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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default Package install success. KTBH with old comb and stores.

    I thought I would post my experience of installing a package.
    Top bar hive as per Michael Bush design. Top entrance.
    Received package - Arataki, NZ origin. Tube. 3 LBS of bees and a queen.

    Installed at dusk in about 12 degrees C.
    The bees had access to 9 bars which included 5 complete brood bars from last year with loads of stores including some pollen. 4 bars with a 1 inch foundation starter strip.

    What I did:
    1- removed 3 bars from center of the hive.
    2- Removed the queen cage and set aside.
    3- Dumped bees in the hive.
    4- Replaced all the top bars except 1.
    5- Removed cork from queen cage, while keeping finger over the hole.
    6- Released queen onto the middle full bar of comb.
    7- Replaced the last comb.
    8- Reduced top entrance to half of the hive width.
    End.

    Checked the following weekend and confirmed capped brood in the hive.
    **

    One thing to note - the bees didn't make loads of fresh comb. In fact I witnessed many bees the following 2 or three days sitting on the hive rubbing the wax off their legs. I suspect this was due to the fact that the hive already had lots of brood comb for the queen to lay eggs. So their focus seemed to change very quickly from drawing comb to foraging for pollen. (Cherry and Plum trees in full bloom)

    I suspect that if you want your package to draw loads of comb ("swarms/packages are comb building machines") just give them one or two bars of fully drawn comb. Or none at all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Package install success. KTBH with old comb and stores.

    I have a buddy who is gonna use one of my old TBH's to start a package. 9 bars of drawn comb is good head start. they draw comb as needed. So if they don't need it right away they will just move on to the next job.

    I will be interested to see how this one does this spring (SE Wisconsin). It will be a 2# package with a Carni queen
    Technology is great.....when it works.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Package install success. KTBH with old comb and stores.

    I think it gives them a massive head start- but time will tell.
    Timing makes a big difference too - If you install your package and have lots of pollen sources available then it has got to be good.
    I don't feed pollen patties. As I believe that 100% natural pollen gives you healthier bees. Obviously this wont work for everyone, and my build up may not be as quick. But its all good.

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