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Well, Got my first 2 Packages installed yesterday.

Had a couple of small hiccups - did a quick panic when I found the Queen cage had dropped ot the bottom of the cage when I bumped the package. Simply every so gently put my hand in and brushed until I get a hold on her cage and lift her out, whew. The other was trying to round up all the strays when I got ready to close the hive entrance hole with grass last night, picking up bees and placing them near the entrance hole and urging them to go home... :applause:

Which brings me to my questions;

Most important, what is the general consensus on putting Grass in the entrance holes after installation? Does everyone do this? and how long do you leave it in the hole? The books really vary on this point so I am just curious what experienced beeks do most often. I did close up both hives but one of them had the grass out by 11AM this morning.... :rolleyes:

The other question is; I am trying two different feeding methods, one is the Baggie method and the other is the two large jars inverted in a stand method. If anyone has used both of these methods before, what is your experience with these methods in particular and what did you most like/dislike about them?

Thanks in advance.
 

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some good beekeepers close up package bees-i never did. works both ways. i prefer the jar/paint can feeder as i'm too clumsy to change/refill a split baggie without giving the girls a soaking. good luck,mike
 

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One lesson here is to staple a piece of string or stiff wire to the backside of the queen cage – especially if it is a first package. It’s pretty scary to move the frames and reach to the bottom of the hive while you are about at dexterous as the Michelin man or Pillsbury Dough Boy! You still have to remove that cage at some point too…. :doh:
 

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I don't stuff grass IN the hole, but place it OVER the hole... bees can still get in and out, but they orient to the hive because of the grass. Then as it dries, it simply falls or blows away. If it's still there the following week, I'll remove it.
Regards,
Steven
 

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I just hive my first two pkgs May 3rd and had not heard of the baggie method for feeding. I inverted a mason jar over the hole in the top cover but was told to not cover the hole completly. My bees hardly touched the 1:1 even with wind, rain and cold temps. I am going to check them May 2oth. I would watch them for a little while on good days(few) and they would be bringing in pollen. Don't know how they carrie nector.
 

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Don't know how they carrie nector.
Get you a basic beekeeping book so you understand the ins and outs of the basics. Basics are important IMHO....and so you know, they have a honeystomach, and they regurgitate it to the other bees who store it.
 

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I have never plugged the entrance to a package that I installed, but I remember as a kid (1950's-1960's) that when bees were delivered to our orchard they had the entrances plugged with grass.

I remember asking my dad about the grass and having him tell me that the beekeeper plugged the entrance before loading them on the truck to bring them to our place but that the bees would get out by themselves. I remember being skeptical that a little bee could move that grass plugging the entrance and surprised that by afternoon that the bees were flying.
 

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I'm having great success with the baggie method. I use thick ziplock freezer bags filled 3/4 full. Lay them oon the top bars off to the side a bit and gently make 3 separate 2in slits in the bag with a sharp razor blade. Easy and mine have been going completely through a bag every 4 days.
 

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Oh, and one of my hives hasn't made any comb in the space around the baggie but the otheer one did. I just removed the comb and filled the void with crumpled newspaper. They are slowly working to remove some of the paper but there's no more comb building there.
 

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This might seem like DUMB question but are you putting the slits on the top of the baggie?
 

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Yes, the slits go on the top of the baggie. Use a single-edged razor blade, cleaner slit that way. And don't run the slit too far either, or the syrup will leak out the ends of the slit... As you look at the baggie sitting on top of your frames, keep the slit on the top of the baggie, as opposed to going toward the sides... I hope that makes sense... easier to do than to describe.
Regards,
Steven
 
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