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  1. #21

    Default Re: g) How do you install a package?

    I put my 2 in as follows...

    1. pull queen cage and place candy side up between 2 frames

    2. mist bees with water, remove syrup can, and shake bees in

    3. close the hive

    4. place shipping cage on ground in front of hive

    5. walk away

    I was nervous I reckon when I did it so I forgot to remove any of the frames like suggested here and in the books I've read. It took about as long to wait for them to go down into the frames as I guess it would for you to carefully put those removed frames back in. If I ever buy packages again I'll probably do it the same way.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Oswego, NY
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: g) How do you install a package?

    Go with a nuc...better chance for sucession and you'll bee much happier.

  3. #23

    Default Re: g) How do you install a package?

    I have a video on my web page showing a beginner how to install a package.
    www.DixieBeeSupply.com/utube
    Don

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: g) How do you install a package?

    This is what I did to install packages in a top-bar hive (hTBH):

    Since I picked up the package at a local store, I first thumped the package to the ground to "drop" the bees so that I could see that the queen cage was there and that the queen was moving around in it. (No sense driving home with one that isn't.)


    1. Upon getting the packages home, I set 'em down on towel and newspaper, out of the sun. I mixed an approximate solution of sugar and plain water, well stirred, and with a food paintbrush (bought at a grocery store) painted that solution onto the screens and repeated this until the bees didn't seem so interested in taking more. (A hungry bee is an angry bee.) I didn't spray them; I don't want to coat 'em with sugar.
    2. I put on a veil, lightweight disposable rubber gloves (to keep human scents and oils off), shorts and a T-shirt. I took the packages to the hives, prepared the area, went over what I was going to do in my mind. I had: a prying tool, needle-nose pliers (didn't need), a flat-blade screwdriver. And perhaps most importantly (I think): a bee-brush. It's a soft long-bristled brush that can gently move a bee out of the way without harming or provoking her. I didn't have but would need: a jackknife blade or a box of push-pins with which to withdraw the cork.
    3. I did direct-feeding of confectioner's sugar, poured on a piece of newspaper in the bottom of the hive, slightly dampened. (Note: don't use sugar with cornstarch. Don't use "brown" sugar. White sugar, perhaps whipped in a coffee-grinder, works fine.) Dampening lets them realize it's food not trash. I did this ahead of time.
    4. Remove enough bars to accommodate the opening in a package and your arm; four or five. Set them aside on the other bars.
    5. (Ready? Okay... lets's go.)
    6. Strike the container against the ground. The bees fall to the bottom with a thump. (Believe it or not, this does not piss them off.)
    7. Remove the wooden panel. Pry the metal can out ... can be very difficult to do(!) ... if there's a trick to this then someone please tell me ... some bees start coming out, let them come. Ignore them; they'll probably ignore you. Set the can aside face-up, watching always to be sure that bees are not underneath. (As needed, set the wooden panel back in place, sliding it to avoid squishing bees.)
    8. Remove the queen cage. Unroll the strap if any that held it. Shake the bees off of it into the hive with a snapping motion. (Thump.) Check the queen. (Hi, mom...) Set the cage into the hive temporarily, leaning against the side.
    9. Pick up the box again, with the wooden panel slid in place, strike it (corner-wise now, watch for bees) onto the ground. Thump! The bees fall to the bottom again.
    10. Now, pour. It's like trying to get the pick out of a guitar. Hold at various angles; shake vigorously. Strike a corner on the ground again. (Thump, they fall to that corner.) Repeat. Take your time. (Yup, they're buzzin' around everywhere now...) Dump 'em right on top of that cage.
    11. Do this two or three times. When you've got as many of 'em out as you reasonably can, set the cage down (look! brush!) in front of the hive. The rest will eventually find their way in.
    12. Now for the queen. Reach in and remove it by the strap. Shake 'em off into the hive with a snap of your wrist. (Thump.) Gently brush the remainder off into the hive with the brush. Use a lazy sweeping motion of your hand, always. The idea is to get them to "move, please m'lady" (and to give them no choice).
    13. I did a direct release. Use the push-pin to remove the non-candy cork, then promptly put your finger over the hole. Variations include: smearing a bit of your own marshmallow into the opening; lightly dampening her wings with plain water if you're really worried she'll fly. I did none of these things.
    14. Reach right in there and set the cage down among the bees; on top of them if necessary. Cage side up, opening unobstructed. Don't drop it. Remove your hand. (If I had a Lang, I guess I'd set it wherever the bees wound up.)
    15. Now, methodically close up (take your time), observing as you do so that she's surrounded by bees and clearly on her way out. Use the bee brush to gently sweep bees out of the way as you replace bars by first sweeping everywhere you're about to put anything especially your fingers, setting the bar down on one end, and lowering the other, jiggling it up and down to persuade 'em. Give bees time to move out of the way. The bristles of the brush can be used to gently push them down. A light mist of peppermint-oil water (see below) also prompts them to "get out of the rain."
    16. Remove one entrance cork.
    17. I set the feeder-can upside down on a board that the hive sits on, on a couple of thin slats to create a space that bees could get to, and left it there for several more days as a further source of food.
    18. You're done. Step back and look over the situation: the cage is where you want it; the cork is removed; all the top-bars are all the way down; you didn't leave any tools or push-pins or what have you in the hive or lying about. Yes, yes, all is in order: life is good. Replace the cover carefully (sweep, sweep). Having a written check-list is a good thing to do.


    Actual time? Less than 5 minutes. No stings. (YMMV.)

    I use peppermint essential oil in a mist spray of water as my only distractor. (It also kills stings and masks the alarm scent.)

    I went back into the hive three days later to remove the queen cages. I didn't need to do that, and i actually dislodged a small piece of comb because for some reason I didn't expect the bees to start building at one end. The cages were sitting there, abandoned and ignored. I already knew the queen "could get out" because I watched her start to do so. What I really needed to do at that point IMHO was just to observe. (When you do retrieve it ... just reach right in there with your (gloved) hand, and gently take it.)

    The thing to realize is that you're going to be surrounded by bees and they might land on you (one got into my veil .. oops, step back and let her out), but as necessary just use the brush to sweep them off. (Or don't: "may I help you?") Anything you'd do with your hands or by blowing on 'em ... use the brush instead. (Those approaches don't work; the brush does.) Do the work with "focused concentration," and you'll be done in a trice.

    If you do get stung: finish your current move, take the mister bottle and spray the area at once. (The peppermint confounds the alarm scent.) Remove the stinger; a not-sharp knife blade is useful. Adjust your equipment. Focus... Proceed.

    It is a good precaution to have an otherwise-uninvolved observer at a distance. Someone who could help or call 9-1-1. God forbid anaphylaxis ...
    Last edited by mrobinson; 05-03-2012 at 11:40 AM.

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