A guide to buying package bees. - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Ephraim, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    The shaking question is now cataloged and on the shelf. Point well taken and clarity has prevailed. I appreciate this discussion and will "shake" with all due haste. It is as if I am walking through a quagmire of information/misinformation and this forum is counseling me how to avoid the "land mines." Very valuable!

    Best wishes, LP

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  3. #42
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    >Could they just drum them in?

    If they use an excluder and if they are willing to take the time, sure.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #43
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    or just talk to your supplier to about using Bee Buses. No need to shake just dump. Skip to about the 4 min 30 second mark the first half was just me being Ill prepared and figuring out the new style of package box LOL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=junRNDp5Hr4

  5. #44
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    I haven't ever seen any reason to attempt to shake bees out of the little hole in the top of the package.

    The package it's self has very little value to the beekeeper after it is empty, so there is no reason to keep it intact. To get the bees out simply cut the screen out of the side and dump them into the hive, it doesn't have to be rocket science.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  6. #45
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.


  7. #46
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Had to wade through some kind of lame you tube videos of package installation until I came onto this one from Brushy Mountain. It's a real nice instructional and shows just how easy it is to shake out a package. The actual dumping of the bees through the top hole is very easy, I timed it and the gentleman in the video spend roughly 20 seconds shaking out virtually every bee in the cage. Don't make this more difficult than it is, a little spray of sugar water won't hurt the bees at all and no need to resort to tearing the screen off of the cage. Honestly folks don't be intimidated, it's really, really easy to do correctly.
    http://youtu.be/_31TcM7J-SU
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #47
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    Feb 2015
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    Wilmington, Delaware
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Great video Jim. I agree with everything but the misting of the bees prior to install. I prefer to follow Mr. Bush's method that doesn't involve drowning bees in the package. I have only installed 2 packages so what do I know, but I find wisdom in his words!

  9. #48
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokin' Joe View Post
    Great video Jim. I agree with everything but the misting of the bees prior to install. I prefer to follow Mr. Bush's method that doesn't involve drowning bees in the package. I have only installed 2 packages so what do I know, but I find wisdom in his words!
    No, a light misting of syrup, as is demonstrated in the video, won't drown any bees, it gets them grooming and gives them something to do as they are getting settled, if you start glug, glugging it on thats another matter.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #49
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Allen Dick used to talk about dunking the package in a bucket before hiving.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  11. #50
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    At the risk of turning this into a shaking vs. some other way thread, I just don't get the problem with shaking. I've misted with mixed results and I prefer overcast afternoons but you shake when you can. I'd even prefer circumstances when I can shake and direct release. No coming back to extract a box or a queen cage. No worries about distant out yards or troublesome schedules. From my experience, the "shake" is more like a "pour" until the end. Often, I put the box with stragglers under the stand and leave it be. Might be a week or more before I'm back out to that colony. I've shook in falling snow.

    Respecting other approaches, that's my take. BTW, my first shake I did prob took 10 minutes. I understand the experience and I stand by my position while respecting other input.

    A good package, in my opinion, is fresh and full. I'm resigned to perhaps re-queening and sometimes even welcome that opportunity. Give me a nice supply of healthy, young bees and I'm off. I don't need much more than that.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  12. #51
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    As far as misting goes before install it will not harm them in anyway. In 2014 I hauled 1000 packs back in a single load and they consumed over 200 gals of water during the 800 miles on the road.

    I had a 30 gal electric spray tank in my trailer and at every fuel stop and bathroom break it got filled with ice and water and the packages got a generous spray down. The bees suck it right up, when I unload the trailer the floor is dry.

    I haven't ever heard of anybody physically dunking a pack in a bucket of water, but I could reason that it might be a good practice.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  13. #52
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    We used to use "trombone" sprayers with 5 gallon buckets of sugar syrup and immediately spray the screens on an entire load of 1,000 packages as soon as they arrived up north as starvation insurance against the occasional can that either ran out too fast or perhaps didn't get large enough holes pierced. Never hurt them a bit.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #53
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    ravenseye
    I'd even prefer circumstances when I can shake and direct release.
    If I could reconize the cicumstances that allow shake and direct release, I would think I would like that best also. Soooo, What are the circumstances to look for to be successful with dirct releasing the queen and when to not do so.
    Thanks
    gww

  15. #54
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    For me, if I for some reason need to hold a package for a day or two before shaking I consider it a candidate for direct release. I also look closely at how the queen is being treated in the package. It doesn't take long to make an initial judgement. Couple years back I got called on a business trip the day my packages were arriving. My wife picked them up on a Monday and put them in the barn until I got home Wednesday night. She sprayed 1: 1 each morning. I went to work Thursday morning at 5:00 AM and sprayed them lightly before I left. It was snowing lightly. Come late afternoon I got home, taking a half day off and shook all the packages in. 1 out of 6 was a direct release. The last one looked iffy to me and I put the queen in still caged. As it turned out, she was the best of the bunch in terms of laying and longevity so I guess you never quite know.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  16. #55
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Ravens...
    Thanks
    gww

  17. #56
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    Stafford, Virginia
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    In my experience I have never seen a Package producer with a scale in the field. I am not doubting that at one time they did, but the more common practice is to fill until the bees cover the support for the syrup can.
    Well, we go to J & J's every year and package bees with them before we take them each is weighed in the field. here are some pictures. package1.jpgpackage2.jpg

  18. #57
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    Grand Rapids, Ohio
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    Thumbs down Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    I haven't ever seen any reason to attempt to shake bees out of the little hole in the top of the package.

    The package it's self has very little value to the beekeeper after it is empty, so there is no reason to keep it intact. To get the bees out simply cut the screen out of the side and dump them into the hive, it doesn't have to be rocket science.
    You must not reuse package cage each year then.
    Only save me $4k year.
    Been in the business for over 30 years and still using some of my first cages.
    Last edited by The Honey Householder; 12-25-2015 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Have more $ then time

  19. #58
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    You must not reuse package cage each year then.
    Only save me $4k year.
    Been in the business for over 30 years and still using some of my first cages.
    For me it is not worth collecting them all back up from my customers and storing them til the next year, then transporting them back south. for the couple bucks I could get refunded on them...
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  20. #59
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    So, bg, do you think that maybe the place where you buy packages, that they may weigh them after shaking and before shipping and that is what determines what ones are #2s and #3s?
    Mark Berninghausen

  21. #60
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    Jan 2015
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    Newport, N.H.
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    19

    Default Re: A guide to buying package bees.

    Having weighed packages we shook from own hives and filled up to the bottom of the syrup can bar support and brought them back to the shop and weighed them we were in for a shocker �� . They weighed in roughly at the low 2.34? # up to the high of 2.52?# on the digital scale/this was after we took the tear weight out of an empty cage. . Highly doubt some of the big package guys "Gardiners" are scaling them as they have 25k hives they shake from. That is why a lot say #2 or #3 as that is no claim to actual certified pounds it's just a size qty as in small, Medium, large. If they stayed in the cage a few days and ate some syrup them you could say they are really 3# of bees and ready to take a poop ��
    Kevin Sargent

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