My Package Installations

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Slowmodem, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It was around 7:30 when I got the bees this morning at the post office. It was 40F outside and I thought that was a little cool to be fooling around with the bees. So I parked my car in the shade and left the bees in there. It's now 52F and warming quickly. I'll be doing the install in a few minutes.

    Here are the first pictures of the packages at the post office and in the car:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There doesn't seem to be many dead bees on the bottom. That's a good sign. More pictures as things develop! :D

    This didn't post right (my fault) so I'll just add to it and post it the right way this time.

    Short story:

    1. The bees are in the hives. :grin:

    2. Phone-Camera battery was dead. :frustrated::frustrated:

    Long story:

    Got the bees home. Sprayed them with a little sugar water (the sprayer didn't spray very well, it doesn't like syrup). Took the wooden lid off the first one and the bees just poured out. The wooden lid on Walter T Kelley packages isn't a tight fit around the can, and the queen cell is stapled to the top, and there's lots of room for the bees to get out. It took me a while to figure out that I needed needle-nose pliers to get the can out. Once I got a grip, the can came right out. Then we got the queen box out (Dad was helping me). Took a knife and got the cork out. Put an empty deep with the package inside on the bottom. Put the frames with the best comb in next. There's a top feeder with syrup on top.

    Repeated the above steps (it was a little easier this time, now that I knew what to expect) for the other hive. So now I have an 8-frame and a 10-frame hive.

    I'll go down there in a little while and remove the bottom box and package. They should be all out of it by now (or in a little while). Hopefully they'll like their new homes. It's got to be better than riding around in back of a truck in a package! They sure are buzzing around now.

    I've got the phone charging now. I'll take some pictures of the WTK packages so you can see what I mean about the gaps.
     
  2. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I took the bottom boxes with the packages out and all seems well. I put the packages and empty boxes in front of the hives so that stragglers could go into the hive. Syrup is in the feeder on top of the hives. The queens are in the middle of the hives with the cork out and the candy hole up. I plan on going in Friday to check the queen release.

    As I said previously, the Kelley packages are not tight fitting at the top. Here is a picture of what it looks like after the can and queen box is removed:

    [​IMG]

    Now that I know, I'll know what to expect in the future. If anyone else plans on ordering from WTK, keep this in mind and be ready.

    So now I guess I'm back in the bee business! I guess I feel kind of like the bees do when the hive is queen right. :)

    [​IMG]
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good job for sure. Best of luck with the new packages!!
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Fun stuff right! I had a major let down last year after installing my first packages. I studied and prepared so long for that day and then it was all over in less than 30 minutes....wait wait wait.......I kept myself busy with my garden to keep my grubby eyes and hands out of the hives until they were ready.
     
  5. Apiarist

    Apiarist New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Congrats on the successful install!
     
  6. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cool I just packaged 2 hives today too! Fun stuff! Thanks for the pics!
     
  7. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think today was Earth Day, too. So I guess we did something good for Mother Nature! :)
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don and Greg!
    Congratulations fellas! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  9. kebee

    kebee Active Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Thumbs up to both of you.

    kebee
     
  10. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    UPDATE: I went into the hives today and the queens were out of the cages and the bees seem very happy. I tried not to disturb them too much, I only moved enough frames to get the queen cages out. They are very gentle bees and I am happy about that. The bees last year (that I got from a friend-didn't know what type they were) were kind of mean (but they made good honey!).

    I had some trouble with the Mann Lake top feeders I had been using. The bees were getting past the screen into the syrup somehow. I took them off and put the old Brushy Mountain plastic top feeder on the 10-frame hive and went to the entrance feeders on top of the inner cover on the 8-frame hive for now. I may have to try to silicone the screens in place or something to keep the bees inside and not drowning. But with them off, I can do a careful study without bees trying to get into the syrup.

    But it was a happy day. I figure in a week or so I'll look in again to see if the queens are laying.

    Of course, I was thinking so much about feeders and queens, I left the camera in the house. :frustrated: