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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Default mistakes made during install

    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
    Greenbrae, CA, USA

    Default Re: mistakes made during install

    Don't worry, none of what you did is a big deal. Bees are pretty resilient and awfully tough little buggers. Learn to worry less about them and you'll be a better keeper.

    I'd just wait a couple of days and then check to make sure the queen is indeed out. If not, just get the cork out with some needle nose pliers or whatever and release her directly into the hive. By that time they'll certainly be used to her.

    If indeed she is out, make sure all the frames are nice and tight together (with the extra room on the sides), then close the hive up and don't bother them for a week. Feed them sugar water in the mean time so they can build comb. In a week you'll probably see a lot of comb built, but don't be surprised if you don't see eggs, larvae, or the queen. A week after that you should see plenty of capped larvae.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand

    Default Re: mistakes made during install

    Sounds to me like what you did was fairly reasonable for your first attempt, and pretty sure this will all end well.

    I would recommend checking, as you said, that the queen has been released OK, only because from what you say I'm not sure where the cork ended up relative to the exit hole & if she can get out. If the queen is still in the cage when you check, just release her and shut the hive again, don't do anything else. Unless the package is still in there, remove that. Remove the package first, then release the queen and shut the hive.

    EDIT - me and Bison kinda posted at the same time so I've repeated a bit what he said as I didn't see his post till after I posted. Agree totally with Bison, good advise.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

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