Author Topic: Packages arrive the 12th  (Read 749 times)

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Offline Zweefer

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Packages arrive the 12th
« on: April 09, 2021, 10:26:04 am »
Our packages are being delivered on Monday, I was wondering if there are any newish beekeepers here that are excited and or nervous to be installing packages? Any good memories of installations the more experienced keeps want to share?

You know, just a general ask questions, tell stories, or whatever kind of thread...
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
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Offline iddee

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2021, 02:39:20 pm »
Being where you are, a "cold weather install" may be needed.

Remove 5 frames from your deep box, or 5 from each of your two mediums. Place the package in the hive. Remove the queen and allow a handful full of bees to come out the top as you suspend the queen between the 2 frames nearest the package top. Close up and wait an hour or so.  Lift top and insure the bees are gathering on the queen cage. Add feeder with 1:1 sugar water.

next day, and NOT 2 days, remove the cage and install the missing frames. wait 2 days and they will be hanging wild comb above the cage. NOT A GOOD IDEA.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2021, 03:49:37 pm »
I like installing packaged bees!  Fun, fun, fun  and feed, feed, feed 1:1 sugar syrup.
I also like to apply an oxalic acid dribble on day 8 after releasing the queen.  They are finding that many of the packaged bees carry a mite load.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 01:01:13 pm »
Any good memories of installations the more experienced keeps want to share?

You know, just a general ask questions, tell stories, or whatever kind of thread...
Well, since you asked, here's a duplication of an e-mail I sent to a friend of mine about my original package install.  I had done over a year of research beforehand, but I had never worked bees or been around anyone who worked bees before (I don't have a mentor), so it was a totally new experience.  Just for some context, this was April of 2018, and Haley is my sister.  I hope you enjoy.  :)     

  "I have bees!  Yeah!!  Oh, everything is going so well!  So I am a beekeeper, but the bees didn't come on the date originally expected.  They were delayed until the 13th of April because the weather was bad.  This was actually really good because once we knew that we were getting packages instead of nucs, I wanted to get a queen excluder for each hive.  We ordered them through a local farm store, and they took FOREVER to get here.  Had the bees not been delayed I would have had to rig something.  Definitely not going to order from them again.   
   The day we drove to pick them up the weather was great, sunny and warm.  It took us a while to get there because the Mapquest directions were missing a step (?!), and so we missed a turn.  The place we picked them up, Wild Mountain Bees, is a beekeeping store, and I could have spent a lot more time in there just looking at all the stuff they had.  All the people who worked there were really nice.  They were all young and hip, part of the urban tree-hugger scene (and I don't mean that in a negative way, they had a great vibe).  We went into the back area of the store, and all the packages were sitting there, lined up on the floor.  The girl told us to pick whichever ones we wanted.  Me and Haley walked up and down the rows, looking to see which packages had the tightest cluster of bees and no stragglers on the outside.  Before we left I watched their installation video on a TV they had set up in the store, and I also bought 2 shims (those are just 1 inch spacers to provide some extra room for feed). 
   When we got out to the car, we noticed a bee sitting on the outside of one of the packages.  We felt bad just leaving her there when she wanted to be with her friends, so we put her in a mesh bug catcher we'd brought along for this very purpose.  We put the packages in mesh laundry bags to contain any other stragglers that might escape, and put them in the back of the Suburban, surrounded by pillows and towels and stuff to keep them from sliding around. 
   When we got home I lit my smoker just in case I needed it, and me and Haley got suited up.  We had done a dress rehearsal a few days before, so we were fully prepared with everything we'd need.  We took the first package up to the hives.  I took out the queen cage, shook the bees off the outside, and took a look at my first queen, Cleopatra, to be sure she looked okay.  I tacked her cage to a frame and then turned the package upside-down and shook all the bees in the hive.  Some of them flew, but not too many, and I was shocked at how easily they just tumbled out!  I would have thought they'd at least try to hold onto the box, but they really didn't!  We closed up that hive and let the bees settle down a little bit.  A lot of them were flying in circles around the hive, orienting themselves with their surroundings.  When bees move into a new hive, all the bees take turns going outside and familiarizing themselves with the landmarks around the hive, so they can find their way back when they leave to forage. 
   The second package went just as smoothly.  The queen in that package looked good too, Queen Boadicea.  Her namesake is the queen of the ancient Celts, pronounced bo-ah-di-KAY-ah (in real classical Latin, at least).  Since that's kind of impossible for anyone but me and Haley to say, we usually just call her Boa.  We spent the rest of the afternoon on lawn chairs in the driveway, just watching the bees orienting and sometimes coming over and investigating us."

 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Zweefer

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2021, 01:13:25 pm »
Awesome! I am so happy your first experience was a good one!
Have you continued the tradition of naming your queens? Who currently resides in your hives?



