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Author Topic: Question on installing packages  (Read 973 times)
Ashlee
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« on: March 19, 2008, 01:20:14 PM »

Hello to everyone,
Well, I have just installed my first two packages 2 days ago. I'll give you a quick rundown so that I can lead you up to my problem. To install, I took the packages and placed them in the hive after removing 4 frames. I put the queens 2 frames over with a cupful of bees surrounding her. I opened packages and shut the hive up with sugar water on top of the inner cover to feed them. Because I have frames with just foundation for them to establish in, I was told to take cork out of queen cages 2 days later(today)so that this will give them time to draw out the comb before they started eating that sugar cube so that queens can come out. Yesterday, I observed that one hive was more active than the other. I felt that I needed to check on them and dump the rest of the remaining bees out of the packages and into the hive. I did this and found the weaker hive to have the majority of its bees to still be in package. They seemed very slow compared to the other package with the majority of its bees already out and getting to work. I hated to reopen the hives today but I had to take out corks and noticed that the stronger hive had already started drawing out comb whereas the weaker one still hasn't. Also, I have noticed fecal matter all over my hives and my suit. Could they have nosema or dysentery? Is this normal since they were cooped up in that little box? I have a microscope, maybe I should disect one to see. I'm not going to open them up for about 5 days. Also, I replaced their sugar water with fresh today. I would like to go organic and so if they have nosema or dysentery, what would be the best thing for me to do right now? Also, how long can it take for them to draw out the comb before it becomes a problem?
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2008, 01:32:23 PM »

the poop is normal.

everyone has different ways of releasing bees.  i like to dump mine in.  the down side to the way you did it, is that you have to get back into the hive and remove the cage and put the frames back in.  that's ok, but then you have to get in again and check the queen.  every time you get in the hive, you slow down the works.  as for your queens, there is no rush to releases them.  the bees will take care of her in the cage.  i had one that was caged for 6 or 7 days last year because the weather was so bad i couldn't open the hives, and the bees never released her.  she was fine when i set her loose.

different hives build up at different rates.  don't worry about it to much.  just keep an eye on things and see what happens.  they'll give the queen what she needs.

it actually sounds like you are off to a pretty good start.  relax and enjoy  smiley


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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 04:09:36 PM »

I am a huge fan of taking an empty box and placing it on top the single and not dumping them out, but rather turn the cage upside down and let them crawl out.

I have never had one take more than 1 day to vacate the package.......
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2008, 06:02:11 PM »

BMAC that sounds like a good idea, way less stressful & confusing than being dumped..on you and the bees! I'm sure it wouldn't take long for them go to to their new home after being crammed in that tiny box with none of the comforts of home!
Jody
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Ken
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2008, 07:16:53 PM »

Heres Beemasters vid on package install
http://www.youtube.com/njbeemaster
I'd get all the bees in the hive and out of the package especially if it's cool outside.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2008, 08:01:22 PM »

I am a huge fan of taking an empty box and placing it on top the single and not dumping them out, but rather turn the cage upside down and let them crawl out.

I have never had one take more than 1 day to vacate the package.......

I bet it would work nicely putting the box on top of the inner cover, aligning the holes, with another deep on top. Replace the box with a feeder the next day...
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 09:40:25 PM »

I am a huge fan of taking an empty box and placing it on top the single and not dumping them out, but rather turn the cage upside down and let them crawl out.

I have never had one take more than 1 day to vacate the package.......

As long as the package is inverted and above the frames and you're using a conventional lower entrance.  If using an upper entrance live the package upright and place the frames above the package.  The bees will climb out of the package to exit the hive for cleansing flights etc., in the process the package is usually emptied within a 24 hour peroid.  But leave the box upright, on top or or beside the frames, with a lower entrance and the bees will stay in the package, trying to go through the screen to exit.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008, 09:53:54 PM »

Personally, when installing a package I think confusion is a good thing.  I'd rather shake them out.  It forces them to reorient and to think in terms of getting organized.  I tried letting them find their own way out several times and was not that impressed by the method.

As far as dysentery, they have been confined.  So of course they have dysentery.

As far as one being more active they often drift badly right after installing packages.  It's sometimes a good idea to swap a strong one with a weak one to even them out.
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