I remember the anticipation and excitement of waiting for my first bees, you may have a little work to do on the hive but it will be fun. Its great that you have local beekeepers around to help out, that is priceless. You may plan if you haven't already to do some reading over the winter and attend a local bee school. Of course there is the forum where you have access to many many many years of experience from some very bees smart beekeepers.
If you get any 65-70 degree days you may want to check to see how much capped honey they have to survive the winter.
It may not be possible in NY but if you have any 50+ degree days you may try feeding some sugar syrup.
keep your smoker handy.
You say you would remove some of the empty frames in on of the boxes before you move them. An empty frame does not weigh very much and it will also hold the other frames in place and keep them from sliding sideways in the boxes (if they have not been popped loose from being propolised in place they will not be going anywhere anyway).
I think I would go through them before moving and try to consolidate all of the filled frames and remove the empty and rotted wooden ware. Rotten boxes do not travel well, don't ask how I know that. Of course that will stir them up some and get them flying around but will settle back in after a little while. Put a rachet strap around them, stuff a rag or screen wire in the front entrance, load and go.
Good luck with them and I know you will let us know how it goes.
You can wait until you get them home. You need to have an estimate of how much it weighs before you start feeding. If they have enough honey, it is better for them than sugar. If not, you can feed fondant or plain sugar, even in cold weather.
I'm excited for you! It looks like you have given LOTS of thought and planning to your bees, and you have prepared a great spot for them. Post pics of their orientation flight if you can....those are so cool looking!!!
Sounds like you got it oing you way now. I am glad you found someone that is willing to help you out, it is a real confidence builder to go through a hive like that. I am so glad for you and I know you are so excited to be this far along, just wait til spring.
sounds like you are going to have your own hive pretty soon? true addiction follows.. don't ya' know?
doesn't just watching someone go thru a hive make the thought of doing so yourself (at some future time) kinda' take the edge off the uncertainty of doing so? I do the same kind of thingee here in the spring for our bee club's bee school (held twice each spring) and have had several folks comment about how just watching the process done really makes their first hive manipulation so much easier mentally.
anyway good luck to you and your new hive.
ps.. skunks eat live bees and they make very distinctive claw marks generally just above the front entrance. a remedy is to place boards with lots of nails driven thru them and turned upward around the front and two sides of the hive.
Way to go!! Might want to put a couple of sticks or some grass or something in front of the entrance so when they fly out in the morning (if it warms up enough) they will take notice of where to come back to. Orientation flights first thing in the morning. :yahoo: :yahoo: :drinks: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
you need to put a little pile of grass or something small on the front porch in front of the entrance to make the bees stop and think for a minute before they leave the hive. That helps you keep more bees, otherwise they get confused when they try to find their way back because it's not the same light patterns and such that they are used to following.
We love to watch the orientation flights!! It looks like ALL the bees come out between 8 and 9:30 in the morning to fly giant figure 8s above the hive. It's one of our favorite things to watch the bees do.