Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle
Install Bee Packages
I have scaled back this year. I installed two bee packages into two horizontal hives. I decided to not use the top bar hives…
We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.
Two Bee Packages In Two Hives
by David Proctor
April 4, 2019
Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine Published Weekly
I have had to cut back on some of the things that I really enjoyed doing; the vermiculture and Mason bees. I decided to concentrate on the honey bee again this year and to also stick with just one style of hive, the horizontal hive.
I put in an order for two packages of bees and picked them up last Saturday, March 30th. I was lucky, in that it turned out to be a really nice day for installing the bee packages.
I left a few frames out of each hive so I could leave the syrup can inside, along with a peppermint cane, and some pollen that I had from the bee club.
As a footnote to last years bee release, none of the hives made it through the winter. I had six hives that became infested with hive beetles. Out of multiple hives, I lost them all.
I decided to not use the Warre hives and the Kenyan style top bar hive. I like these hives but found them too difficult to inspect.
The bees would cross build cone from one top bar to another, then build to the lower bar or floor of the hive. Then they would attach to the sides of the hive.
This is not a problem if you do not inspect, but that is why I lost my hives, I did not get control over the hive beetle until it was too late.
Horizontal Hive Frame
When I did try to inspect, I was tearing cone apart.
I thought that I had it made with the horizontal hive, and I did, except I did not keep up with the bees and how healthy they wear. Soon I noticed the larva of the hive beetle and before I knew it the damage was done.
To make matters worse, wax moths moved in.
So that is why I ordered another horizontal hive and decided to concentrate on just two hives and inspect more often.
Horizontal Hives With Bee Packages To Be Installed
I plan on using the ideas that I have learned about controlling the hive beetle.
The material that is used for signs, like political signs, or sale signs that you see hanging on wires stuck into the ground. This material has small corrugated tunnels in the material. The material can be cut into 2″X4″ rectangles and slit in the center.
This allows the material to be opened and a hive beetle control injected into the corrugated material. The bees are unable to get into the tunnels but the hive beetles are attracted into the tunnels to get at the bait and end up dying.
I hope to check on the queens before this coming weekend to be sure the bees have eaten through the candy and released the queen from the small little queen cage. I poked a small hole in the candy with an awl, so not much is needed to free the queen.
If all goes well, I hope to finally see some honey from my bees this year. But even if I don’t, I know they will be out pollinating for miles around!
Check It Out!
Installing 8 honey bee packages in 10 minutes. 11:51
Burnley Farm Apiary, LLC
- Assemble bee hives during the winter to allow plenty of time for the process and for any paint or wood sealer to cure.
- Do not paint or treat the inside of the hive where the bees will reside.
- Order bees early. It takes time to have the bees and packages ready for the spring. Don’t just show up and say I want to buy some bees. This isn’t something you run to Walmart to get.
- When you select a package, be sure the bees are formed around the queen in a “V” shape, this indicates they have accepted her.
- Have extra food for the bees to help them get started. It is hard for the bees to collect their food in rainy, overcast and windy weather. Feed sugar water on a 1:1 ratio. This is what nectar will be like and will promote comb and brood production.
- Have protective clothing for working with the bees. Most of the time the bees are pretty docile. But you do want your face protected. The will go for the eyes if given enough reason. Being poured out of a box after traveling several hundred miles is a good reason.
- Manage your bees for healthy bees. Take note of varroa mites and any other pest and do what you feel is proper and timely.
- Try to refrain from using herbicides and pesticides.