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One of these days, I won't make flustered mistakes in package installation...

891 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  happyflorencebees
Accidentally poked a hole through the cork end of the queen cage instead of the candy end; put the hive all together and then noticed the slatted rack on the ground, had to take the 2 supers back off and put the slatted rack on and put the 2 supers back on; put the queen cage in my pocket while I banged the bees out of the package into the hive, and then when I went to grab the queen, she wasn't in my pocket anymore, the cage had fallen on the ground...

The ideal thing would be not to have to buy packages anymore, of course... that's the goal.
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Three years ago when I installed my first package, I put the screen of the queen cage parallel to the frame instead of perpendicular to it. Realized my mistake after the sun went down and went out with a flashlight to fix it. Last time I put a caged queen in a hive, I dropped the cage between two frames and had to pull a frame to retrieve it. We'll both get more confident as we go.

I've started making lists of what I need to do during inspections and installs. Helps me organize it in my mind, even if I don't carry the list with me. The other thing I started this year was to keep a planning calendar (dates but not days). Every time I check a hive or work with one, I make notes about it. I also put sticky notes for what needs to be done on future dates. I also add notes about important weather events, like the first 100 degree day, unexpected spring freezes, and heavy rains, as well as notes about what's blooming.

The first time I installed a package, I banged them into the hive. Worked fine. This time, I removed enough frames to leave room for the whole package and set it in there for a few days. I think it made us all a little happier. You'll get more confident as you go. Fortunately, I've found bees are pretty forgiving of my mistakes (within reason) and just keep buzzin'.
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