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Discussion Starter #1
:DI'm hoping to get some ideas for installing about 50 packages in a short amount of time. Last week I found out my bees are coming on Easter Sunday! I haven't had a problem with a few packages but this time I'm going for 50 (of course they weren't supposed to come on Easter)

So if anyone has a few tricks to get them in fast with hives close together please let me know. They are not all in the same yard, they are spread between 4 different ones.

Does anyone here install theirs at night?:scratch:
 

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Are they going on foundation? How are you going to feed them? Are the hives bodies in place and ready for the packages?
 

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haha -- ME too !!!

but im just going to spray them and install them as i go - it goes quick - once you start -

but my advice is to be prepared --- have your feed mixed up Saturday night and in the feeders - have the boxes ready to go -

sunday morning take the center frames out and have every hive looking the same - tops off and ready for dumpings

when you get the bees home - set the packs at there soon to be hive and then start -
 

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They each get at least 1 frame of comb, the rest is just foundation. About half are using inverted pails on top and the others are getting division board feeders with #8 hardware cloth in them for feeding. A few is also getting full frames of honey. The hives are all set and ready to go, except one yard I need to level them up a bit when i go back to it to install the bees, but it doesn't have many hives on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Has anyone had a problem with putting them in before 7:00am or after dark, or drifting all over the yard?

We will be heading to church in the morning and supposed to have the big family get together at about 5:00 which is for Easter, My B-day, my Moms B-day and anyone else who probably has a B-day this year:D
 

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If there is rain in the forecast do not go ahead and open all boxes and remove frames. Do that as you are installing.

You can use a 2" rim, set the queen on the top bars, shake bees(sprayed with syrup) on top of the frames and put on cover then pail feeder. Come back the next day and remove rim.

It is best to install in the afternoon, some people will install at night to prevent drift problems. If you spray them down with sugar syrup they are slow to move over onto frames if you take out 2-3 frames and shake them in the open space.

If you have inner covers with hole- install queen cage between center frames 2" back or forward of hole. Make the initial shake(no syrup on bees) with enough bees to cover queen. Put on inner cover then set cage on cover hole to hole, the bees will move in(don't do this if cold and/or rainy).
 

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With that many packages, I don't think I'd shake. I'd remove enough frames to set the package cage down inside the hive, hang the queen between the two frames the very closest to the cage, put on the feed and close them up. Come back Monday or Tuesday and remove the package cages and shake out any remaining bees, insert frames and close them up. Might get less drifting this way and it'll be faster than trying to shake.
 

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I am with Ray
If you shake that many packages come monday you will have some hives full of bees and some almost empty or you could just leave them on the packages untill monday and install but I still wouldnt shake but thats just me.
 

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First - I've never attempted so many packages.
Second - looking at your Sunday schedule..... seems most of the packages will get hived on Monday, and that should not be a problem. You may even recruit some assistants during the day. You've got a few thousand dollars worth of packages there as I'm sure you're all too well aware. Maybe just get the nearest yard done Sunday afternoon before the 5pm thing and store the rest in quiet cool place until Monday.
I like the beeslave ideas but they require additional items you may not have like the rims or extra supers as tall as the package.... or was his plan to set the package on the inner cover and leave it there exposed untill the bees moved out. Seems like the least violent method of adding a lot of bees. No syrup needed, no blister from squirting down 50 packs with a squirt bottle. Less drift because the bees just walk into there new home and the queen is already there. I like it. I'll try that next time I hive a cutout or swarm - no packages for me this year.
Coffee is gone and burning daylight....good luck on the weather for this event.....and happy birthday.....to your mother :lpf:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I like these responses. I have never tried to just leave the package in the box and let them walk out but I think I might have to give it a whirl this time.

with this much money invested, i would hate to loose a bunch of these (I'm bad enough at knocking off my queens, I don't want to get into the habit of knocking off whole packages:doh:)
 

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Leaving the package box in the hive for the night(s) was how I did it the last few times I got packages. I put the queen cage between two frames, shake a few bees over the queen and then put the package cage in the hive to the side of the frames. A few days later I remove the package and replace the missing frames.

