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Anticipating winter losses I put myself on the list for a few NZ packages. Turns out they will be arriving in March...direct from the NZ summer!

Where I am we are still having deep freeze weather punctuated by freezing rain and then a few days of above freezing sunshine.

The packages I got last year came at the very end of April..they managed without issue...just dumped in deep Lang and given 1:1 syrup for a couple of weeks. Un drawn foundation and no foundation...they built great comb and filled it with brood,pollen and honey.

How does one best transition stressed bees from warm weather to sub zero?
 

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Howdy WVBC--I'm in a similar situation here...I ordered packages intending to start them in
Kansas, but it doesn't look like I'll be doing that plus I want to monitor the packages myself..
We are about at the same parallel , my packages will be here first week of april, and I'm thinking
of putting them into some 6 frame nucs that I made last year, just to make sure they stay
warm and get off to a good start with syrup and 3drawn comb...I'll have to monitor them closely and put them in 10 frames when they look like they have filled up the nuc,,no more than
3 weeks...maybe when the first brood starts to hatch....I'll pull drawn comb if I need more
time and give them more foundation....
last year I got packages about may 14 and we had snow on the ground yet and just comming
out of the deep freeze....
I'm thinking , keep them warm and busy, and watch them "like a hawk" :)

==McBee7==
 

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I experienced this issue last spring. Packages came. Weather was cold and 2 snow storms followed. Too cold for a syrup feeder.

This is what I did...
I brought the entire hive body inside several days before package delivery so it could warm to room temp.
I used partially drawn frames. Some had a bit of capped honey. Some had small amounts of pollen. I squirted sugar syrup into drawn comb with a squirt bottle. Also made a candy patty.
On delivery day I placed the warmed hive bodies outside and installed the packages. I covered the hives with quilts leaving the entrance open.
I took a lot of precautions to protect my investment. The hives took off and flourished beyond my expectations last summer.
 

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I would make Styrofoam follower boards, wrap them in saran wrap so the bees don't eat them and crowd the package onto about four frames until they start to get crowded. Then slowly move your followers outward and give them more frames. Keep your entrance small and ditch the screened bottom board idea until July. If ever.
 

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The early packages are best installed onto drawn combs with honey and pollen and warmed first as Stella posted. They can be installed onto foundation and do fine if the temps allow for free flight but if the temps are cold you will need to nurse them through any cold spell. They must be able to take syrup to produce wax so you will need a feeding system that is in contact with the bees and is easily refilled with very warm syrup. Less more often is best as you do not want cold syrup sitting in the feeder as they will not likely take it. As a warning if they are not taking food they will not last long so make sure they are taking it. They will need pollen as well.
 
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