New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2

    Default New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH

    Hi, I'm brand new to beekeeping and I plan to install package bees in a TBH in the next few weeks. Being brand new to beekeeping I had a few questions that I could not find answers to on the

    1. How much space in TBH should I make available for the bees to live in when I install them (how many bars)? I know that I'm not supposed to make the entire hive available because it might be too much for the bees to take care of, but I'm not sure how small it is supposed to be either.
    2. To encourage good strait comb building how should i hang the queen cage(with the exit of the cage facing perpendicular to the bars or parallel, or down)?
    3. Should I hang the queen near the entrance or far away from the entrance in the back of the hive?
    4. How much sugar water should I be feeding them?

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Dane County, WI
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH

    Wyatt Mangum has some good vids on installing packages in TBHs.

    My take on your questions base on my experience and his book.

    1. Follower boards are optional
    2. Hang queen cage candy down to avoid queen being trapped by candy
    3. You can hang queen about a foot from entrance
    4. Depends on available nectar flow in your area

    Finally, check out the queen introduction tips in the queen bee forum. I found it very helpful.

    Good luck.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    316

    Default Re: New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH

    My package built about 3 bars a week for the first several weeks. If you start them with 8 or 9 bars that should be plenty.

    I think the big thing on the queen cage is to not leave it in there a long time. You should be checking/removing it on day 3 or 4 at latest.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Saint Anthony, Idaho
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH

    I'm brand new at this too, and just installed my first package on May 9. Here is what I've done in regards to your questions, and the bees have been happy and doing a fantastic job!
    1. I gave them 10 bars of space, just like Christy Hemenway recommended in her book and video about installing new packages: http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com/default.asp
    2. I used a push pin to attach the plastic strip on the cage to the middle of the bar with the candy entrance facing down - that's just how the plastic strip on the cage was fastened, I would have had to engineer something if I were to try and hang the cage any other way.
    3. I hung my queen cage on the 4th bar from the front of the hive where the entrances are.
    4. I had sugar water in the hive when I first installed them and have been feeding them ever since. I'm going to continue feeding them this whole season but after this I won't feed them again unless an emergency comes up (coming out of winter with low stores and having a late frost that kills blooms - or something like that).

    Good luck! It sure is a fun adventure!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH

    I'm new but in an effort to be helpful here's what I have experienced...free release the queen in the hive-I did and she got right down to business. Combs are perfect and located where she wants them, on the guidebar of course.

    I fed 1:1 with no problems.

    I put about 12 bars with a follower closing the rest of the hive. After a few weeks small hive larvae were crawling around. I shrunk the hive to 8 full bars and one empty. Small hive beetles disappeared. In other words I found out too much space can be bad.

    Thanks to all who take the time to give great advice.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Rescue, California, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH

    I have 8 to 10 bars then a follower for a new package. I hang the queen between bar 3 and 4 from the end of the hive. With a plastic queen cage I hang it from a slit in a business card so the business card sits on top of the bars. If the queen has been in the package 2 days or more then I uncap the sugar plug and let them eat the candy plug to release the queen. Leave it capped for one day if the queen is a day or less with the package, then uncap and expose the candy plug.

    They will release the queen in less than a day, if not, poke a hole through the candy so her scent will encourage hem to release her. Check The day after uncapping the queen to see if she is released. Minimize the time the hive is open and try to minimize disturbing any chaining that is occurring.

    Once the queen is released and the cage is removed, they will build comb fast. I watch through an observation window to see when they have about 6 or 8 combs started and then start adding blank bars. Add a bar between two combs that are drawn on center and are straight. A second blank can be added also between it's own 2 straight combs. Repeat after they are substantially done with he new blank bars. Keep 2 or 3 blanks between the last drawn comb and the follower board.

    Continue to fed 1:1sugar water and 1/4 protein patty until they have about 15 bars built.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,748

    Default Re: New beekeeper installing bees in a TBH

    >1. How much space in TBH should I make available for the bees to live in when I install them (how many bars)? I know that I'm not supposed to make the entire hive available because it might be too much for the bees to take care of, but I'm not sure how small it is supposed to be either.

    If you will be back soon, try eight bars or so. If you won't be back soon, give them all of them.

    >2. To encourage good strait comb building how should i hang the queen cage(with the exit of the cage facing perpendicular to the bars or parallel, or down)?

    To encourage good straight comb, release the queen. Do NOT hang the cage.

    >3. Should I hang the queen near the entrance or far away from the entrance in the back of the hive?

    See above.

    >4. How much sugar water should I be feeding them?

    If the weather is good and a nectar available I would not feed them. If the weather is bad and they have no stores, feed them whatever they will take.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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