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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Cold Weather package install; any tips

    Weather in my area is expected to be in the fifties with lows in the low twenties on the day I am due to pick up four #3 packages.

    Anything different I should do? Should I feed with dry sugar until it warms up or make some spacers and use baggies ontop of the frames?

    Should I cover the hives? Where they are it would be pretty easy to staple some plastic around them to make a mini green house until it gets warmer.

    The last time I installed it was in the forties but it didn't get colder than that at night.

    Should I keep them in the packages?

    Should I just not worry?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 05-03-2012 at 04:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Cold weather package install: any tips?

    Do you have any comb with honey you can give them? It was pretty cold when I installed (not 20's but I seem to recall 30's for about that week). I made sure to give each a few frames of syrup/honey from existing hives in addition to some syrup in the top feeder. They seemed to grab the syrup pretty quick (they went through a gallon in no time). The top feeder never got too cold and I figured it would help them retain a bit of warmth during the cold nights (I was prepared to add warm syrup in the mornings).

    From what I read you probably don't need to worry too much but I like to worry just in case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Cold weather package install: any tips?

    No, I don't have any comb, the bears ate it all along with my bees last year

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Maine, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Cold weather package install: any tips?

    Do you have a "frame" feeder? I installed a package once and the weather turned cold and it actually snowed that night. The weather stayed cold and snowy for a few days afterward. I had a frame feeder in there and the bees did fine. The syrup stayed warm enough because it was right in there with them.
    If you use an open top frame feeder (mine was from Mann Lake), be sure to cut some pieces of 3/8" thick sticks almost as wide as the feeder so the bees can use them as floats and they won't drown. Don't leave more than 1/4" between the floats and the sides of the feeder, or each other.
    I expect your bees to be all right. Don't worry, be happy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: Cold weather package install: any tips?

    I'd just hive them. A frame feeder isn't a bad idea at all but even without it you should be fine.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Cold weather package install: any tips?

    Well, I don't have a frame feeder and no time to get one. I made up some 2" spacer boxes so I can use baggies if I need to. Do you have to do anything to keep the bees from trying to build comb in the extra space or do they know better?

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