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Author Topic: Hived 1st packages!  (Read 1005 times)
Valarie
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Location: Marysville, CA


« on: April 19, 2006, 03:24:43 AM »

Hi everybody! I'm just so excited I hived my first packages!
Last week I called about my 3 packages of bees and they said that because of the weather ( lots of rain in N. Ca) they would not be in until May 15th or so. Then, the very next day they called and said Surprise! my bees would be in Sat!
I hived them Sat afternoon in the rain, the weatherman said it was going to be worse on Sun and I didn't want to wait any longer than that. I sprayed the bees down with syrup and just poured them right in. I was a little nervous but it went really well! No stings even without gloves, although my husband got one on the hand while taking pictures of me working Sad . The queens were by themselves in a cage with just a cork and a screen (no candy), my supplier explained that they had just been packaged with the bees on Fri and instructed to leave her in the cage and wait to manually release her until Mon so they will accept her.
So Monday was the big day to go in the hives! What a rush. They were flying around a bit. Had my husband on smoker duty while I opened them up Cheesy . They seemed to buzz alot when smoked, maybe he was smoking too much? But it did help them calm down and they retreated between the frames. They were clustered all around the queen cage and busy making comb, it was so neat! I released the queens by taking out the staple and pulling back the screen. I was able to see all 3 of them walk right out of their cage and onto the comb. Hopefully they were all accepted ok! I am feeding them each with a qt jar of 1:1 syrup turned upside down over the inner cover hole and surrounded by a med. super. On Monday they had hardly drank 1/4 of it, I thought they would have drank more. I'm so excited to open them up to take a peek but my book says to wait a week. Why is this, just to let them adjust?  Will it take a full week for them to build enough comb for queen to start laying?  I am wondering when I can check them next and what I should expect to see. I think I'll open the top up just to check the syrup on thurs. Today was a nice sunny day and I kept going out to the yard just to watch them, they are so fascinating! I could see they were already bringing in lots of pollen from my orange trees! They must have a place to put it already?  Thanks for any advice!
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Peace, Love, & Sunshine!
Jack Parr
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2006, 05:28:15 AM »

Seems like ur not gettin' much sunshine  smiley How bout love  smiley Peace  smiley  smiley  smiley

If you have your feeding bottle on the inner cover and then a super on that covered by the telescoping top you can open that up most anytime and not cause much of a disturbance.

Bear in mind that the bees will have a different temperment now that they are homeowners. Just like folks and " their property ".

It will probably take a little longer for comb building because a package is not exactly like a swarm. The bees were in some hives, on frames, just living peaceful lives of quite contentment then along come these rude people, pullin'  the frames, the bees shaken off into a funnel to end up in a screened cage.  Now ya got 'em. The bees have no reserves of honey internally for immediate comb building, like when they swarm.             How long ? I don't know exactly but YOU could keep track and TELL us since you seem Sooooo excited about your new adventure. I, personally, have not hived packages. I have hived swarms and bought nucs. The swarms, once established, start building comb immediately. The nucs are a small population of bees already set-up on four or five frames and just continue their routine.

Actually if the bees are gathering pollen there is some comb to store it and they do need pollen for brood rearing. They will also store that sugar water in the newly built comb but generally the bees decide how they are going to operate and you just let them " do their thing ". After they have setup their " home " to their liking they will REALLY get " with it " and start to " make babies ". Kinda like in the ghetto wink

Oh well, enjoy ya bees and don't pester 'em  them too much.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2006, 07:49:09 AM »

>They were flying around a bit. Had my husband on smoker duty while I opened them up Very Happy . They seemed to buzz alot when smoked, maybe he was smoking too much?

They buzz a little.  It doesn't take but a puff or two of smoke to keep them calm.  First light the smoker well.  Then put a puff or two in the door.  Then wait at least a full minute.  Then open the top and put a puff in the hole at the top and wait at least 30 seconds.  Then pop the inner cover.  Once it's propolized it tends to make a pop, which always makes them buzz louder.  Leave it in place after it pops until they bees calm back down, then take the inner cover off.  If they look calm, you're done, if not another puff or two won't hurt.  It takes a well lit smoker but only a few puffs of smoke to get them calm.

>Hopefully they were all accepted ok!

Packages are seldom a problem.

> I am feeding them each with a qt jar of 1:1 syrup turned upside down over the inner cover hole and surrounded by a med. super. On Monday they had hardly drank 1/4 of it, I thought they would have drank more. I'm so excited to open them up to take a peek but my book says to wait a week. Why is this, just to let them adjust?

If they are going to abscond that first week is the most likley time.  So you want them to think it's a good home where they won't be bothered.

> Will it take a full week for them to build enough comb for queen to start laying?

Maybe, but probably not.  She'll start laying as soon as there are cells 1/4" deep.   That usualy only takes three or four days.  But it's really open brood that seems to anchor them to a location.  They will abandon eggs, they are very reluctant to abandon open brood.

>I am wondering when I can check them next and what I should expect to see.

I'd peek in about a week for your sake, not for theirs.

> I think I'll open the top up just to check the syrup on thurs. Today was a nice sunny day and I kept going out to the yard just to watch them, they are so fascinating! I could see they were already bringing in lots of pollen from my orange trees! They must have a place to put it already?

Yes they must.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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Galactic Bee
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Ted


« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006, 07:50:04 AM »

when hiving a package on new foundation, just make sure you keep the feeder full, they will build before you know it and your hive will grow fast, make sure you have a entrance reducer on the hive just to help them keep the hive warm and help keep from robbing until the get going good...
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
Valarie
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Location: Marysville, CA


« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2006, 02:56:12 PM »

Thanks guys!
I'm hoping the sunshine will bring the peace and love Cool

Quote
make sure you have a entrance reducer on the hive just to help them keep the hive warm and help keep from robbing until the get going good...
 
 

When I got the bees I was told not to worry about an entrance reducer unless I had a problem with mice; and if I did, I should just get a mouse guard instead. It's not real cold (50 or so at night) but it is a little windy here so I think I'll get them next chance I get. Seems like they wouldn't have much to protect from robbing yet, except syrup? I guess I thought that only happened late in the season after the honey flow, but they are a fragile new colony so I'll do what I can to protect them.
Thanks MB, interesting that a queen will lay in comb thats only 1/4 finished, so then she may have even started laying on the day I released her?
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Peace, Love, & Sunshine!
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