but I only give mine a general mist per day of storage.

    Ian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    I have never tried dunking them in syrup. Do you think that's a good idea? Just kidding.

    I just brush the syrup on the screen wire and they lick it off. I keep it up until they lose interest. I usually do that in the morning and the evening until I hive them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    As long as the bees do not freeze, they will do fine installing them in the 40 degree range. The bees will survive and even if it takes a day or two to get organized, your not dealing with brood till after they free the queen.
    By your post I could not determine if this was your first package or if you had other established hives. I would make plans to feed the new hive. I mention this as advise but acknowledge that it has been noted in the past that "feeding new hives" was considered "standard practice" and not worth mentioning. It it hard to know everyones experience level and mention this info if needed. Good luck.
    I'm installing packages on the 6 of April, in PA, and have been worrying also about a late cold snap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    >it has been noted in the past that "feeding new hives" was considered "standard practice" and not worth mentioning.

    This is one difficulty in answering questions on a forum such as this. We often make assumptions on knowledge of the basics and just answer the question asked and not give advice on all of the details. Quite often success or failure is all in the details.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bedford,KY,USA
    Posts
    29

    Post

    The weather on Saturday was cool, 50 maybe. However the fellow I purchased my package of bees from was nice enough to give me a frame of drawn comb with honey. So late Saturday evening I gave them their new home. This is my first experience with bees ever. So I have been very excited to get things started. Thanks for all the advice, and I'll post again in a few day's to let you know if they survived this cold snap.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    If you have two or three pounds of bees, they will do fine with a little cold, especially with the comb of honey to eat.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bedford,KY,USA
    Posts
    29

    Post

    Temps hit 80 today so I opened my hive to see if all is well. I am absolutely amazed!! Found my queen alive and healthy, 2 frames already mostly drawn and many eggs layed. Got my first sting, had already closed the hive and got careless. Must have put my thumb right on the poor girl, so she let me know. Anyone have recommendation for reducing the swelling?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Smile

    Clorox

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    A poultice of wet tobbaco is the best I've seen. Draws the poison right out. Nice to keep some handy for the smoker too.

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