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Author Topic: Where in the top bar do I install package?  (Read 3512 times)
Bheckel169
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« on: February 01, 2011, 02:27:13 PM »

I purchased a top bar hive that is 43 inches long and has 25 top bars.  I've heard so many
different responses as to where I should install the bee package and why, I'm totally confused and maybe it doesn't make that much difference.  Many respondents have suggested I keep the package close to the front of the hive (my top bar hive has a side entrance).  Some suggest I go back 8 bars or 10 bars and open the hive there with a falseback about 2/3rds of the way back.  Any suggestions from experienced top bar beeks where I should be putting the package of bees in a hive my size or does it make a difference?
Bruce
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Countryboy
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 07:19:28 PM »

I built a TBH and installed a swarm in it last spring.  I just shook the swarm in the center of the box because that gave me the most working room, and I put the bars back on.  I let the bees decide where they wanted to start.  They drew out almost all the frames and I harvested about 50 pounds of honey.

Personally, I doubt that it makes much of a difference where in the hive you shake put the bees in at.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 10:52:38 PM »

They will settle wherever they like if you direct release the queen.  Put them wherever you want.  If you hang the cage, though, then they will cluster where the queen is and build a comb directly on it (probably between two bars) and repeat the error throughout the hive...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm
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Michael Bush
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 08:49:19 AM »

I agree. Just dump them in. I usually put the queen on the bottom, dump the bees in. I do not like this idea of using empty boxes or placing the entire package box in the hive. Just extra steps for me and when package installation is so easy, I'm always amazed why others try to make it so difficult.
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 10:04:48 AM »

The bees will choose the spot, let them.


...JP
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rwc
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 04:04:09 PM »

I would like to hear more about what to do with the queen when installing a package in a tbh
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 04:14:13 PM »

I would like to hear more about what to do with the queen when installing a package in a tbh

You can suspend the cage from between two of the top bars and either allow the bees to release her by eating through the candy plug or by releasing her at your discretion.

Pretty much the same you would do with a Lang set up.

They will likely build more comb around the cage with a TB set up so I wouldn't keep her caged for more than three days.


...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 09:14:36 PM »

I direct release her.  Always.  So they won't build messed up comb on the cage and repeat the error on every subsequent comb.  But I would direct release her anyway.  I just have more reason to in a foundationless situation.
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Michael Bush
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 10:03:28 PM »

I direct release her.  Always. 
You direct release in Langs and horizontal hives with standard frames?
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JP
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 10:40:58 PM »

Beeks who have readily available resources will direct release queens. Those who don't have the resources and purchase queens are more apt to be more protective of their investments.

The longer she is caged, the more comb the bees build over and on her cage, and you will have to cut the cage out of a veritable wad of comb.

I have good resources so I direct release.


...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 02:54:22 AM »

>You direct release in Langs and horizontal hives with standard frames?

Always.
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Michael Bush
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 08:29:34 AM »

I have good resources so I direct release.
...JP

>You direct release in Langs and horizontal hives with standard frames?
Always.

About what percentage of your queen releases fail?  How often is the queen balled?  I have often wondered why a package queen needed to be caged since she has already been caged with her package bees during shipment from the supplier. 
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Bheckel169
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 10:22:02 AM »

Do you direct release the queen first and dump the bees over her or do you add her to the "pile" after they're in the TBH?  Could the weight of all those bees injure her?
Bruce
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 12:46:52 PM »

Do you direct release the queen first and dump the bees over her or do you add her to the "pile" after they're in the TBH?  Could the weight of all those bees injure her?
Bruce

Put the caged queen aside, then shake the package into the set up. The bees will spread out and begin fanning, orienting to the new set up. Place the caged queen atop some of your frames and the bees will gravitate towards her. Study their actions toward her. Most all queenless bees desire a queen so you will likely see them trying to tend to her.

They will stick out their proboscis (bee tongues) trying to feed her.

If its a typical package that contained workers, some drones and a caged queen, they likely have already accepted her in the package set up, and you could likely direct release her, but if you want to wait, to give the bees a little more time if for some reason they haven't quite accepted her, then do so.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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Bheckel169
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 03:24:56 PM »

When you said put the queen on top of the frame I assume you mean on top of the top bar?
I'm using a TBH?
Bruce
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JP
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 07:11:18 PM »

When you said put the queen on top of the frame I assume you mean on top of the top bar?
I'm using a TBH?
Bruce

Yes, that is what I meant. Just place her atop two or three top bars that are side by side, just a place to put her while you're shaking the package.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2011, 08:32:49 PM »

>About what percentage of your queen releases fail?

The same number as when I didn't  direct release.  If they really don't care for the queen they move next door and leave her behind even if she's in a cage.  But some of them do that.

> How often is the queen balled?

I have never seen the queen balled.  I have seen her fly, but often it's because there is already a queen loose in the cage.

>  I have often wondered why a package queen needed to be caged since she has already been caged with her package bees during shipment from the supplier. 

Exactly.  They are queenless and she's the only queen and they've had time to realize that.

>Do you direct release the queen first and dump the bees over her or do you add her to the "pile" after they're in the TBH?

No.  I dump the bees in first, let them settle a little and then pop the cork and aim it down into the hive.  But if you're afraid she will fly and afraid you can't manage this very well, you could pop the cork, hold your finger over the hole and set it on the pile of bees and then close it up.

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Michael Bush
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Countryboy
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2011, 10:04:25 PM »

I have often wondered why a package queen needed to be caged since she has already been caged with her package bees during shipment from the supplier. 

I have seen commercial beekeepers use a nail to poke through the candy so that the queen would be released within a day or two.

But if you're afraid she will fly and afraid you can't manage this very well, you could pop the cork, hold your finger over the hole and set it on the pile of bees and then close it up.

Or hold your finger over the end and insert the cage into the hive entrance after you dumped the bees in and closed the hive.
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kenny61
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2011, 09:19:38 AM »

A lot of information here. I built that hive. The queen stays in her cage and is placed between bars 4 n 5. Remove the cork. Dump the bees in the rear of the hive, fill the feeder and close the hive up. I DO NOT recommend a direct release of the queen unless you know she has been in the package long enough to be adopted by the bees. She will be released in a few days.
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Bheckel169
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2011, 10:05:27 PM »

Kenny,

Lots of positive feedback on your hive.  Thanks.  I'm looking forward to my new
beekeeping experience. 
Bruce
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