Saul Creek Apiary
Raw Honey Pollination VSH (Cordovan) Italian Queens
Out-Back Hive Stands
W/Built In Reservoirs
Aids in Keeping ants and other crawling insects from entering hive!
Top Bar Hive Beekeeping
KTBH Kenyan Top Bar Hive
Bees & Queens
Solar Wax Melter
How to Info
Bee Keeping Basics
How to Section
Setting up the hive for the Packaged Bee Installation
Picture to be posted
In this section we will cover what equipment is needed to install a 2lb to 5lb Bee Package. It seems like no matter how much we stress to not give the Bees any more room than what they need there is always someone that does not head the warning and ends up seeing their Bees abscond (leave the hive). When starting out a package ONLY USE ONE HIVE BODY!!!!!!!! Do not use a deep and a super or two deeps or two supers. ( 1 ) use one and only one Hive Body!!!!!!!
How many Hive Bodies should I start out with? : You should only start out with ( 1 ) Deep
For More Info on Package Installation & Equipment setup see our From Package to two Years Info
Setting up the Hive:
Place one Deep hive body or what ever equipment you are going to be using with a bottom board on an appropriate stand at least 6" off the ground. If using standard 10 frame equipment use all 10 frames, if using 8 frame hive bodies use all 8 frames etc...... Leave no open space for them to build their own comb!
Remember, DO NOT GIVE ANY MORE SPACE THAN NEEDED!!!!!!! This means DO NOT ADD another hive body with frames.
Why only one Hive Body?
I cannot stress enough how important this is. When starting out a package, in most cases Bees are started on frames with wax foundation which needs to be drawn or what some Beekeepers call "pulling comb". This is where Bees secret wax to build comb for the Queen to start laying in. The Bees at this point are in race against time. Comb has to pulled so the Queen can start laying so a Brood nest can be established so that the colony will survive. The problem arises when a Beekeeper adds a second hive body often times so they can place a feeder within the hive. Most likely they read somewhere that robbing will take place if they use an exterior feeder. Even if additional frames were to be added to this second hive body there is still a large amount of space around the feeder and the Bees if given a chance will build their own comb in this space which will have to be cut out. This is a total waste of resources that could have been used for building foundation for the Brood Nest. Remember the Bees within the package were shaken in so the Bees will be different ages, many of which will be nearing the end of their natural life span. Getting a Brood nest established is the most important task at hand.
How many frames with wax foundation should I start out with? If you are using 10 Frame Equipment you should start out with all ( 10 ) frames, if using 8 Frame Equipment you should start out with all ( 8 ) frames.
Equipment for Hiving Package Bees:
At this point you should have ( 1 ) Bottom Board, ( 1 ) Deep Hive Body, ( 10 or 8 ) Frames W/Foundation, ( 1 ) Inner Cover (if used), ( 1 ) Top Cover (Telescopic or Migratory) and ( 1 ) Feeder
Place Hive Body on an appropriate base or stand. Make sure the stand is sturdy enough to hold up to three hundred pounds without failing.
Just before receiving your package of bees make enough sugar water at a 1:1 ratio (1 cup of Sugar to one cup of water etc...) to fill your feeder. Most package Bees come supplied with sugar syrup for the Bees to feed on while in transit but many times this feed has either been consumed or may be very low.
See our How to Install Package Bees for step three.
How Long Do I Feed Sugar Syrup? : Sugar Syrup should be continuously fed at a 1:1 Ratio as long as the Bees will take it to aid in getting wax drawn and the Queen laying. Do not let the Feeder go dry.
Your Bees have been installed and your feeder having been filled has been placed in the entrance (Boardman Feeder) or in the hive. The Feeder must be kept full at all times as it helps to get the Bees to secret wax and aids in getting the Queen to start laying. DO NOT LET THE FEEDER GO DRY!!!!!!!! Keep the 1:1 Sugar Syrup on the hive as along as the Bees will take it. Some colonies take feed longer than others so do not be alarmed if you have two colonies and one takes the syrup longer than the other.
When to add a second Hive Body (Deep or Honey Super)
One of the questions we get asked the most is when to add a second Deep (Brood Chamber) or Honey Super. Again remember we do not want to give the Bees any more room than what they need. Keeping the Colony strong and on the edge of being over crowded has several advantages for the health of the Colony.
A second hive body should be added when the Bees have pulled comb on at least 9 frames (10 frame equipment) and 7 frames (8 frame equipment).
Beekeeping Basics Page 4.
What is normal "Bee Behavior" and what is not.