Getting my first bees soon!
Getting my first bees soon (2 packages) and installing them into a couple top-bar hives I built.
I've been reading lots and I think I'm pretty set, but I just have a couple questions I want to clear up:
1) Entrance hole - seems like the simplest entrance is just a hole. Is a single 1" hole in the end of the hive enough to start out with? Does it need to be bigger? any reason I really need to cut a slot out?
2) Feeding - I plan on feeding with a home-made boardman style feeder built in behind the follower, is a 1:1 syrup the right thing to feed a new package? I've read to feed them until you start seeing capped stores, is that reasonable?
3) Queen release - I know there's a lot of opinions on this, but I'd be happy to hear some more. Mr. Bush if I recall recommends a direct release, I've also read that a normal release (i.e. letting them eat the plug out), but just setting the cage on the bottom of the hive instead of hanging it can work well.
4) What should I do if the bees start building cross-comb right off the bat (right off the bar? )? Just pull it down until they do it my way? Try to re-orient it somehow? My bars are wedge style with a 35 degree ish wedge.
5) I've heard I don't really need to smoke them when installing them since they'll be pretty docile from the move. Thoughts?
6) Anything else I should know/do/watch out for?
Thanks! I'm pumped!