Just be sure to shake some bees over the queen so that she isn't left alone. The problem with this method is that you have to remove 5 frames and then a few days later come back and replace them. If your yards are close, this will still be the most sure method (IMHO).
 

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Leaving the package box in the hive for the night(s) was how I did it the last few times I got packages. I put the queen cage between two frames, shake a few bees over the queen and then put the package cage in the hive to the side of the frames.
Even if you dont shake bees on the QC they will smell her and she wont bee lonely long.

As some one else stated I have never done that many at one time dats a LOT of bees, and at my age I would bee there all night :cry:
 

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I haven't installed a package in 7 yrs. until last night and this morning. It took me 5 hrs for 100 and that included putting the 2 gallon feed pail on top.

Method-Cover with hole- installed queen cage between center frames 2" back or forward of hole(so when feeder pail was put on the syrup didn't run down on queen). Two frames removed with that space 1 frame over from queen on the side I shook from. I made the initial shake in 2 frame space(no syrup on bees) with most bees that came out easy to cover queen. Put on migratory cover then set cage on cover hole to hole, the bees left in cage moved inside hive. After 50 packages were done I went back to start, removed cage, and put on feeder pail

1 package(making it 101) took 20 min. It was for my 10 yr old daughter who is going to run 1 hive for 4-H and I went through explaining all the motions and reasons to her while she helped.
 

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DNelson:

I think it's amistake to spread them in 4 yards. Too much travel time, especially if you have mostly foundation for those things. They'll need plenty of feed. So spend the resources feeding them, not driving. Later once all is established and going like sya in 4-5 weeks then spread them around. I'd do this at the point when they might need the second box.

Jean-Marc
 

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Like others have sais hopefully you'll have everything ready and laid out. Pull frames out for a place to dump the bees, then shake shake shake. Nightime is a good time to dump packages, less drifting. Oh and happy birthday to you and your Ma.

Jean-Marc
 

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I just got the new Bee Culture magazine today, and there was an article about hiving a package where no shaking is involved (except to get about a cup or 2 of bees out). Basically it uses a 3rd empty hive body on the bottom with the open package inside it. Above that is your "regular" have body with frames plus the queen cage suspended (with a couple cups of bees to start them out). Then a pail feeder on top of that surrounded by a 3rd hive body.

After a couple of days you go out and remove the lower hive body + (now empty) package, and put the (formerly 2nd) deep hive body on the bottom board.

It's supposed to minimize the amount of flying bees, which if you are installing 50 packages, is probably a good thing :)

-- Steven
 

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That's the way I do it, except I have the empty on top of the body with comb.
Remove & place queen, spill a little bees on her, lay down package, place lid.
Release queen directly next day, remove package cage.
 

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Ron Householder installs 800 packages or so each year. I wish he would chime in and say how he does it but he is probally busy installing his own.
 

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I would spread them out after they are hived and well fed. Two guys can do 1500 lbs in a night if well organized, so this should be realtively simple. I like to dump the bees out completely in the hive, especially if the weather is inclement and cold. I have seen the "leave the cage in the box" method fail when a severe cold snap comes before the bees can cover the queen. If it is raining, find a way to work in a dry spot, and a bright red LED or red work light. The bees will not fly towards red light. Estimating a very generous 5 minutes per per package, 50 packages should take about four to five hours if you have no travel time. Truthfully, with experience it can go much faster once you get the hang of dumping the bees out of the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ron Householder installs 800 packages or so each year. I wish he would chime in and say how he does it but he is probally busy installing his own.
You are right! he dropped mine off and had his trailer full. I met him in Kentucky at about 5:00am and he was heading north to get busy.

Thanks all for the happy b-day
We got through almost all 50 between church this morning and our get together.

I would have to say I wish I had them all together right now:doh: Or at least closer yards would be nice. I probably made one owner mad when my wife got stuck in his yard with our big van.:no:
 
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