So I got my first two packages today and installed them in the late morning. Packages were (3) lbs each. That's a lot of bees.
Generally it went well - sort of. Didn't even get stung!
First of all, these are 4 foot long tbh's. Each has (3) 3/4" holes at one end as entrance/exit. No followers - I figure if Mr Bush can't be bothered neither should I.
I installed the packages at the back end of the hive. On the first I may have made a big mistake in how I direct released the queen. I tried to put her in the hive before the rest of the bees were shaken in. I think she might have flown off when I popped the screen open - I'm not sure, it happened kind of fast... I then dumped in the rest of the bees, closed up the bars and moved on to the second hive. On the second hive I decided to hold the queen cage to the side, dumped in the bees at the back of the hive and then direct released the queen to the front of the hive. Buttoned everything up and then just watched.
I got to see a worker doing a dance on the front of the hive (the one where I was afraid the queen took off). I don't know if there's an understanding of what the different dances are, but this was pretty cool to watch. She would circle around then stop and shake her rear end while a bunch of others would arrange themselves around her. They did this over and over. Pretty neat to see.
Well, as luck would have it the bee supply place I got my bees from didn't have an y feeders so I had to improvise. I took some tupperware containers and used screen (from the bee cages) stapled to some pieces of wood to make a floating screen for the bees to land on. I filled them with 2:1 sugarater.
I had to go back in after just 4 hours to put the feeders in. They weren't real happy about it, but I did get some interesting (at least to me) footage of what's happening in the hive.
Here's a link with pics of the install and the hive: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyyeJL7
So, how'd I do? Did I totally blow it with the first queen? (btw, that's the hive in the video).
Also, you can see a small piece of comb on one of the bars already - just to the side of the guide grooves. (At the front of the hives the bars have a bead of wax as a guide).
533411_394041097283847_100000338791940_1288860_768 371699_n by MCG photo, on Flickr