How to Install Your Bees
All refunds are subject to a $80 penalty. Three weeks before the (tentative) pickup dates, there will be no refunds. The reason for this policy, is that we prepay for these bees and cannot get our money back. All Bee Packages are PICKUP ONLY.
We do not ship Bee Packages, they are Pickup Only in Kansas City.
Hiving Your New Package of Bees
- Before you pick up your package bees, have your hive ready. This would be one hive body with frames, a top, inner cover, bottom board, entrance reducer, feeder and spray bottle with sugar water. Face your hive south, tilted slightly forward so the rain runs off the landing board and not into the hive. Be sure to have a brick or rock to put on top of your hive and sugar water for the feeder.
- Take your package bees to your hive and do the following
- Spray your packaged bees with your bottle of sugar water. They will become quiet and start cleaning themselves.
- Removing the Syrup Can – Bump your packaged bees so the bees drop to the bottom of the package and pry the syrup can out of the package. Quickly cover the can-hole with a piece of wood or cardboard.
- Now, remove the queen cage hanging in the package and quickly cover the can hole.
- Verify your Queen is moving inside the cage. Hang you queen cage inside your hive with the screen facing between the frames, so the bees can feed your queen. You can remove the cork and replace it with a marshmallow. Be careful when doing this. Remove the cork 90% out, then wait until the queen is looking the opposite direction and quickly remove the cork and push in a marshmallow. If the queen is facing the cork, she will make an attempt to escape and can fly away. (Not Good).
- OPTION 1 Take the cover from the Can hole of the package bees and shake a few bees over the Queen and shake the rest in the space where you removed the 5 frames. After shaking the bees out, wait 5 minutes and gently put the frames back in your hive. Be careful not to squish the bees. Make sure you put all 10 frames back into the hive. Leave the package by the hive entrance, (can hole facing the hive entrance) the bees that are still in the package will go into the hive.
- OPTION 2 Take the cover from the Can hole of the package bees and shake a few bees over the Queen and then set the package in the empty space where you took out the frames. This allows the bees to slowly crawl out of the cage. If you are installing several packages at a time, this is a faster method. The next morning take out the package and put the frames back in the hive. Leave the package by the hive entrance, (can hole facing the hive entrance) so the bees that are still in the package can go into the hive.
- Feed your bees’ (1 to 1) sugar to water by weight. (5 pounds of sugar to 5 pounds of water).
- Have your entrance reducer on your hive for the next 3 weeks. It is easier for them to protect a small entrance.
- After 3 days open the hive and release the Queen. Lay the queen cage on top of the frames and gently remove the cork or screen. Let her walk out of the cage and go down between the frames. Be gentle when putting your frames back into the hive, you don’t want to accidentally smash your Queen.
- Check your hive in 7 to 10 days after the queen is released, to see if your queen is laying eggs. Now you can enjoy watching your hive grow.
- Keep feeding your bees until they have drawn out the comb in both hive bodies or the honey flow starts in Mid-May, when they stop taking the sugar water to gather nectar. If you have new foundation, do not put on the 2nd hive body until they have drawn out 70% of the frames in the first hive body. This 70% rule is used for adding supers with new foundation.
Congratulations!!! You have successfully hived your Bees and are now a BEEKEEPER!!!!
Caring for Packaged Bees
Package bees are produced in the southern states/California and are shipped all over the country. Because the winters are milder in the South, the honeybee populations start their spring growth spurt early and can be shipped to Northern states before the major honey flow starts. The 3 pound Bee Packages are the most popular. One pound of bees equals 3,500 bees. Packaged Bees are ordered in the winter and delivered in April.
- Your local beekeeping supply dealers are your best source for getting Package Bees. They are your best guarantee of a timely delivery and better handling.
- After picking up your bees, if you cannot hive them immediately, keep them in a cool dark place, like your garage or basement.
- Bees should be kept cool with temperatures between 50-60 degrees.
- Never leave your Bee Package in the sun. If they get hot, you will lose a lot of bees. If the bees are restless or warm, lightly spray them with cool water.
CONDITION OF ARRIVAL:
- Inspect your package for “Bee Drop”. If the bottom of your package has over one inch of dead bees, you need to talk to the dealer. Most packages will lose several hundred bees in shipping. This is why it is important to “Hive” your bees ASAP!!! They don’t travel well and need their Hive.
- Inspect your Queen. If she is not alive in her cage, call your dealer immediately, your dealer will replace her.
- The feeder can in the bee package can be empty or close to empty on arrival. Spraying your bees twice a day with sugar water will supplement them until you “Hive” your bees. Hiving your bees as soon as they arrive, will eliminate this concern.
HAVE YOUR EQUIPMENT READY:
- Setup your hive with a feeder and entrance reducer (use the 4” to 6” opening) before your Bee Package arrives, so you “Hive” your bees immediately. If you have other hives, it is good to get 3 or 4 drawn comb frames from your established hive and place them in the new hive. This will allow the queen to start laying eggs immediately.
Selecting a Location for Your Hive
There are several factors you should consider when selecting a site to place your hives. One of the most important factors is: Will there be sufficient food sources near the bees? Bees can travel one mile in each direction to find nectar and pollen. Open fields with clover are excellent sources as well as fruit trees and wild flowers. Take time to examine your area to see what kinds of plants are available. Spring sources of nectar and pollen from willow trees, fruit trees, dandelions and clover are very helpful for colony build-up during the spring. As a general rule, Missouri and Kansas have a wide assortment of flowers.
Next you want to inspect the actual area where the hives will be placed. First, make sure there is wind protection from the Northern winter winds (Trees or Buildings). Second, don’t select an area that is heavily shaded. A little shade is good and some beekeepers prefer no shade at all. You don’t want your bees to get really hot in the summer, so partially shaded areas are good.
When placing your hive on the site you have chosen there are a couple of things you should do.
First, the entrance should be facing south.
Second, the hive should be leaning forwarded just a bit. This will allow the rain to run off the front of the hive and not into it.
Third, avoid Flood areas. We had a lot of beekeepers lose their hives in the floods over the years.
Forth, you need to be able to drive up to or close to your hives. This makes carrying bee equipment easier. When you are adding supers, feeding or removing honey for harvest, it is always easiest to avoid carrying supers long distances. Just make sure you have easy hive access.
Fifth, do not insulate your bee hive for winter. Wind Protection is good and our winters have several warm days. If we insulated our hives, the bees would not get warm on those warm days, so it is best not to insulate the hives. So, Wind Protection is Good, Insulating your hives is not.
Sixth, make sure you put a rock on top of your hive. Because of the storms that go through our area, it is always good to put a rock on top of your hive, to protect your bees.