Monday, March 25, 2013

Installing your Bees

Beekeepers are beginning to install their bee packages. Here are videos that will explain a package and go over the steps of installing your packages.  This can be an exciting experience and knowing what to do before installing your packages will prepare you for the task at hand. We want you to feel comfortable while installing your package.

About a Package

Installing a Package

Be prepared before you go to your hive to install your package. Ensure you have all the tools you need and are dressed appropriately for your comfort level. With your hive setup and painted, ensure that you have:
Hive tool
Spray bottle with a sugar water mixture (temperature permitting)
Rubber Bands
Feed and Feeder
Protective Clothing

Installing your bees can be a thrill and during the activity certain steps must be carried out. Remember that the cork must be removed from the candy end. Removing the cork from the non-candy end will release the queen prematurely and your colony will not have accepted her yet.

Non-Candy End
Cork Removed from Candy End
Once your bees have been installed, a feeder must be applied. Depending on the weather and temperatures outside, using an entrance feeder or a division board feeder are most common. The feed must be easily accessible by your colony and checked on regularly. The colony is not yet established and will not be able to forage for pollen or nectar. Keep the feeder on until your bees are able to sustain themselves (even then, having a feeder on for that rainy day is recommended).  If temperatures do not drop below freezing, a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water is an acceptable feed. The sugar water mixture will help stimulate colony growth. If colder weather is forcasted, feed with fondant or other semi-moist, hard feed.

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