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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2021, 01:45:29 pm »
Awesome! I am so happy your first experience was a good one!
Have you continued the tradition of naming your queens? Who currently resides in your hives?
I have indeed!  I find numbering my hives too impersonal to remember.  It's much easier for me to remember which queen is which if I name them.  Currently I have Queen Nitocris (legendary Babylonian queen with a great story), Queen Guinevere (from King Arthur), Queen Berenice (like the constellation Coma Berenices), and Queen Martha whose naming story is actually kind of funny.   I normally name my queens after historical or fictional queens, but this hive was a late small swarm, and I didn't know if this queen was mated well or if they were large enough to make it through the winter, so I didn't want to waste a good name on her.  I decided to name her after Batman's and Superman's mothers, because her mother queen was named Hippolyta (which was a Greek reference, but it's also Wonder Woman's mother's name).  Then I had another hive go queenless right before winter, so I combined them with Queen Martha's hive and the population boost made them very strong, and they came into this spring the strongest of all the hives.  I actually just split Martha's hive yesterday, so I'll need to think of a name for her daughter.  Perhaps a Marvel comics mother. . . .     
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Offline RAST

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2021, 08:52:45 pm »
Sadly, I have never purchased or installed a package, however I have called the queen names and spoken crudely about her genetics.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2021, 10:05:35 am »
Sadly, I have never purchased or installed a package, however I have called the queen names and spoken crudely about her genetics.
:laugh:
I have never named a queen either because I thought it would jinx things.
Here is a story regarding naming queens.
My sister is the one that originally sparked my interested in beekeeping.  Her first year, for whatever reason, she needed a new queen.  It was the first of July.  She picked up her queen and named her Freedom.  My sister put the queen cage in the hive and on the 4th she released her.  Freedom took to the air like a rocket never to be seen again.  Choose a name wisely.  :sad:

Offline Jen

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2021, 01:15:05 pm »
Baker, That is a Great story on Queen Freedom!

I don't name all of my queens, but once in a while a queen is unique or has a story. I have a Queen Anne, and a Queen Bodacious Booty. And one of my female bee cohorts has a gorgeous black carniolan queen, named Queen Latifa.

These three queens are great layers and make peaceful bees.

Here is a pic of Queen Bodacious Booty, she has the longest abdomen that I have seen yet, and a power house layer ~


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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2021, 04:42:33 pm »
I have never named a queen either because I thought it would jinx things.
Here is a story regarding naming queens.
My sister is the one that originally sparked my interested in beekeeping.  Her first year, for whatever reason, she needed a new queen.  It was the first of July.  She picked up her queen and named her Freedom.  My sister put the queen cage in the hive and on the 4th she released her.  Freedom took to the air like a rocket never to be seen again.  Choose a name wisely.  :sad:
Oh that is horrible, and also very funny!  :D

Baker, That is a Great story on Queen Freedom!

I don't name all of my queens, but once in a while a queen is unique or has a story. I have a Queen Anne, and a Queen Bodacious Booty. And one of my female bee cohorts has a gorgeous black carniolan queen, named Queen Latifa.

These three queens are great layers and make peaceful bees.

Here is a pic of Queen Bodacious Booty, she has the longest abdomen that I have seen yet, and a power house layer ~



Queen Bodacious Booty!!  :laugh:  What a riot!  That is one bodacious booty though!   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline RAST

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2021, 08:16:24 pm »
Aptly named and wing length to abdomen ratio indicates a power house supposedly. 

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2021, 10:31:04 pm »
Installing packages.... I fought for a couple of years, to bang the boxes around to get as many bees out as possible...  Then one day it occurred to me JUST how much of an idiot I was...   NOW I tear the screen out of the side, one little bump, ALL the bees go in, no banging, shaking stirring.......  If there are any left, lay the box by the hive opening.. DONE. so fast, so easy....   Sometimes it takes me a while to smarten up.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2021, 09:54:25 am »
Installing packages.... I fought for a couple of years, to bang the boxes around to get as many bees out as possible...  Then one day it occurred to me JUST how much of an idiot I was...   NOW I tear the screen out of the side, one little bump, ALL the bees go in, no banging, shaking stirring.......  If there are any left, lay the box by the hive opening.. DONE. so fast, so easy....   Sometimes it takes me a while to smarten up.
Good to hear from you LazyBkpr!
I like your method.  I always thought that bumping, shaking, pounding, slamming, fussing and cussing was not necessary.  That method was probably created by some beekeeper that had a lot of packages to install and wanted to get it done.
Does anybody recycle those boxes?  They are pretty stained after the bees are installed.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2021, 01:36:30 pm »
Once upon a time they did want them back if possible, now they don't. The box is part of the package price now.  At least here in my area. There may be some out there that still want to recycle them.
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: Packages arrive the 12th
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 04:39:42 pm »
Our supplier still takes them, but there is no refund if you do...
It’s pretty hit and miss for returns.


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Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
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