Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3. shows how to introduce a 3lb package of honey bees or a Nucleus Colony into a single Deep Hive Body or (2) Shallow Hive Bodies. We will also discuss hiving a nucleus colony which is much the same as hiving a package hive equipment wise.

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3. 3lb package

3lb Packages of Bees Ready To Install

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3. Every year in early spring thousands of packages full of bees will be sent out or picked up by eager new beekeepers. Unfortunately many of those beekeepers will loose their colonies within the first few months or year of installing them. I cannot stress enough that just because your hive kit came with all those cool looking hive bodies that look really neat when stacked on top of each other please do not use all of them when starting out a new colony. It doesn’t make any difference if your using 8 or 10 frame equipment use only only (1) Deep or (2) Supers (if using supers/shallows instead of (1) Deep for the brood chamber) when starting your packages out. We never want to give bees anymore room than what they need and this rule holds very true for packaging a new colony.

In our Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3. were going to be concentrating on installing a 3lb package of bees. If you remember we already discussed what woodenware we were going to need to get started in Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 2. Even though we have already covered what hive equipment will be needed we are going to do again as it’s very important in getting our new colony started and off to a good start.

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3. Hive Equipment:

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3. Starter Colony Hive Equipment

  • Foundation for Hive Bottom Board to sit on: This can be a couple of cynder blocks, a home made hive stand or commercial hive stand. No matter what kind stand we use we use we want to make sure we have a slight forward angle so that water cannot enter the hive during a rain event.
  • Bottom Board: The bottom board needs to sit on the base or hive stand without rocking.
  • (1) Deep or (2) Shallows: (2 if using supers or shallows for the brood chamber).
  • Wood Frames W/Wax Foundation: Let me just say that in all the honey bee colonies that I have managed and all the bee removals I have done, I’ve never seen any comb built with plastic! Bees just do better with pure Wax Foundation. I do not like plastic.  See Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 2.
  • Entrance Reducer: Entrance reducers are often over looked even by seasoned beekeepers. Instead many pile grass and garbage that they pick up off the ground in front of the hives entrance to try and reduce robbing. This in return often ends up being a failure because it does not effectively block off the entrance to prevent the robbing and it look like crap! A wood reducer allows you to select an opening size that allows the colony to protect against robbing.
  • Telescopic Top: For small apiaries do not use migratory tops for your hives. Use a telescopic top to prevent water from entering the hive and to protect your woodenware from rotting. Telescopic Tops normally have metal covers and extend well beyond the sides of the hive preventing rain from entering the hive.

Make sure to have your all your equipment ready and sitting in place well before your Bees arrive. Waiting until the last minute is not a very good idea as its too easy to forget something and find out while your in the middle of hiving your bees you don’t have what you need. 

Installing a 3lb Package of Bees:

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

Low stress set in method for installing/hiving package bees.

We are going to show how to install bees into your hive two different ways. First we are going to show the shake in method. Shacking the bees into the hive will put a lot of bees in the air which makes some new beekeepers a little nervous. The second method we are going to show is much less stressful on the bees and the beekeeper and only requires the beekeeper to set the package into the hive body next to the frames with the Queen.

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

3lb Package of Bees

Installing a 3lb package of bees is very easy and can be done without stressing out the beekeeper or the bees. If you are comfortable shaking the bees into the hive then by all means do so. A package of bees has (5) main parts which we will cover here.

  1. Package:  Wood with Screen Wire to prevent bees from escaping
  2. Cardboard Cover: A piece of card normally stapled to the top of the package to hold the Syrup Can and prevent bees from escaping.
  3. Syrup Can: A metal can with holes punched in the top to allow syrup to drip out when inverted
  4. Queen Cage W/Strap: Normally a wooden cage with (1) Queen and up to (5) attendants
  5. Honey Bees: Package bees can be purchased in either 3lb or 5lb packages

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

Package Bees with Cardboard cover in place.

The picture above shows the package as it is received or picked up from the supplier with the cardboard cover in place. In order to hive/ install the package the protective cardboard will have to be removed by prying out the staples holding it in place. The cardboard can be removed but should be left close by. Once the cardboard has been removed bees cannot escape as there will be a metal can in place which contains sugar syrup for the bees to consume while they are in transit and being held in the package. You will also see a small metal strap that is stapled to the top of the wood package. This strap is used to hold the queen cage in place while in transit and to support the queen cage when placed in the hive (see picture below).

Beekeeping Basics 101 Page 3.

Queen Cage Attached to Frame

Please continue on to our next informative Beekeeping Basics 101 Page1, Page 2. Page 3.