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Beekeeping: Installing Package Bees Today!

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wardarden
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2007
2:35 PM

Post #3372030

Installing Package Bees Today!

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I am really excited and nervous!! We drove about 2 1/2 hrs one way on Saturday to pick up my package of bees in Clarkson KY. It has been so very cold in Tennessee this weekend that I decided to keep them in the front hall closet and feed them until this afternoon. Chance of overnight freezes are over now. Does anybody have any advice they can offer? This is the first hive I have had since I was 12 years old (back in the 70s!). I had told my mom that I would like to keep a hive again. She passed away right before Christmas and as we were cleaning up we found that she had finished her Christmas shopping and she had purchased me a beginners hive kit. So it means alot to me for this to work.

I have a question. How soon should I add the second brood? I have been reading (since I forgot most of it since the 70's!) and it says as soon as they have the foundation built out to add another brood. When I was young I remember the hive only having 1 hive body and 1 super that we robbed from 1 time, then because of some nosey neighbor kids I had to move it out to the country and they didn't last long on their own.

Can we expect to get a honey harvest this summer, or should we wait until next year?

Will this hard freeze cause havoc on the bees pollen/nectar supply?

OK enough questions for now!

Thanks!
__________________
Arden Ward
Epona Farm
Murfreesboro, TN
jjpm74
Stratford, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2007
4:40 PM

Post #3372475

Did you get a queen and set up your frames with foundation? If so, once you add your bees and put the queen inside in her little box, you shouldn't be adding new bees to the hive. Check in a few days to see of she made some progress on the plug and remove the box and replace it with a frame once she's gotten out. You might want to feed them some sugar water until they build their numbers up a bit.

You might get a honey harvest this year, but probably won't get that much. It all depends on your local nectar flow and whether or not you choose to add a queen excluder and supers this year.

Hard frost won't have an impact. Up here in CT, my wife's hives are already gathering pollen and coming in with full pollen sacks.

Grab a copy of The Queen and I or Beekeeping for Dummies as it will answer many of your beekeeping questions. If there's a local bee keeper's association, look into joining as they are often very helpful.

Welcome to the world of beekeeping.

This message was edited Apr 9, 2007 4:42 PM
wardarden
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 10, 2007
1:51 PM

Post #3375924

I got it done. All bees in place. I went out this morning and looked around the hive and did not see any activity. I tried to listen very carefully and could not hear them either. They got kindof loud in my hall closet. So worried that maybe they had deserted me I barely lifted the first top, could not see any bees through the hole, then lifted the inner cover and saw a bunch of bees in the area of the queen cage. I hope they are doing OK.

How long does it usually take the bees to consume 1 quart of sugar syrup 2:1, does anybody know??

Thanks,
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

April 10, 2007
10:13 PM

Post #3377537

Good for you, Ward! I completely messed up my bee installation, though fortunately one of my 2 packages survived the ordeal.

I don't know where those little workers find pollen, but they WILL, even on a warm February day. Mine are suspiciously active this week. Suspect I might have a swarm looming (I don't harvest my honey so I think my hives are in fat city even in late winter.).
LC2sgarden
Bolivar, TN
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2007
1:57 AM

Post #3378040

Quit opening the hive if the temps are not in the high 60's. The bees keep the hive warm and when you open it it lets out all the warmth. Also you may not get any honey this yr. because the freeze has killed so much. If they do not make a lot of honey you will need to feed them this winter with a sugar water mixture. Contact your local extension agent and they should be able to tell you about beekeepers in your area that will give you some good advice. Good luck. LIZ
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2007
12:48 PM

Post #3379363

Right now I can put my hand in front of the opening & feel bee heat radiating out! I just love bees.

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