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I will be installing my first package on Friday or Saturday into a top bar hive. A local top bar beekeeper suggested hanging the queen cage in the front and then placing the package in the back of the hive, removing the package cover, and allowing the rest of the bees to exit the package on their own. He said this was not as stressful for the bees as they weren't being shaken and dumped into a hive. It sounds good to me, but I haven't seen or heard of anyone else trying this. What are your thoughts?
 

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Whether it is a good method or not, I have read a couple posts on the main bee forum or 101 forum in the past week or two about installs like this that ended poorly. You might poke around there and read them first.

The couple packages I have installed I did the standard bump and dump of the bees into the hive and it went well.
 

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Removing them from a package in the usual manor is not as stressful to the bees as some think.Get them out and be done.Shake them out done deal.The method you describe means you'll have to go back in retrieve the package that will still have bees in it,queen may move into the package,the list of things that can go wrong is long.You will have to go back in to retrieve the queen cage, if she hasn't been released(if she'not in the package)then you'll be back in for the third time.Then you have to go in to see if or how the comb is being drawn.If the weather isn't cooperating you might end up with a chilled queen.I foresee too many problems with it.My advice shake them in and be done less stressful than constantly opening up the hive(now that's stressful for you and the bees)Check out Michael Bush's website you'll find a lot of answers to top bar beekeeping!
 

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I will be installing my first package on Friday or Saturday into a top bar hive. A local top bar beekeeper suggested hanging the queen cage in the front and then placing the package in the back of the hive, removing the package cover, and allowing the rest of the bees to exit the package on their own. He said this was not as stressful for the bees as they weren't being shaken and dumped into a hive. It sounds good to me, but I haven't seen or heard of anyone else trying this. What are your thoughts?
This may not work farther south but I install my packages after dark with a red light. I directly release the queen and shake in the bees. The bees or queen don't fly any if at all, it is less stressful on me and the bees, they spend the night in the hive and are settled in by the morning.
Colino
 

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Explain the logic in it not working in the south.I understand the logic behind not owning a snowblower in the south.A newbee might not understand how to direct release procedure if not properly explained.Try using a green light, less reaction by the bees and better light to see in.Red works the green works better for me.
 

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Explain the logic in it not working in the south.I understand the logic behind not owning a snowblower in the south.A newbee might not understand how to direct release procedure if not properly explained.Try using a green light, less reaction by the bees and better light to see in.Red works the green works better for me.
Because of the geographical discrepancies, some things don't work down south like they work up here so I put the qualifier on my post so nobody jumps on me.
 

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One good knock on the ground and if you are quick about it.... 85-90% of the bees are out and in the hive in 5 seconds. You can get all but about 2-3% out in 20 seconds and those generally are in the hive in 15 minutes flying out of the package box you left in front of thr hive. Just dump them in!

In less than 24 hours they may have comb built into or onto that package. If they do that and the queen is already released you might have a real mess on your hands. After seeing just how quick a package can start rolling, I've got religion on not leaving anything on the bee side of the follower.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for everyone's help. I dumped them in like everyone suggested and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I felt a little invincible in with the jacket, veil, and gloves though. Now I just hope they stay.
 

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Thanks for everyone's help. I dumped them in like everyone suggested and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I felt a little invincible in with the jacket, veil, and gloves though. Now I just hope they stay.
They're extremely happy just to get out of the box. You did the right thing! I think it's fun.
 
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