Re: When starting packages, is it ok to start them in deeps or should it be in nucs?
Many package sellers also provide instructions on how to install packages. Regarding the queen, some folks say leave the cork in the candy end for a few days before removing it, to keep her confined longer. Others say remove the cork from the CANDY end because she's already been confined with them in the package, and the bees will have released her in a few days. Personally I remove the cork from the candy end when putting the queen cage in the hive.
After you dump the bees in, gently replace any frames that you have removed. If you must, gently smoke the bees to drive them off the tops of the frames so you can place your inner and outer covers on the hive. DO NOT leave any extra empty space, as that is where the bees will start drawing comb, instead of on your nice foundation. Do not ask me how I know...
Oh, and feed. They will build up faster and stronger if you feed them continuously until all ten deep frames are drawn out. Then I usually put on the second deep super, and keep feeding as long as they'll take it, or until almost all those frames are drawn out. Some beekeepers say that's foolish, and develops "dependent" bees, but my experience has been it helps the colony build up faster. You MIGHT get a surplus later in the season, but don't count on it. You want them really strong for next winter. Remember, it will be at least 20 days before you really start getting new bees, and the package bees are dying off.
Oh, and you're in Alabama - so you MUST install small hive beetle traps of some sort. Otherwise you will lose the colony to the beetles. Here in SE Missouri I use a minimum of two between-the-frame traps (Beetlejails, I think), per colony.
Last edited by StevenG; 03-13-2013 at 12:22 PM.
Reason: additional information
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