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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pick up packages tomorrow. It is currently snowing outside. Weather forecast for tomorrow is 7C (45F). Saturday is expected to be a bit better, but there will still be snow on the ground.

As I see it, here are my options.

1) Hive packages while it's cold and snowing. Provide feed, block entrances, and cover with blanket, and hope for the best. There should still be enough "draft" to provide fresh air.

2) Leave them in my van overnight, where they are sheltered, and warmed by the thermal mass of the van. spray with sugar water a few times a day.

3) Hive them in my garage, and leave them there for the short term. close all entrances into hive. The big downside here is that my garage is CLOUDED with cedar dust from hive building. It reeks of it. It is in the air. It's an unpleasant environment for humans... not sure if it may even kill the bees.

What do you guys think is my best bet?
 

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Option #1 is best. Be sure to leave a small opening at the bottom for ventilation. They will be in their box acclimatizing in a cluster. Just make sure you have everything ready and go for it.
Option # 2 Leaving them in the van is almost as bad as being in transit.
Option # 3 The garage. I wouldn't want to do that, it could be that you would have stray bees in the garage. Who wants that? :eek:
Enjoy. Adrian
 

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Do you have a basement or den? How about a closet?

Isn't it better to give them some syrup and let them wait (quietly) a day or so, than to hive them in snow storm?
 

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We had some crappy weather like that last year when I picked up a couple of my packages. They sat on my dining room table for 2 days. I sprayed them with water and then sugar syrup every so often just to keep them happy and they did fine. There's always been a couple stray bees outside the packages I've gotten but they stay with the group and don't cause any trouble even in the middle of our household action. You can easily wait one or 2 days.
Good Luck,
Nuke
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've decided I'm going to hive tomorrow, but will do a few things to help the bees a little:

- Cover top of hive with a blanket.

- warm feeder syrup before hiving.

- Warm bricks in hot water, and place them under the hive to radiate heat upwards.
 

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- warm feeder syrup before hiving.

- Warm bricks in hot water, and place them under the hive to radiate heat upwards.


Why are you providing the bees heat sources? The bees can and will generate all the heat they need if they can access the feed.

I would be worried you would have bees attracted to the thermal sources, and once the syrup and bricks cooled, the bees would get caught away from the main cluster and freeze.

Spray some syrup in combs - the bees clustering on the combs will heat up the syrup enough for them to eat it.
 

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I had two packages come yesterday. I had to hive them after work.

The weather was 40F, 20mph winds with gusts to 40 and raining. The forecast showed that it was only going to be worse today - and it is. I was concerned about hiving the bees in this kind of weather and was considering how to keep the packages going for a few days until the weather gets better. So I checked the advice on the forum.

I hived them yesterday at 5pm. Everything went fine. The guys on the forum who advise just going ahead and doing it are right. The minimal exposure that the bees get during the hiving process is far outweighed by having them out of the box and in the hive.
 

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I actually have four feeding options in with them:
1. Pollen patties - don't know how much they will take of them, but they are in there.
2. Each has a frame of honey from my dead outs
3. Each also has a frame of candy left over from the winter (http://picasaweb.google.com/mshaughnessy/Bees#5383540303703291106)
4. Each has access to 1:1 syrup

Two weeks ago, I installed a 2lb package in a medium long hive. The install weather was fine, but the next day, things got ugly (temps in the 40's and rain). Because the hive was 'non-traditional', I didn't have any honey or candy to put in with them. I thought for sure that they would starve before the weather broke and they could get to the syrup and start foraging.

Four days after the install - the weather cleared enough to check them. There were no bees flying and I thought that I just killed my package. But I opened it up and they were all there - few dead bees and the queen was released.

I suspect that (as a recently installed package) they can either go for longer than we think without feed (perhaps because they are gorged like a swarm from feeding on the package feeder can?) or they can access the syrup at lower temperatures than we think(?). I don't know, but after I saw them in there, I stopped worrying about them failing because of weather.

Still, that didn't prevent me from better provisioning these packages!
 
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