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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This past Saturday we got our first package of bees. This is the first installation we've ever done, but I think it went pretty well. We took our time, reviewed the entire process we were going to follow (step-by-step) twice, and then did it. There were a couple of things I think could have been done better, and if we do any future package installs, they will be. My intention is to (as much as possible) use nucs and splits from here on, so this may be the last package install I do...

My wife took photos and put them up on Flickr. If you aren't familiar with the service, Flickr always puts the newest pictures at the top, so you'll want to click through to the last page and start at the bottom right.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments on the pictures, Karla.

In answer to your question on Flickr, we waited until about 6pm to put the bees in. I'm not sure if that's how I'd do it again, since we could have done it before it got so windy if we hadn't waited. We have good windbreaks, though, so it wasn't too bad. The trellises will have grapes growing on them soon, which will add to the screening effect.
 

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Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you have to work with time wise which can include what I love to call night time beekeeping, beekeeping in the rain, and winter beekeeping. None of which are preferred times. As a beginner we encourage you to do as prescribed as often as possible to ensure the best chance of success (which would have meant waiting a few days) but hopefully all will be well and you are far from alone in installing on the same day you pick up a package. The weather sure did turn incredibly cold right away... but that has happened other years as well and the packages were OK. Let us know how it goes!

PS I have a great grape trellis at my house (my husband is a wine grape farmer - hence the name winevines...) if you ever want to see it or I can send you a photo. Has nothing to do with the bees in my case, but I like your idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you have to work with time wise ...
That was exactly the concern. We knew we would have the time to install on Saturday, but because of general life chaos the next day we *knew* we would be able to do it was Friday. As it turns out, we had plenty of time on other days.

Yesterday we checked to see if they had released the queen, but they hadn't. They had started building comb from the bottom of the feeder down into the space where we had left some frames out to accommodate the queen cage, though. They had some syrup and pollen stored in it as well. They had taken about a half gallon of syrup. I released the queen and closed things up.

So far they seem to be doing well. The workers are coming and going. I haven't seen any of them carrying pollen, but obviously some of them have been. Keeping an eye on them won't be a problem. Seems like any time it's light out we go out and watch them for about 20 minutes out of every hour.

I'd like to see that trellis you mention.
 

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Nice photos. I have a question though. I have bees coming this weekend and have my hives already situated on blocks. I will be using all mediums and just have one medium in place for the package of bees (each hive). I notice you used two to start with. Is this necessary? I was under the impression that one medium was enough to start with. It's coming down to the wire now and I starting to wonder if I've got everything ready.
Thanks
 

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Nice photos. I have a question though. I have bees coming this weekend and have my hives already situated on blocks. I will be using all mediums and just have one medium in place for the package of bees (each hive). I notice you used two to start with. Is this necessary? I was under the impression that one medium was enough to start with. It's coming down to the wire now and I starting to wonder if I've got everything ready.
Thanks
Rottybee im also getting a package this saturday and im starting them in one Deep Hive body! What you do is that you install them in one box and when they have atleast 7 frames drawn out of 10 you rotate the outter frames in one and add a box! Thats exactly how i was told by several and thats how i will be doing mine! Good Luck and tell me how everything goes. Also if you want to know how long it takes to draw out the frames, i was told approx 4-5 weeks and thats all depending on the bees of course!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I will be using all mediums and just have one medium in place for the package of bees (each hive). I notice you used two to start with. Is this necessary?
I don't think it is necessary, it's just the choice we made.

I've seen experienced beekepers advise both. Some say one medium, some say two mediums. Our mentor uses mediums, and he said go ahead with two. Really it came down to the fact that he starts with two, and he's the guy we'll be running to for advice if something seems odd, so we're following his suggestions.

In addition, there was some pretty decent wind during the install, and the second body allowed me to shake the bees in without them overflowing onto the ground or getting blown off the tops of the frames in the first body, or whatever like that. I'm not sure if that really made a difference or not, but it made me feel better about installing them in the wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's gorgeous, Karla. It reminds me of when I was in Turkey, and some people had similar structures on the roofs of their homes, with the vine (tree?) growing up the side of the house. The houses had flat roofs, so they used them sort of like decks. I wasn't there long enough to find out what the vines they used were, though...
 
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