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In the March 2006 issue of Bee Culture Magazine there is an article "Gullette Package" about hiving a package. The only difference from other articles I have read on this subject is that it describes putting the entire (opened) package into the hive rather than dumping the bees in. My question is about the warning at the beginning of the article. It says "remember, it has to be warm to do this - night temps should not go below 65 degrees F" Can this be true? April is package time and the night temps are in the fifties! I have a package coming on April 10 and the night temps will be in the fifties at best. What do you guys think? :eek:
 

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I have installed package and queens in the snow during April quite a few times.

I set the hive up with the bottom deep box.
Sprinkle syrup on to the frames and top bars.
Set an empty deep box on top.
Place jar feeder on the top bars along the front edge of the hive.
Take the queen cage and feeder can out, replacing the cover, and place her on the top bar, so that they can cluster on the cage, screen up.
Place 2 blocks on the top bars on either side of the queen cage.
Rap the package to knock the bees to the bottom, take the top off, and place the package on the blocks upside down.
Close the hive up and walk away. The bees will pour out of the package into the hive and on the queen cage. They will work the syrup that you sprinkled around and find the feeder jars.
Check the jars in a day or so and re-fill as needed.
 

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Here's a recent thread talking about hiving a package in cold weather - MountainCamp's method sounds similar to what you describe in the article, and he does it in the snow.

Good luck

-Pete
 

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remember, it has to be warm to do this - night temps should not go below 65 degrees F
If I couldn't install a package unless the night temps stayed above 65 degrees, I would only have about 3 days a year to do so.

When we normally get packages, the day time highs will rarely be above 65 degrees. They must be talking about just dropping the package into a hive and pulling the can, but putting the queen cage away from the package between a couple of frames.

I don't see the point of doing this I guess. Dumping bees over the queen is actually pretty simple.
 

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The only real problem with dumping bees in cold weather is that there are always some that refuse to come out. You can place the package next to the opening and if it's warm, the bees will find their way in, but if it's too cold, they don't make it.
 

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There is generally snow on the ground here in Anchorage when our packages arrive. In fact Keith Malone brought up his bees yesterday. More packages from another supplier are coming in on the 19th. Most people I know here just do the typical install. They spray the bees with syrup, dump them into the hive, and then close the hive. Works great.
 

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I've done it by dumping them. I've done it by putting the box in and letting them wander out and find the queen. I think dumping them works just as well with less disturbance because I still have to go back and remove the top box, the package and they are often clustered on the inner cover and I have to dump them off anyway.
 

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In years past, when we used packages, they came several times during periods of snow and we shook them into the hives at 35 Degrees F, put the lid on walked away. They did just fine. We always fed warm syrup on top when doing this and would put a frame or 2 of comb in the center for a starter boost. later we found that ordering our packages for the 1st. week of May as opposed to the 3rd. week of April gave us much better build up results due to the warmer weather, minimized cold stress on the bees and less loss of stock.

[ April 09, 2006, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: Joel ]
 
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