Installing Packages

Installing Packages Written by Steve Repasky Safety is important and even though bees can be gently, when installing a package of bees, you should wear a veil and take appropriate precautions to prevent bees from crawling up you pant legs. You also will need a hive tool, a small nail, a couple of large rubber bands, a spray bottle filled with sugar syrup (1:1), and one or more gallons of 1:1 sugar syrup to feed the new colony. Your equipment should already be set up days in advance of your bees arriving. 1. Carefully inspect the bees to make sure they are alive and in good health (it is normal to have up to about one inch of dead bees in the bottom of the box). Spray the bees with sugar syrup- a light spray will do - no need to make them wet. 2. Make sure the bees are not exposed to excessive heat or cold. Periodically, if not installing immediately, 3-4 times a day spray the bees with 1:1 sugar syrup until you are ready to install the bees into a hive. 3. Be sure to keep your hands away from the screened sides of the package to avoid getting stung through the screen. Place the package on the ground in a shaded area or inside if temperatures are below 50. 4. Remove three or four frames from the center of the brood chamber to create a space in the hive for the bees. 5. Give the package a good knock on the hive or the ground to knock the bees into the bottom of the cage. With the hive tool, remove the wooden panel from the package of bees. Gently remove the

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Spring Feeding

Feeding Honey Bees Written by Steve Repasky In the spring it is often necessary to provide new or weak colonies with supplemental feed in the form of sugar. White table sugar (sucrose) mixed with water to create sugar syrup is simple and preferred mixture to feed honey bees. Sugar syrup fed in the spring should be one part sugar and one part water (1:1), either by weight or by volume. Fall feeding requires a thicker syrup (2:1) and we will discuss this in a later topic. In the spring thick/concentrated sugar syrup can cause digestive problems since the bees are trying to consume it for immediate use to build comb and feed larvae. Generally the bees will accept syrup mixtures with a ratio between 1:1 and 2:1 anytime of year without significant problems so it is not necessary to measure the ratio exactly. The recommended syrup ratios is a general guideline. Hot tap water should be sufficient to dissolve table sugar for making 1:1. Overheating (boiling) sugar syrup on the stovetop can make the mixture difficult to digest due to caramelizing (oxidation) of the sugar and is harmful to the bees. Calculating ratios is simple. One gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. So a 1:1 ratio would be approximately eight pounds of table sugar to one gallon of water. An easy way to transport sugar syrup to the hive is in clean, one gallon plastic jugs. They are also very convenient for pouring into the feeder. There are many methods to feed sugar syrup. Feeders that are placed either inside the hive or directly on top of the hive are generally preferred because the syrup is readily available to the hive and it is difficult

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