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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    terrabella ca, usa
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    24

    Smile ccommercial way for installing packages

    ok guys i was wondering is there any sug
    gestions on installing packages on drawn comb / were installing over 100 packages in a couple weeks and was wondering if you had any suggestion or cautions thanks
    bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    take 100 empty deep shells with ya.pull feeder can install queen in box with combs.turn package over and just let the bees crawl out onto combs.leave the empty shell on until you turn the queens loose.good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    I direct release. I collect the queen cages as I go as they get confused by them. I worry about picking up all the packages later. I just work my way down the line. Pull the can, pull the queen, shake them in, release the queen, put the frames in, put the lid on and start on the next.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    941

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I direct release. I collect the queen cages as I go as they get confused by them. I worry about picking up all the packages later. I just work my way down the line. Pull the can, pull the queen, shake them in, release the queen, put the frames in, put the lid on and start on the next.
    This is the worst advice that I have read in my 22 years of beekeeping.
    PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVISE!!

    If you want as close to 100% queen acceptance as possible, do the following.
    Install the package around the queen cage provided.
    Do not poke a hole in the candy plug.
    Fill the feeder with syrup.
    DO NOT return to the hive other that to quietly fill feeders for AT LEAST 10 days.
    AFTER ten days, queen check and remove the queen cage.
    Who to believe? Read the Hive And HoneyBee.
    Do they suggest that you just "dump in the queen"?
    Of course they don't!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Here are a few threads on the subject. Apparently I'm not the only proponent of direct release...

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-188182.html

    Butterchurn
    03-09-2005, 07:32 AM
    The University of Minnesota has been preaching the quick direct release for packages as long as I can remember. I've always taken their advice and I've never lost a queen this way.

    Your situation may be different, so check how the bees are treating the queen. As I said, it has never failed to work for me. Like Michael, there have been a couple of times when the queen didn't want to go where I wanted her and I got a bit anxious, but its worked so far.

    You probably wont have any problems.

    Ron


    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-186630.html

    Jim Fischer
    02-23-2006, 11:25 AM
    I disagree with all the "special" suggestions here.
    Just put the queen in (direct release), dump
    the bees in the box, and let 'em do their thing.

    By the time packages are delivered to any but
    the largest beekeepers placing the largest
    "early" orders, the temps are fine to be
    tossing the bees straight into a full medium
    or two.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-187787.html

    Jim Fischer
    03-08-2006, 09:25 PM
    There is NO REASON to leave the queen in the
    cage when she has spent several days in a
    package. Just release her directly into the
    hive after shaking some or all of the package
    into the hive.

    Sure, you need to remove attendants and insert
    the queen in the cage to give the colony time
    to get used to the queen and "release" her when
    requeening, but when the queen comes with
    a package, there is no need for such
    nonsense.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-188182.html

    Jim Fischer
    03-08-2005, 02:27 PM
    > If the bees are sent with a queen... why would
    > they reject and kill her especially since she
    > was within the package for many days??

    A very astute observation!

    What the book related was yet another bit of
    beekeeping mythology that "everyone" persists
    in repeating, to the detriment of better
    understanding of bee behavior.

    The process of "installing a package" is a bit
    chaotic for the bees, so there may be some minor
    advantage to keeping the queen "protected" when
    the bees are "very confused", but I don't know of
    any reason why one could not release the queen
    directly into the colony after a short period
    of observation of the queen in the cage on the
    top bars (a few minutes at most) to verify that
    the bees are fanning her scent, and not biting at
    the screen of the cage.

    Bees around a queen should be "peaceful looking".
    It is easy to see "aggressive behavior" after one
    has paid attention to what a normal situation
    looks like. The whole stance of the bee is
    different.

    Don't listen to books or people who repeat
    old wive's tales. You are correct. If you
    asked them this exact question, they would
    for forced to admit that they had no valid
    reason to make you go back a second time
    to remove that queen cage.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Doesn't Ron Householder install a HUGE amount of packages each year in his operation? Ron do you have any advice here?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    do not install in the day unless cool and cloudy. Install later in the evening where the bees will fly less, drifting less.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    I recommend wearing good protective gear. We have come across some hot packages this year. My friend got thirty stings and that many more in his jacket collar. The bees are great though.
    BB's Honey
    www.bbshoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,552

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    For years we installed between 500-700 packages every spring in a manner similar to what Michael Bush describes. We direct released the queen with close to 100% success. No going back to collect queen or package cages. These queens had been with the packages for a minimum of three days prior to our getting them up here to Wisconsin. That time of safe introduction of the queen is critical.
    If we produce packages here for customers we either hold them in a dark room for 3 days before releasing them to the customer so there is good queen acceptance or we make sure the customer understands the queen must not be released to the general population until that much time had passed. Most failure of queen introductions are from too early release.

