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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    29

    Default new package instellation questions

    Hi We are new beekeepers! yea! We just installed our package of bees into our first top bar hive on Friday. When we peek through the window all of the bees are clustered in one of the upper corners of the top bar hive. I guess I had it in my head that they would start building comb in the middle of the bar--but maybe that is incorrect. We checked them on Sat morning about 12 hours after we put them in & there were no bees on the queen cage.

    We used a marshmallow --could they have released her that quick? I am hoping that she is released and they are building comb. We were going to open it up today to remove the cage (it is on the bottom board), but it is so windy here we decided to wait for tomorrow. As they have plenty of sugar water in the feeder.

    I also wanted to ask how often is too often to peek at them through the window. Of course we want to peek all of the time, but have limited it to 1 time per day. Is that too often? I don't want to frighten them away. Thanks so much for the information it is greatly appreciated.

    ps just realized I spelled installation wrong & I can't seem to edit the title--sorry about that!
    Last edited by bcotton; 04-14-2013 at 03:28 PM. Reason: spelling error

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    fauquier, va, usa
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: new package instellation questions

    They start building comb where they happen to start...

    http://parkerfarms.blogspot.com/2013/03/awesome-sorta-timelaps-of-topbar-hive.html

    i wouldn't worry too much about peeking in through the window too often (after the first few days or so). It didn't / doesn't seem to bother my colony.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: new package instellation questions

    Thanks--great video

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Default Re: new package instellation questions

    >We used a marshmallow --could they have released her that quick?

    They can probably remove a marshmallow in an hour or so...

    >I am hoping that she is released and they are building comb.

    You should get the cage out so the comb will be on the bars instead of the cage... one bad comb leads to another...

    >We were going to open it up today to remove the cage (it is on the bottom board)

    Well, I wouldn't have put it there, the queen could easily be abandoned and die from cold and neglect in cold weather...

    > but it is so windy here we decided to wait for tomorrow. As they have plenty of sugar water in the feeder.

    If it's on the bottom board, that probably is a good plan. The queen either is out (likely considering the marshmallow) or she is already dead.

    >I also wanted to ask how often is too often to peek at them through the window.

    As often as you like.

    > Of course we want to peek all of the time, but have limited it to 1 time per day. Is that too often? I don't want to frighten them away.

    If direct sun is coming in it could be an issue, but if not, it shouldn't hurt.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: new package instellation questions

    now I am even more anxious to get in there & check that queen cage. where is the ideal place to put the queen cage? I had read that you shouldn't hang it as it might mess up how they build the comb. So does it depend on the weather as to which is best to do? I have watched the weather more since we have had these bees than in my entire life I am hoping that we can get out there this afternoon as it is supposed to be a high of 70. Thanks for all of the information. Here's hoping that she is alive and well!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: new package instellation questions

    well it is not going to make it above 50 today--it probably won't be above 50 until fri--should I wait that long to check on the queen and get that cage out of there? how long can they be without a queen.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: new package instellation questions

    I had a hive "hang around" for well over a month queenless, so don't worry too much just yet

    As far as when to "get in there and check on her," IMHO, it's totally up to you; just don't be opening the hive up & messing with any bars that might have brood comb attached in the cool weather. If you want to be sure of the queen's status, open it up by removing some bars that you're SURE have no comb built on them yet, reach in & pull out the Q cage, then close it back up & let the bees re-regulate the temperature. That way you can know if you need to order a new queen, and you won't have hurt the bees much/any whether they have a queen in there with them, or not

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: new package instellation questions

    Thanks--that is exactly what I did--there were a few out flying last night, so we held up 1 bar and reached in and got the cage out--it was empty--so hopefully she is safe & sound in the middle of the ball. They have enough sugar water, so I am not going to open it up until warm weather.
    I am hoping that under that big ball of bees there is a little bit of comb started--it has been so chilly I don't know if they have gotten to build anything at all yet......

    We have had so much fun becoming beekeepers--thanks to everyone for the advice and well wishes--

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