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Author Topic: How long can you hold packages before hiving?  (Read 787 times)
wff
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Location: Two Rivers, Alaska, USA (Long. -146.9749, Lat. 64.8675)


« on: January 02, 2007, 10:50:52 AM »

If I get them in Fairbanks, it's only a 60 mile round trip, and I can hive them the same day and not be exhausted.  Plus they come in a couple weeks later than the ones in Anchorage, which makes a huge difference in the weather.

wff, look into the hiving thing.  It sounds like you have alot of concern about hiving the same day, or shortly thereafter.  Ask a question on the forum.  I think that you can leave bees for several days before hiving in a cool dark place.  They do just fine.

I know that because when my course instructor gets bees from Australia, sometimes he has them in his dark garage for quite some time until everyone can get over to pick up their packages.  He recommends you come and get them as soon as possible.  But I remember last year they came a week earlier than anticipated and I could absolutely not go over to his place to pick them up.  they stayed there for about 3 days, I brought them home and hived them the same day.  So...put out the question if you want, let's see what people say about the length of time from pickup to hiving.  Great day.  Cindi

Good idea, Cindi.  I've read that three days is the max.  Last year I drove to Anchorage to pick up and got them in hives on the fourth day after they were packaged.  Didn't seem like I had an excessive number of dead bees, and the queens were all fine.

A few years ago, I tried to order some bees out of Texas from a very well known apiary.  They never asked how I wanted them shipped, and I assumed they knew what they were doing, so it never occurred to me that they would ship to Alaska by anything other than air freight.  Four days later, I got a phone call from the express mail dock in Seattle.  My bees had just arrived there by truck and they wanted to know when I was going to pick them up.  After three days of begging and reciting credit card numbers, I convinced one of the postal workers there to take them over to UPS, put them on a plane, and send them up to me.  They arrived here 9 days after packaging, and there was less than a tea cup full of live bees out of 10 3# packages.  I'm sure they would have fared better if they had been in the shade and sprayed with syrup occasionally, but that convinced me that I don't want them in the packages any longer than necessary.

So, what do others think? How long can you keep packaged bees before getting them in the hive, assuming they're taken care of in the interim?
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 10:55:34 AM »

wff, oh brother, what a waste of bees eh?  Such a plight.  You would have thought that the company would have sent the bees by air for surely.  It is not hard to read between the lines about the location of people.  Great day, I am awaiting response from people too on the comments.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 09:22:36 PM »

I get most packages here from a truck from California.  They feed can is often empty when I get them.  I save all the cans and the ones with a rubber gasket and a piece of cloth, I refill and put in the packages when I get them.  I just knock the bees down, pull the old can and put in the full one.  With food (1:1 syrup works well) they can last for a week or more.  Without food, they won't last very long at all.  If you don't have the nerve or a can that can be easily refilled, you can just use a spray bottle and feed them on the screen by spraying it until they don't take anymore.  You will have to repeat this daily.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2007, 06:29:53 AM »

I agree with MB.  I've had to keep bees in the package for up to a week due to weather conditions and work schedule.  Refilling the feeder cans or spraying daily with syrup will keep them alive.  I prefer to do  both as the spray on the screen seems to help keep them calm.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2007, 08:27:03 AM »

Awesome responses, learning, learning, implementing.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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