Final Update: Package installation results
May 3rd, 2008:
Below this note is a copy of my previous post of the conditions that were used. This is an update from observations 4 weeks after installation:
Hive 2 & 3 have drawn out virtually the entire box now and are ready for the 2nd deep. The hives are still full of bees working hard.
Hive 1, on the other hand is down to 3 frames of bees, brood hatching though and has only drawn out a couple of frames. I'm sure they will survive but will not amount to much this year.
This will likely be the final post on this as I have become allergic and must stay out of the way of the bees.
Regards -- Fuzzy
A few weeks ago I posted a question on hiving packages by placing the entire package inside the hive body. Thanks for all of the replies. After due consideration I decided to try both methods. Below are the results as observed.
There were 3 packages of 4lbs. They were hived aprox 24hrs after the bees were put into the packages. (They package while you wait). I elected to use an empty frame containing a waxed starter strip to hold the queen cage in each hive.
Each hive was made up the same. 1 frame of honey, 2 frames of drawn comb, queen frame, 1 frame of drawn comb, 5 frames of undrawn plasticell (waxed). Each of the hives is in full sun, but the two with the alternate method were located about 100 feet away. It should be noted that this was done around noon time and our temps here have been 60-70F until just before sunset.
The first package was sprayed with 1:1 syrup, opened, queen mounted on frame and placed in hive, and the bees were dumped by shaking vigorously. No significant orientation flights for the first 24hrs.
With hives 2 & 3, the 5 undrawn frames were removed. The package container was placed into the hive body. The queen was removed and mounted on the empty frame. The hive was covered. Also the entrance reducer was placed such that the opening was on the opposite side from the package, forcing the bees to traverse the hive to exit. Within one hour there was a huge cloud of bees orienting in front of each of these two hives.
After 24hrs, the package container was removed from hive 2&3 with less than 50 dead bees in the bottom and the remaining frames were installed. Hive 1 had a few hundred dead bees on the hive bottom that I manually removed with a stick.
On day 4, each hive was opened, and the queen were manually released and the queen cages released.
In hive 1, the bees had built approximately 2sq inches of comb on the empty frame adjacent to the queen.
In both hive 2 & 3, the bees had filled 90+% of the empty frame with new comb and were about to attach the queen cage completely.
So, which way is better. Not for me to say, I am not a trained expert, but I am a trained observer…..
Regards -- Fuzzy