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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    5

    Default Horrible Install today

    Hey everyone,

    Today was my first time installing bees, and I feel like I made a lot of mistakes. I was hoping someone could just level with me about what to expect because of some of the errors I made.

    1. When I was trying to pull the cork out of the queen cage, I actually ended up pushing it inside the cage with the queen. I saw a couple bees walk over the cork, so it looks like they had a little room to get by, but I'm not entirely sure. I ended up putting a marshmallow where the cork used to be, but I wonder if I should go back in 2 days to let the queen out myself.

    2. My initial plan was to open the box that the bees came in and place it in the hive itself, allowing the bees to fly out whenever they wanted to. Well, I was installing in medium hive bodies, and after dumping the first few hundred bees onto the floor of the hive, I put the box in over them expecting it to catch on the side and not go all the way to the bottom. Well, the box was probably made to fit into a deep, so I actually squished a few hundred bees when setting the box down. God I suck.

    3. I installed at 10am in the morning. I should waited until the afternoon.

    4. I spilled a small amount of sugar syrup on the inner cover.

    Wow, I just feel like I screwed up so badly. Could someone please give me their opinion on how screwed I actually am? Also, should I go check on the bees in 2 days, or wait an entire week? I feel like I should go in 2 days but I don't want to disturb them any further. Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    I think we all feel that way sometimes. Don't lose sleep over it.

    #1 It will probably be fine, but you can certainly check to see if she has been released in a few days.

    #2 You'll be amazed at how durable bees really are. You probably killed a few, but that will happen during hive inspections too.

    #3 Installing them later in the day will make them less likely to abscond, so if they are still there now, you are probably just fine.

    #4 It happens... I dumped a gallon right down the middle of the hive last summer. I was convinced that I'd killed my best hive, but they seemed just fine the next time I inspected.

    So, by my reckoning that is three minor mistakes. You'll probably make a lot of worse ones, so don't sweat it and enjoy your bees!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    Quote Originally Posted by fromabove View Post
    1. When I was trying to pull the cork out of the queen cage, I actually ended up pushing it inside the cage with the queen. I saw a couple bees walk over the cork, so it looks like they had a little room to get by, but I'm not entirely sure. I ended up putting a marshmallow where the cork used to be, but I wonder if I should go back in 2 days to let the queen out myself.
    This probably wasn't a great thing to do. You could probably have direct released the queen with no problem. If other bees can get to the queen to care for her, it shouldn't be a big issue. If she is not out when you go back in, just peel back the screen and let her go. Be sure to do that inside the hive so she doesn't fall outside the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by fromabove View Post
    2. I was installing in medium hive bodies, and after dumping the first few hundred bees onto the floor of the hive, I put the box in over them expecting it to catch on the side and not go all the way to the bottom. Well, the box was probably made to fit into a deep, so I actually squished a few hundred bees when setting the box down.
    I think it is best to shake the bees out. Otherwise they will build comb inside the box and you have another mess on your hands. Hopefully a majority of your bees survived this and you should be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by fromabove View Post
    3. I installed at 10am in the morning. I should waited until the afternoon.
    I don't think this is a big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by fromabove View Post
    4. I spilled a small amount of sugar syrup on the inner cover.
    I don't think this is a big deal either. You should probably wipe it off if the bees don't clean it up.

    I doubt if any of us have had a mistake free association with bees. I bet yours will be fine. I learn a lot from my mistakes. Take a deep calming breath, then grab a chair and go watch your bees bringing in pollen. It's very relaxing.

    Ted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    All I can tell you is experience from my own similar mistakes.
    The bees as a whole are really resilient and it is not unusual to have some casualties. That being said the Queen, of course is the most important component not to lose. As long as the cage is positioned so the bees can care for the Queen through the screen. It sound like you will do fine You can check in three days If the Queen is not released you can tear the screen off to release her. Then leave them for 5-7 days.

    I have typically installed packages during the day. I just feel that they would like to get out of that cage and into their hive as soon as possible. Most recommend to do it in the evening. the sugar syrup is not a problem either they'll clean it right up

    Now you need to feed, feed, and feed! They will need the syrup to build their comb from so your Queen can start laying eggs. Good luck, relax and have fun with your bees!
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    wow fromabove now you make me nervous. I get my 2 packages this week. I was planning on video taping it but now I am not sure I want it caught on tape.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    Our local club has adopted a method that I saw here on BeeSource a couple of years ago.

    Place any empty brood box (deep or medium) between your bottom board and the brood box with frames. Remove queen cage from package and place between two middle frames in upper body. Remove syrup can and place package in emtpy brood box ( vertical if deep or on its side if medium). The bees will leave the package and cluster arounf the queen cage - just like a swarm. The next day you can remove the empty package cage and the empty brood box. Release the queen on your planned schedule- direct release or by letting them eat throught the candy.

    This method has very few flying bees and is less of a problem with newbees.,
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,188

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    the cork you removed should have been on the candy end. this lets the bees get used to the queen as it takes a couple of days for the bees to eat in. you probably will be ok. good luck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    I believe you'll be fine also as long as the queen is okay. I would wait three days and then release her if she isn't already released. The other mistakes are easy to recover from. Contact the place where the package came from and see if they have a shipment of replacement queens coming in just in case this one doesn't make it. Many of them do this just to replace queens that don't make it for one reason or the other.

    I like to use a screw to pull the cork out. That way if you accidentally remove the wrong side (which I've done) you can just push it back in.

    Best of luck to you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alameda, CA, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    You make me feel better, I had a bad first install last week. My Queen cage had only one hole and no candy, and I didn't have a marshmellow. In the scramble to get a marshmellow from a friend next door I forgot to put the hood back on (stung once in the next and once under the eye). So I ended up with a direct release of the queen. If things work out you bees will replace all the dead ones in a few weeks anyway. All us rookies will be OK, puffy eyes and all. Have a good spring.


    Baldursson: Video it, even if it goes bad you can look back and laugh later when your a old hand.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    I made a little tool out of a paper clip to hook the cork out. I don't use the marshmallow technique but release the queen manually after 5-7 days.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Danbury, CT USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Horrible Install today

    Did my first two hive package installs today - I think it went fairly well with the exception of making sure the queen was ok. I was so fixated on how the queen box was going to hang from the frame I "forgot" to make sure the queen was alive. I looked at the queen box, took out the cork, made a small hole in the candy plug then hung it. I didn't realize until after the second top was on and secured that I realized what I did.

    Oh well, I guess I will know in a few weeks my install fate.......

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