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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    When I was installing my bees on Friday I put my homemade division feeder in the middle of the hive, stapled the queen cage to one of the 1 1/4 inch bars (suspended by a ribbon of screening), dumped 95% into the hive then covered it up. I then did the same to the other hives. After about an hour, as the evening descended and the temps dropped, I became concerned about the cluster of bees in the package container which I had left near the entrance. It was getting colder. So I opened back up the hive, and removed some top bars from the back of the hive on the other side of the division feeder, then dumped in the bees from the package and closed it back up. In this way I was able to get all the bees out of the package. There was no interference from the housed bees on the other side of the feeder, even though I could see some of them had crawled under the feeder and were in some of the syrup that I had spilled when I had earlier loaded up the feeder.
    Unfortunately I did not do this for the other 2 hives, and the next morning the clusters that had spent the night outside in 33 degree temps were dead, so I lost about 25 bees from the other 2 packages.
    Not sure if it was correct, but I left a space under the feeder so they can go under it if necessary.
    Pretty exciting! Tomorrow I will check to see if the queen has been released from the cage. The guy told me to give them 3 days to eat her out because they had just shaken down the bees the night before I picked up the package and they need 3 days to pick up the queen pherome.
    Berkey David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Post

    I probably would have put the package at the back like you did on the one, but 25 bees aren't big losses. I've had the Post Office kill thousands of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    The way I install packages into top bar hives is to remove and install teh queen pretty much like you did, though I would personally refrain from using a stapler on the queen cage. I think it'd shake her up more than I would like. I then remove the feeder can, and place that also inside the hive at the very back of the hive ontop of 3 small blocks that give the bees room to get at the syrup. When I remove the queen and when I remove the feed can, I always try to keep all the bees inside the package. A few isn't a big deal, but try to minimize it. So when removing the queen, I do so in such a way that the cage is always "closed". i.e. slide the cover over just enough to expose queen cage, pull queen cage on just till it clears, then slide the whole assembly back in place. This keeps everything covered. Do the same with the feed can the best you can. After installing the queen adn feed can in the hive, I place the package INSIDE the hive ON its side while still covered. I place one of the top bars at the top of the cage to hold its cover in place while I am at work on the hive, such as installing feed bags or somesuch. I replace as many top bars as I can covering the hive up as much as possible, then I open the package using the top bar to push open the lid, and replace all the top bars with purpose and great care.

    The next day I came out and all the pacakges were empty except for a few which I at this time knock out of the package above the opening in the hive and let them fall in the hive. The cluster of bees should be festooned around the queen, and the bees which crawl out of the opening should be fairly few in number. Not only that they already have at least a minimal sense of home and won't get lost.

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