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I have a dilemma. I'm picking up bees on Saturday morning and then I have to leave town for the weekend. Should I install them during the day on Saturday before I leave instead of the evening which is recommended? Or can they survive in the package until I return Monday evening and install them then (of course they would be cared for by keeping in a cool place and watched over). I guess my question is how long can bees be safely kept in the package before installation, is 3 or 4 days too long?
 

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Install them on Saturday afternoon absolutely. Remove queen cage when you get home, they will be less stressed, and you will not have a package full of dead bees and messed up comb. Plus they will be two days ahead, and that could be 6000 bees in a month, (almost another package).
 

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How long can bees be kept in a package
They can stay in the package forever... technically.

If you have to keep them in the package for the weekend just make sure the can still has syrup in it and place them in a cool darkish place. (ideally an interior closet)
 

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I may be a newbee however I would install; this gives them no time to build comb within the package which makes it a bear to free the can. Once you install the first you wish you had many to do! And your weekend will be much more relaxed, plus an experience to share.
 

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I would install on Saturday if anyway possible. In the past I have had to keep bees in their package for almost a week do to crappy weather. But the sooner the better in my book.
 
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