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Discussion Starter #1
a few notes:

1. nothing really prepared me for the roar that they let out when you first dump them in the hive. my mind completely froze up and I forgot what to do next. I think I just stared at them for 15 seconds.

2. my bee supplier sold me some drawn comb to put in for starter. I think that was a brilliant idea. otherwise I’m foundationless. they immediately found the comb and started working it while I was messing with the queen cage. there was a little honey and pollen in there.

3. I had a whole mental plan about how to thumbtack the strap to the side of a wooden queen cage to suspend it. but inside the package was a tiny J-Z B-Z cage, and I had no idea how to do it. I eventually had my wife run get some rubber bands, and I made a sling for the cage out of those. this was also the point where I got frustrated with the heavy beekeepers gloves I bought, and found some cotton work gloves. they don’t cover my wrists, so I’ll need to find an alternate.

4. the amount of yellow bee poop all over everything was amazing. my roof, our suits, covered in bright yellow dots. they were sending us a message.

5. if I’d had the smoker lit, I would have used it. the bees kept crawling up to places where I was putting frames in or putting the cover on. there was carnage no matter how slow I tried to move. I could have smoked them down and out of the way, but I appreciated how active and exploring they were without it. we might have lost dozens of bees, but hopefully better for their smellers as they set up home. so maybe good that I didn’t have the smoker.

6. it also rained about a half-hour after I got their covers closed. there were some dozens more dead bees on the roof later when I went back to check on them. disoriented stragglers and a few that never made it out of the package, I think. I felt bad for them, but overall a great day!

photo 1.JPG
photo 2.JPG
 

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It's actually good that you didn't smoke them at all while installing them. When bees like this have no home set up they don't know to run get a drink of honey or where it may be. So smoking them can not only dissorient them but also make em mad. Once they have been in the hive for a couple days and have some stores from syrup, no problem smoking them at all.
 

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Considering your location and the weather the next few days I sure hope for your sake ( and your bees) you are feeding them correctly. Lots of dead packages hitting the floor board this year ( last two weeks) from mindless feeding based on what YouTube preaches and the bee supply companies supply. Many folks act with not consideration for how bees act in cold weather. Considering the weather you better get your game on correctly or the ladies might be gone in the morning....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i fed them syrup. heavier side of 1:1. 1.5 gallons each in baggie feeders. i don't think i did it mindlessly, but can you be more specific about get my "game on correctly"? i certainly don't want my ladies to be gone in the morning. it's forecast 50-60 with off and on rain for this week. i'll check on them in 4 days to make sure the queen is released and look at their syrup supply then.
 

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Might want to do a quick peak in the morning? Baggies may or may not work at those temps. Anything below mid 50's gets precarious. Better safe than sorry. If the bags are not partially deflated ( or covered with bees to the point of syrup access) you will need to go to plan b right away...
 

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Funny how bees can turn the smartest of the food chain into a scared little...well... :D

A bit of advice for the future...seriously...bees do NOT like black! (and from what I understand, they see red as black...though I guess we'll never know for positive). A bee suit tucked INto socks?? Those socks and sneakers gotta go, dude! As you are dressed in that pic, I PROMISE you...your ankles are Target A #1 once those hives start to establish themselves!! (Packages are pretty docile and don't really have a territory to defend, so they don't!) Buy a pair of comfy boots, and use the velcro to secure around the boot neck. I don't give a rats butt what people tell you about not needing protection, and yes, I admittedly react to stings VERY badly, but no matter what, they hurt! I went to a full ventilated suit, and will never go back! I have more confidence around the bees than ever, but it took time to build my confidence after a hive or twenty turned on me without being properly dressed, and I ended up in Urgent Care. I don't believe in the "macho" approach...suit up, and get some boots! JMO!

I agree with others...install is not a time you want to use smoke (just like hiving a swarm). They are truly lost creatures at that point, and need every vibration and pheromone they can detect. Please, do not be afraid of smoking the bees once they are established!

The 'poop' was not a message...other than they had obviously just been in that cage a long time. They just needed to relieve themselves! Can't blame them a bit!

I wish you the absolute best with your bees, and it is SO awesome seeing you get your little one involved!!! That truly does my heart good! Best to all of you!
 

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seriously...bees do NOT like black! (and from what I understand, they see red as black...though I guess we'll never know for positive). A bee suit tucked INto socks?? Those socks and sneakers gotta go, dude! As you are dressed in that pic, I PROMISE you...your ankles are Target A #1 once those hives start to establish themselves!!
Ditto on the black socks. While I'm not one for heavy protection, I have for years tucked my pants legs into a pair of cowboy boots. Works like a charm. Ordinary high-top work boots would work too.

JMO

Rusty
 

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Congratulations on your install. I had the same thing happen with bee poop everywhere when I hived two packages 2 weeks ago. I was amazed of the amount those guys and gals
could put out.

I have a beek friend from NY who had me wrap my hives with blankets over night when it got below 40 degrees. Don't know if it helped or not but it put my mind to rest. Good luck.
 

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I felt bad for them, but overall a great day!
I feel silly "feeling bad" about a few dead bees. However, every time I accidentally crunch one, or I have some other catastrophe, I indeed feel bad.
I tell myself that "they're just bugs" but then I remind myself that they are MY bugs :)

Good luck with your hive!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
fyi the bees seem to be doing well.

but to follow up on the fashion comments. i did go buy some white socks.

but i was looking at photos from site visits i did with nyc beekeepers, and they are ALL wearing dark colored jeans tucked into their dark sock. one guy had even told me a story about getting stingers stuck in his pants and not getting stung until he went inside and sat down on a chair. i (or he) never made the connection with the color of his pants. so anyway, that's where i picked up the sock thing.

i was also looking at some dee lusby videos and she has some fashion-forward-looking white gaiters. they might have even been WWI era canvas. everything old is new again. do any of you wear gaiters? seems they'd work better than socks, especially if you drop a few bees into the rim of your shoes.
 
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