    When starting out new keepers we recommend hanging the queen in her cage between the frames in the middle of the cluster, with the candy either replaced with a marshmallow or a hole drilled in the candy (assuming the queen has been with the caged bees for 3 days). We just want to retain that queen in the cage until the cover is back on. There is no danger she won't be accepted; it is just too easy for a newbee to let her fly away when trying to direct release. And yes, stay out of that hive except to check to see that she is out of the cage and/or fill the feeder, for a week. Within a couple days carefully check the cage, without pulling frames. If she is still in the cage, direct release her by holding the open cage down between the frames and letting her walk out.
    Sheri
    PS if the day is warm we sprayed sugar water on the cage prior to shaking them out. And yes, Keith, we know you hate to see bees "shook", lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    The best reason for a new beekeeper _not_ to direct release the queen is that the supplier will probably not be overly willing to replace a queen if she fails after direct release. Two years ago we got a few extra queens with our packages, one of them had no wings at all (how did she mate? did she mate?).

    When we have done direct release with package queens we have had near 100% success.

    As far as installing packages, we tried last year removing half the frames, put the queen cage between a couple of frames, shake a few bees on her, then place the package (with the top open) in the box (where the frames have been removed). A couple of hours later, the bees are clustered on the combs, the package is empty, and can be removed....many many less bees in the air, less drifting.

    deknow

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    We set everything up the day before. Feeders 3/4 full, box full of frames (mostly drawn) and empty shallow on top. We install 1000 each morning for a couple of mornings.....takes about 4 hours. Each man has a 'Maxant' tool.....goes like this. Smack the can with 'hook' end of tool....lift can out with hook end of tool piercing the can, set pierced end of can on feeder, flip hive tool and smack other end of can to allow syrup to drain into feeder......remove queen, place between frames with adhering bees close to feeder, lay package on top with opening towards queen, toss empty can, replace lid.......voila'.....about 45 seconds per package. We clean up trash that day and remove cage and empty a couple of days later when we release queens.

    Cut down on drift with smaller groups, in brush.

    We never direct release......never know how long that queen has been with the package.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    terrabella ca, usa
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    these are the suggestions i was looking for thank you guys so much bill

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    If you really think about it doesn't it make sense to just direct release the queen provided they have been with the package for at least 3 days? Its their queen after all. We run our queens in every time and I don't ever recall having a problem. Whatever works for you is your best method.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Jefferson County, WA, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Is it still ok to direct release if there is no draw comb?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    In my opinion yes. Make her feel right at home asap.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,725

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    If you are new to installing packages, the primary thing that can cost you a few failures is drifting. The bees get dumped out of the package, and have no idea where they are supposed to go. One of the hives get sorted and start fanning out scent pheremone, and nearby bees all drift to that hive.

    So first time around, you probably won't handle the bees perfectly, so do it as late in the day as possible. A bit of experience, and you'll learn how to do it in a way that minimises drifting.

    To direct release? There is no one answer. If the cage has been in the package for 3 days, an experienced beek can direct release and get good results. For someone starting out, a possible problem is that many of these queens will have lost weight while caged and can fly, there is a potential for things to go wrong. If you are confident you can get the queen where you want it without giving it opportunity to fly, and it's been with the bees three days, then direct release.
    If the caged queen has not been with the bees very long I would not direct release, so it depends on how you got your packages.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,161

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK and Sheri View Post
    PS if the day is warm we sprayed sugar water on the cage prior to shaking them out. And yes, Keith, we know you hate to see bees "shook", lol
    And here I was just going to stay out of this dog fight.... seems like Harry has it well under control.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Last summer in one yard we had an almost empty nuc with a queen, but no appreciable brood (not enough bees), and a queenless colony with a reasonable population. Chris Baldwin was with us, and demonstrated opening up some honey (like a little pool), and covering the queen with the honey. They apparantly accepted the queen and the colony overwintered. ....heard of the same thing with vanilla....and even had a vet tell us she got her dogs to accept a kitten by covering it with "I can't believe it's not butter".

    deknow

  19. #19

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    when I ever did those suicide combines I would syrup the (expletive) out of them with syrup and flavor of choice or HBH. Just used a clean (read new) 1 gallon sprayer. I like to use the same sprayer for swarms, so it gets more use that way.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    858

    Cool Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    We shake in 800 packages in in two days. Most of my packages are only in the cages for a day or so, so I don't direct release the queens. Sorry Keith we do shake, because 600+ miles in two day driving from bee yard to bee yard. Can't afford to drive back around to pick cages up. I move bees not hives.

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