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I was given an 8 frame Lang. with a medium (also with frames). I have helped a friend the past couple years start hives with packages so the mechanics of releasing I am somewhat familiar with. I do have a couple questions about some things I have read and been told. I know from my limited research there are many different ways that people do things. I have an entrance reducer that I will be using.
1.I have had some people tell me that they completely block the entrance the first 24 hours. I never did that when helping my friend and wander what your thoughts are on that.
2.I have also heard some people say that I should place the queen cage in the lower frames and actually dump the bees in the medium without any frames in it and that the bees will go to the lower box with the frames and queen.
3.Last but not least concerns feeding. My hive is going to be at an apple orchard that joins my property. There are tons of trees, plants, crops, etc for the bees, especially since I am starting later in the spring. Would you guys recommend feeding 1/1 solution or given the ample supply of natural food sources just let them go on their own. The 8 frames I was given were from a hive last year so they have comb in them and I am hoping that will help the bees.
I won't bore you with all the details as to why I am getting started this late in the season but I am only going to set up one hive and get one package. I know this is not ideal but is all I can swing right now. I am going to be getting my bees sometime Friday afternoon/evening. Assuming it is not real close to dark I might dump them Friday, if not I plan on doing it Saturday after I get off work, which will be late afternoon early evening.
 

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I'm a total newbie, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm not quite following what you mean by dumping the bees in the medium and hoping they go in the lower box. Are you running all mediums, or one medium and one deep super? Either way, when I tried what you are describing, my bees got to work happily building comb in the upper box...without frames. They were not best pleased to have their day's worth of work torn down, and neither was I.
As for feeding, I pondered the same and came to the conclusion that each forager off hunting up nectar was one less bee in my hive working on comb building. So I have been feeding, and will until they get 2 medium boxes over 70% drawn out.
 

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First, welcome to the family.

Second, I've never installed packaged bees before, I've only purchased Nucs so keep that in mind.

As to your questions:
1. Not sure why you'd want to do that. Assuming you don't get all of the bees in the hive (which won't happen) how would the stragglers get in? I would use an entrance reducer after all the bees are in the hive. This might be the next day.

2. Check out YouTube on this...lots of videos. If I remember some folks spray them down with sugar water before opening the package to help limit their flying.

3. I would feed them 1:1 just because this requires less effort on they part of the newly displaced foragers and can help stimulate brood rearing. If the nectar flow is strong and they're pretty gung-ho then they may ignore the sugar, but it can't hurt.

Having frames of drawn comb already is huge! You'll be good to go.

I'm in Alabama and our good flow season started about the end April. You being north of here, probably puts you at a pretty good time to hit your local flow about right ( I would think).

As to timing, the faster you can get them in the box the better. I'd dump them Friday if there was enough daylight left.

Good luck.
 

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I was given an 8 frame Lang. with a medium (also with frames). I have helped a friend the past couple years start hives with packages so the mechanics of releasing I am somewhat familiar with. I do have a couple questions about some things I have read and been told. I know from my limited research there are many different ways that people do things. I have an entrance reducer that I will be using.
1.I have had some people tell me that they completely block the entrance the first 24 hours. I never did that when helping my friend and wander what your thoughts are on that.

DO NOT block them in at all. TOO hot and no reason for it.

2.I have also heard some people say that I should place the queen cage in the lower frames and actually dump the bees in the medium without any frames in it and that the bees will go to the lower box with the frames and queen.

I have seen this done several times. The medium box acts like a funnel for the bees. Just make sure the queen cage is in the center.

3.Last but not least concerns feeding. My hive is going to be at an apple orchard that joins my property. There are tons of trees, plants, crops, etc for the bees, especially since I am starting later in the spring. Would you guys recommend feeding 1/1 solution or given the ample supply of natural food sources just let them go on their own. The 8 frames I was given were from a hive last year so they have comb in them and I am hoping that will help the bees.

If they are already drawn comb frames and there is nectar & pollen to be had, don't bother feeding unless you have to.


I won't bore you with all the details as to why I am getting started this late in the season but I am only going to set up one hive and get one package. I know this is not ideal but is all I can swing right now. I am going to be getting my bees sometime Friday afternoon/evening. Assuming it is not real close to dark I might dump them Friday, if not I plan on doing it Saturday after I get off work, which will be late afternoon early evening.
Some people actually prefer to hive their packages after dark with a red light. Keeps them from flying. But then again so does sugar water sprayed on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK thanks for all the info. I am still learning and this site is packed full of info. To answer the question I have an 8 frame deep and then an 8 frame medium for the top of that. I think for now I will dump them into the deep and put the inner cover on and then the cover. My friend who gave me the equipment said to do it that way and then once the inner 6 or 7 frames in the deep get full then I can add the medium on top. That is how we did his in the past. I have just seen a few people who dump into the medium on top without any frames in it. The weather here has been great but the next day or two the high is only in the 50's. The high Friday is 56 and Saturday is 58.
 

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>1.I have had some people tell me that they completely block the entrance the first 24 hours. I never did that when helping my friend and wander what your thoughts are on that.

I never do. Someone posted recently who did and all their bees died. That would be my concern. They can easily suffocate or overheat.

>2.I have also heard some people say that I should place the queen cage in the lower frames and actually dump the bees in the medium without any frames in it and that the bees will go to the lower box with the frames and queen.

I would not count on it. In warm weather they tend to cluster around the queen. In a cold snap they tend to go where it's warm and assume the queen will come with them. She can get left behind and die under those circumstances. The bees instincts are to go to the top. I would have the queen there or loose so she can get there.

> 3.Last but not least concerns feeding. My hive is going to be at an apple orchard that joins my property. There are tons of trees, plants, crops, etc for the bees, especially since I am starting later in the spring. Would you guys recommend feeding 1/1 solution or given the ample supply of natural food sources just let them go on their own.

They have no stores and they could get confined by rain for a week. I would feed them until they have a little bit of stores at least.

>The 8 frames I was given were from a hive last year so they have comb in them and I am hoping that will help the bees.

It will.

>I won't bore you with all the details as to why I am getting started this late in the season but I am only going to set up one hive and get one package. I know this is not ideal but is all I can swing right now. I am going to be getting my bees sometime Friday afternoon/evening. Assuming it is not real close to dark I might dump them Friday, if not I plan on doing it Saturday after I get off work, which will be late afternoon early evening.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I picked my bees up this afternoon. It has been cool and rainy all day and luckily for me the sun came out this evening for several hours this evening and temps were in the 50's.. I have read and watched videos and listened to everyone comments. I try to take what I think is the best advice and go with it. I removed 4 of the frames from my box and then removed the cork from the queen box and replaced it with a marshmallow. I hung the queen between the to middle most frames. I did give the bees a couple short squirts of sugar syrup but not much. It supposed to get pretty cool tonight so I did not want to soak them. I dumped the bees in the void and over the queen cage. I gently cleaned the bees off the edges and added the inner cover and top cover. I decided to use an entrance feeder for a short time, only because it is supposed to be cool and rainy the next couple days in Indiana. So the feeder is on and an entrance reducer. I am going to peak in tomorrow to see if the queen cage is empty so they don't build around it. Then I will leave it closed up for another week. The bees I got were Carniolans and they came from California. They were docile and not near as aggressive as the packages I helped with in the past. Really hoping they take right off since the comb is already drawn in the frames I used. Everything went very smoothly.
 
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