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Discussion Starter #1
I'm picking up a package early Monday morning. The weather is supposed to be clear but cool. I'm planning to hive them Monday afternoon if possible, but am concerned about the air temp. After several days of near 80, we'll only be having highs in the lower 60s. The hive is in a sheltered location, so I don't have to worry about wind.

1--Will they get too chilled if I spritz?

2--Is there a minimum temp for spritzing?

3--I'm thinking of spritzing about noon when I get home, again about 3 pm, and then again about 6 pm--then hiving them by 7. Does this sound about right?

This is my first experience with a package. Last year I had a couple of nucs, so this wasn't an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The package will have been assembled on Saturday, so I don't know how much sugar syrup will be left by the time I get them. I want them to be as full as possible so they won't be that interested in taking off. Also planning to top feed with a homemade Miller, so that should keep them busy, too.

Just concerned about the temperature. I know, overprotective mommy...
 

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If the package is not double screened for shipping, you can put a syrup feeder directly on the screen after lying the package on it's side. Or you can remove the screen. Do you have a Boardman feeder jar lid and jar to use?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yes, I have a Boardman. and I'm liking the side syrup feeder jar more & more as now temps are only expected to be in the 50s on Monday, not 60s as earlier stated. However, temps are expected to rise during the week to upper 60s by Thursday. Should I go ahead & hive on Monday, or wait a day or two until the temps go back up again? Again, the hive is sheltered so there's no wind.
 

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I'm with Ernie. I doubt that I have ever installed a package when the temperature was above the mid 50's and many times in the 40's. It takes just a couple of minutes and then they can get warm, start eating and building comb.

Don't wait for the perfect temperature. They will be fine. In fact in the colder weather they will be less likely to fly.
 

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I agree. Hive them as soon as you can. They cannot wait to get in their new home! Good luck and happy hiving :)
 

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Here's the method I'm strongly considering (since I nuced last year) - not so much about the hive setup, but the method of introducing the package. It was on the general bee forum a couple of days ago. The method has been alluded to in several other threads as well.

Here is the link to the video that I found most helpful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVaYD3e9KOA
 

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This year I helped The Honey Householder install packages. We finished installing packages on Tuesday, and those packages were made up on the Saturday before. I don't think any of the cans of syrup were less than half full, and many were still 3/4 full of syrup.

You can weigh the package on scales to see how much syrup they have. A 2-3 pound package of bees with a can full of syrup should be about 5-6 pounds.

If it is hot when you install the bees, it helps to have someone spritzing/spraying syrup on the bees as you dump them into the box. This prevents them all from trying to fly and drift.

I made a few videos while I was up helping Ron Householder. This is a really quick install. It was still cool and early in the morning, so we didn't spray the bees down with syrup. We just dumped them in the box and closed it up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5__v4qj3RLY

Closer to noon Ron installed a few packages in some hives at the shop, and he did a package install demonstration for a hobbyist beekeeper, and I taped it too. It was hotter by then, so Ron's Dad was spraying the bees down with syrup to help keep them from flying, as you can see in the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl84QOmejCg
 

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I agree with Michael

Country boy , thoes are nice vids but 99.44% of the people on "beesource" will never install $30,000 worth of package bees in 27 hours and then kill them at the end of the season :(
 

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The video is great. my bees were delayed til this weds and i have spent the extra time reading and panicing . I feel so much better now about hiving them at least!
 

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Other than the couple of stings, anyone inclined to use the shake-and-bake method of installing a package of bees should watch countryboy's video:thumbsup:. But if you're going back in to look for queen release, that's 2 trips anyway, so I guess it becomes a matter of what you're comfortable with.

I sugar-spritz my bees a little everytime I inspect (during warm months) as it seems to occupy their little minds and bodies for a few minutes & I have never noticed any adverse effects.

JMO
 

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Country boy , thoes are nice vids but 99.44% of the people on "beesource" will never install $30,000 worth of package bees in 27 hours and then kill them at the end of the season

I think it's closer to 100% this year.

To the best of my knowledge, the blow bees are already sold on contract for fall delivery. Why let them starve out when you can trade them for a trip to Hawaii?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Okay, I picked up the package this morning and was home by 10 am. They were packaged up on Saturday just as I had suspected. We'd had light frost overnight, so it was only about 45 when I got the girls. I just took the package up to the hive and set the whole thing inside until it warmed up.

About 2 pm, it was nice and toasty up at the hive. I took out the package and had my first good look. Lots of angry buzzing and activity, so I went ahead and spritzed. Apparently, this is instant gratification for them.

Popped the top, pulled out the still pretty full syrup can and retrieved the queen cage. Put the top back on as they were still pretty busy with the spritz. Put a couple of rubberbands on a frame of drawn comb & put the queen cage under those. And yes, I took the cork out. In fact, I took both corks out & plugged one hole with a mini marshmallow & left the other alone since it had the candy. I figure they'll get her out one way or another.

Then I set the package back inside the deep, put the syrup can on the inner cover and quickly slid off the package top so they could crawl out on their own. So I ultimately ended up with: SBB with a wooden reducer turned up to the smallest access, deep #1 with 4 frames of drawn comb (queen is attached to #4), inner cover with syrup can, deep #2 to protect the syrup can, another inner cover, and finally a telescoping outer cover. That should make everyone happy for a little while.

I had some sit down chores that I could do nearby, so I watched the hive for more than an hour. Lots of coming out onto the porch, everybody seemed to be doing the waggle dance, then some slow spirals in the immediate area. Middle of the day was NOT my plan, but it's supposed to get near freezing again tonight and I wanted to make sure they were nice & dry.

I'm going to do visuals on the entrance later this afternoon & a few more times tomorrow. Then check Wed afternoon to see if the queen's been let out. I've got additional frames of drawn comb to go in there, so hopefully she'll get busy very soon.
 

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I just installed my first 4 packages yesterday using the same method, minus the spritzing. No protective gear, LOTS of bees in the air and no stings. So my first experience has me leaning towards no spritzing.

Blueline
 
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