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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    3,947

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    I would like to emphasize you will have some drifting except if you get them done fast late in the day. Be prepared to move hives around equalizing field forces untill you get them evened out over the next few days or trips out. I used to do all packages in one yard and only move the hives out to outyards after they were equalized and the queens were well extablished and laying.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,173

    Big Grin Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    We shake in 800 packages because 600+ miles from bee yard to bee yard. Can't afford :
    Ron, I don't have bone to pick in this thread, but 600 miles to get rid of 800 packages.

    Me thinks I would search for closer yards.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,691

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    We direct release if the bees have been in the package at least 3 days. Shake 'em all out right then(Sorry Kieth, we do something much worse also, you don't want to know). Pick up the empty packages and cans right away. We have even been known to check on them in 5-7 days and start clipping queens. Never had a problem with drifting or queen acceptance. Been doing it "wrong" for a long time.

    Crazy Roland

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,363

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    We used to do 1,000+ yearly "back in the day". If the temps were warm we gave the bees a light spray of sugar water and then plugged the queen cage entrance with a small bit of granulated honey to keep her from running out and potentially flying and wedged the cage between two frames. When temps were cooler we just dumped the bees on the bottom board gently placed the frames in and then layed the opened queen cage between two of the frames. Yeah it could be a pain getting them back out later but it seemed to be the most reliable way of safely releasing her into the cluster. The biggest threat was always drifting when the weather was warm. Cool temps almost always guaranteed success. Queen losses were rare. If I were only doing a few I would definitely install them at night if the forecast was warm.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    ...Allen Dick has talked about dunking the package in water, then shaking the whole ball of bees. I've never done this, so I don't know what it actually looks like.

    deknow

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Jefferson County, WA, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    What distance between hives is sufficient to minimize drifting? Are we talking 3 ft or 20?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    terrabella ca, usa
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    this is perfect i love all the imput / monrovi has a good question what about distance do they need to be separated or can they go on they're pallet locations ?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    ...Allen Dick has talked about dunking the package in water, then shaking the whole ball of bees. I've never done this, so I don't know what it actually looks like.
    Yes that's a good point. My own experience is not so much with installing packages as making them up and selling them. However when we did install package bees, we laid the package on it's side and watered them with a watering can. Each package was then given a shake to ensure all bees were wet before dumping them out. Extreme? well maybe, but I've done them dry and drifting is far worse.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,173

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    WOW, dunking the package in water......

    I am going to get some popcorn now.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,551

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    I'd never heard of dunking the package in water until reading it here at Beesource, and yeah, I thought it was kind of extreme, too. We have found giving them a good spray with thin sugar syrup prevents them flying when you install them. It certainly puts them in a better mood than a sudden swim. There might still be some drifting when they do first fly, but dumping them in water won't prevent that.
    We weren't palletized when we were installing packages, they were either in outyards or a larger holding yard, normally about 2' apart. I'm sure this accounts for some drifting, which we would equalize as needed. Easier than moving every box. I don't see any reason pallets couldn't be used, just keep them from flying as much as possible on installation and realize there might be some evening out to do. Installing them at night might work too, but personally, hate working bees at night.
    Sheri

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Quote Originally Posted by monrovi View Post
    Are we talking 3 ft or 20?
    We're on pallets, but......20' is better then 3. Most of ours will be 8 − 10 feet min.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NAVAJO, ARIZONA USA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    I did 100 last year. My cages did not have candy so they were direct released. I would pop the cork and put thumb over the hole then place cage down in frames. I did have some flyer's before I learned to put my thumb over. I tried leaving a few cages in the hive and letting the bees crawl out. Might work for 1 or 2 in the backyard but was a pain to go back through and shake all the bees out that did not leave and some hives started building comb. My dad has a saying the lazy man has the most work. Don't leave the boxes in. It sure felt like I just had to do it all twice.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    863

    Big Grin Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Ron, I don't have bone to pick in this thread, but 600 miles to get rid of 800 packages.

    Me thinks I would search for closer yards.
    Keith No Bones here!

    Just don't want to put all my eggs in one basket.

    600 miles to shake isn't as bad as the 850 miles to pick them up and getting them back to shop. Just hopeing for colder weather to haul them next week.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    I sure hope that 600 mile drive isnt 1 way. I guess you like to have your eggs spread out really nice like.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    863

    Cool Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    The 850 miles is one way 1700 mile round trip to pick up and return to shop. The 600 mile is about 6-8 trips back and forth to bee yards to shop. Only take in 4 counties, an about 50 farms.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    863

    Thumbs Up Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Doesn't Ron Householder install a HUGE amount of packages each year in his operation? Ron do you have any advice here?
    Sorry missed this post before posting my first posting. Really MB and Sheri did a go job, but I don't direct release my queen. I just poke a hole in the candy and slide the cage under frames on the bottom board. Then shake bees in and replace the 4 frames back in the hive. Takes about 2-3 min. per hives, and if its warm out have someone spraying the bees with syrup. Syrup always keeps them at home.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,691

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    We run with 4-5 feet between pairs of hives. Yes, a little syrup to moisten the wings seems to make ALL parties happier.

    Crazy Roland

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    I would also put a heavy emphasis on hiving them later in the evening. I know its hard to get alot done as the day is ending but I will hive 100 or so late after supper with not trouble. Just get everything set up before hand so all you have to do is shake bees. Helps to have someone closing up after you, and if you have help you will get more done for sure. Its nice when you can hive them on a cool day if it works out because you can hive all day!

    You will have drifting regardless, just try to minimize it. Bad drifting will cause you alot of equalizing work,

    I dont direct release, but I probably could. Ill let the queen sit in the cage till the next day when the bees are sitting on the comb around her calmed a bit. I figure alot of money is being dumped out into the boxes and whats one day longer in the cage. Also, that release round takes seconds per hive.

    As for the dunking in water. Its probably done to stop drifting so he could hive bees during the better part of the day. It would slow them down for sure but I would hate doing it myself. Like I said there is alot of money sitting in the truck, why soak them and increase your death losses?

    I have filled frames full of syrup for package bees to feed on, and found that is the worst thing a guy can do. My thinking is to provide them with food but all it does is soak the bees it they cant clean up the edges rightaway and cause higher losses of sticky wet bees. Give them feed in a feeder close by and have them sit on a bit of honey. Thats the best way of doing it.

    Here is the place I get my packages from. Different packageing then what your likely use to but all the same process. I think there is a vid some where within the pages...

    www.bartelhoneyfarms.ca
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    Hi Ian I checked your site & saw a video of you taking honey off, your escape board was interesting but I couldn't see it properly, any chance of a pic? It's probably a little off topic here you may need to start a new thread.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: ccommercial way for installing packages

    sure, ill start one in the equipment section
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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