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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default How long in Package?

    How long can bee stay in their shipping package? Is their anyway to extend that amount of time? (I'm just worried cus it's supposed to rain the day I get the package)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default

    They can last several days, if necessary. Keep them out of the sun and in a cool (not hot, not cold), dry place. Spray them with sugar water several times a day. If you don't have a sprayer, just 'flick' it on them with your fingers, until the screen is wet.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks Bill for the speedy response. By several days do you mean 2-3? would 4-5 be pushing it? I don't know how long they've been packaged before coming to me, is the issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Default Put them in the hive asap....

    they have had a rough journey. If it's warm enough, get someone to hold an umbrella for you or set up a tarp over the hive. Remove enough frames to set the package (entire cage) in the hive box. Install the queen between two frames per instructions and dump a cup or two of worker bees on her. Close the hive and leave the remaining bees to exit via the transport-cage-top. Feed them 1:1 sugar syrup. Kick-back and have a hot-totty. In a few days, when the sun is shining, remove the empty cage and make sure they released and accepted the queen. You might have some burr comb to clean up.
    Triangle Bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anny View Post
    Thanks Bill for the speedy response. By several days do you mean 2-3? would 4-5 be pushing it? I don't know how long they've been packaged before coming to me, is the issue.
    If you do a search on this forum, you will find that some folk have kept them for up to a week. But, that is certainly not optimal for them or for you. I would seriously consider DBL's recommendation. As long as it is not pouring rain, you can just dump them in. Some folk on the forum have posted that they even prefer to install packages, when it is raining, because it results in fewer bees flying about all disoriented - they tend to go into the hive and stay in.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    639

    Default

    Just wait for a break in the rain or use the umbrella method! I just installed 5 packages in rainy conditions here in Oregon and while it wasn't ideal, the bees made it into their new homes just fine. I figure they are happier in a hive than trapped in a package.

    Cheers,
    Matt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Default

    Every moment they are kept in their shipping package is a moment they could be using to settle into their new home -- this lost time is not easy to get back. There is no brood in the package, all the bees are continuing to age, as they age it becomes harder for them to build comb and raise brood, and they are dying (their population is dropping). They need to build comb and raise their replacements as soon as possible, each lost moment means that it will take even longer for them to grow into a strong colony.

    Here in Tucson, Arizona, rain is rare. Hiving packages in Tucson is seldom affected by rain. But, I used to live in Oak Harbor, Washington. In Washington if I waited for a break in the rain before I hived a package, I might have to wait six months or more.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-04-2009 at 05:46 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
    Posts
    369

    Default

    Don't put them into a hive without opening the shipping cage, they will over heat and die. Trust me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Rain

    Excellent conditions for installing. Like Joseph said, lost time can't be regained. Put them in asap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Default

    They seem to do well when installed in rain or cold. They stay in the hive and settle in well.

    As far as how long you can keep them, if they are fed, not too hot or cold, in a dark quiet place, you can keep them in the package for a week or more.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default

    Yes you can keep them for a week or more but that colony will really dwindle before it starts growing if ever. Keeping them in the cage is not at all good.

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