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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default Brrrrr... too cold for packages

    My five packages arrived today (Don't you love how the post office calls you at 6:01 AM)

    I had written down on my calendar that they wouldn't come until next week.... apparently I had written it down wrong because when I called they said, "ah, no, we didn't send them early." All that said, it is 40 degrees here in northwestern Illinois with wind gusts up to 40 mph and snow expected tonight. The weather is not expected to improve until Monday. (65 degrees!) Yikes! I called R Weavers and they said just keep them in a 60 degree room and keep spritzing them with sugar syrup and that they should be OK. Mind you, they've been in the packages now 4 days! Will they be OK? Any suggestions? They look fine now but three more days seems like an eternity.

    Thanks for your help!

    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default

    I picked up some for a guy last year and they sat on my garage floor for 4 days before he picked them up from me, I did spray them a couple times a day.
    Don`t leave then set on a floor you don`t want dirty they seam to spit (? ) through the screen
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Last year, the P.O. called me mid-morning on a Monday, when they received them on the previous Friday. They sat all weekend in their warehouse. I had called to inform them when to expect them, and to call me right away. Yeah, right. The syrup cans were empty.

    Spray them, they s/b okay at 6o... Too low and they will cluster, and might get chilled.

    MM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Thanks! Do you think they should be in a warmer spot?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default

    I have installed packages in the snow and had them survive. I put on a top feeder and put 2 gallons of 100 degree syrup to feed and warm them.
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    "Do you think they should be in a warmer spot?"

    They should be in an area the doesn't get below 60, or above 70. You don't want them to over heat either. And I would wait til the weather breaks, or if not, install them into nuc boxes(which I would do regardless of what the weather does).
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,761

    Default

    I got my 6:00 AM phone call this morning. Pouring rain here, but the temps might get into the 50's later today. As soon as I get a break, I'm installing them. For the time being, they're sitting on the floor in the family room entertaining the dogs!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Packages will hold for up to week if needed. A few days is not going to hurt them. Make some sugar water, and spray the bottom of the box (inside) a few times a day. Keep them in a cool spot.

    A few years ago, I brought up 100 packages from Georgia. The night I came home, it snowed 4 inches. It was not above 40 for the next 3 or 4 days. It took me till the following weekend to get them installed and they all came through fine.

    Don't sweat it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default

    "And I would wait til the weather breaks, or if not, install them into nuc boxes(which I would do regardless of what the weather does)" - Peggjam

    How do I do that? I certainly have enough nucs but it is still cold and windy. I don't think my family would agree to me opening the packages in the basement!

    Monday the weather is supposed to be 54 degrees for the high but the low is 33. Would that be OK? Or should I wait until Tuesday with highs in the lower 60s and lows in the upper 40s?

    Thanks!
    Chris

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,462

    Default

    I don't think I've ever installed a package when the temps were above 40 degrees. If you work quickly you can install them even when it's a bit below freezing.

    When it's really cold, I drive my vehicle right up to the hives and work partly inside the vehicle when I'm getting the queen out. It's really only the queen you have to worry about. If you get her out of the main cage and pop her queen cage in your pocket, you have plenty of time to put the bees in the hive.

    Bees are tougher than you might think.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beacon Woods View Post
    "And I would wait til the weather breaks, or if not, install them into nuc boxes(which I would do regardless of what the weather does)" - Peggjam

    How do I do that? I certainly have enough nucs but it is still cold and windy. I don't think my family would agree to me opening the packages in the basement!

    Monday the weather is supposed to be 54 degrees for the high but the low is 33. Would that be OK? Or should I wait until Tuesday with highs in the lower 60s and lows in the upper 40s?

    Thanks!
    Chris
    You could do it outside, screen the nucs so they don't get out, then bring them back into a warmer place so they can get organizied. Keeping them in the packages is fine until the weather breaks though, just be sure to spary them a couple times a day.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,761

    Default

    After a morning of cold rain, the sun came out and it hit 60 degrees today. So, I hived a package in the warm sun. Direct released the queen and, two minutes later, she was strolling around on the landing board. I picked her up and dropped her back on top of the frames. First time that's even happened to me. Maybe I should have used an excluder between the bottom board and the hive body. I suppose if it had been colder, she may have stayed with the rest of the bunch.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Madisonville KY
    Posts
    95

    Default I hope ...

    Today I picked up another package from Kelley's. It was 49-50 with a 15 mph wind when I got back home. I went ahead and put them in a hive. Very little flying. I dumped them over the queen cage and 5 frames. Then I set the package in the hive beside of the 5 frames and covered them up with the lid and inner cover. I hope they survive the cold. It is supose to get down to 30 Monday night. then back into the 70's Tuesday. What's the odds of success?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default Update

    Well it was 53 degrees yesterday afternoon... finally got the bees in their hives. My husband was not available to help (had to work late) but I decided that 7 days in those packages was quite long enough. All in all they seemed pretty healthy. Two of the five did have quite a few dead ones but I think they made it OK. Sad thing though, I think I lost one of my queens... Since they had been together 7 days I figured that I could direct release her. She FLEW! Don't know if she made it back into the hive or not. When should I check? I have two other hives from last year that seem to be doing well. Should I just grab some of the brood and put it in it? What stage of development am I looking for? Can't look for her today. The temperatures are good but we have 30+ mph winds. Will have to wait for another day.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,761

    Default

    You can look now if you want. If your queen flies, stay put. Sometimes they come right back to where they left.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Smile Update

    I thought I'd update you on the bees. They are quite happy in their new home. I opened up the hive that the queen flew while I was hiving her (direct release) to see if she (hopefully) had flown back in. And after looking for about five minutes (in 70 degree weather but 30 mph winds!) I saw the most beautiful little eggs. Couldn't find her...but there was evidence of a good laying pattern. In just two days those little bees have drawn on three frames and have been packing the sugar syrup and pollen (my guess is willow). Sure was a site for sore eyes! I just filled up the top feeder, closed it up and thanked God that she flew back in.

    A month ago it seemed like Spring would never come. Sure is great to be with the bees again.

    Chris

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