1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

You have just gotten your bees, either in the mail or you have gone and picked them up in person. Now what do you do? Covers from installation in your hive until the end of the first winter and the first blooms of spring.
Max
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

Postby Max » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:36 am

I got my first package a week and a half ago, after numerous misadventures they absconded on me last Sunday. I was feeding and there are desert flowers coming into bloom. I am getting another package this weekend that I plan on putting in the same hive the other one absconded from because they did leave about a 4"x5" piece of comb. The closest I have to a mentor recommends putting a ramp to the entrance and letting the bees walk in after hanging the queen cage from the back of the frame with comb on it. Tells me that is how his Grandpa installed packages and captured swarms his whole life and he never lost a one doing it like that.
1. Should I feed?
2. Does anyone have experience "walking" bees into a new hive?
Then comes 3rd and 4th, I have a NUC with an Italian queen coming next Thursday and another NUC with a VSH queen coming from Rushfeldt 2 weeks later on April 16th. I have all 8 frame mediums and plan on putting the deep frames frames from the NUCs in the middle of 2 stacked boxes. To fill the boxes I have both pf-127's and wedge frames that i turned the wedge sideways to make starter strips.
1. Should I fill the space under the deep frames with a block or something?
2. Which type of frames should I use?

Thanks Max

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COAL REAPER
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Location: Warren County, NJ

Re: 1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

Postby COAL REAPER » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:26 am

sometimes there is no answer, but try to figure out why they may have obsconded. too hot? too drafty? too large entrance? was hive recently painted and odor is lingering? something wrong with feed or feeder? not sure where you got packages from but they are finding lots of chemical issues from hives coming out of california almonds this year.
care to explain 'numerous misadventures'? other than ensuring that the queen is out of the cage, new packages should be mostly left alone until there is brood. you should be feeding light sugar syrup to help them draw comb.
no experience 'walking'. when i used to do packages i just hung the queen (candy side NOT facing down) and shook them in. no problems. packages of grandpas day were likely stressed a lot less than todays.
i would put the deep frames from the nucs on the EAST side of the hive rather than the middle. i find that the bees are more inclined to work towards the side where afternoon sun is so it is easier for them to draw comb. i wouldnt bother blocking under deep frames but it couldnt hurt.
take this all with a grain as i live in a completely different climate and have no experience with beekeeping in NV.
TF since 2010, successfully since 2013. Trying to increase without totally giving up honey crop.

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Michael Bush
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Re: 1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

Postby Michael Bush » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:47 pm

I have seen really good luck with hiving swarms by doing that (shaking them in front on a sheet and letting them walk in on their own). I have never done it with a package. If the boxes are brand new and have no smell of "home" on them, I would use four drops of lemongrass essential oil to anchor them. If you have it, an old box and an old dark brood comb will anchor them better than nothing, but nothing beats a frame of open brood...
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

lharder
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Re: 1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

Postby lharder » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:50 pm

Too bad you didn't get a nuc first. A comb of with eggs and young larvae is a useful to anchor them to a hive box. I did that with a swarm last year, though they seemed really happy to have a box to live in.

Good luck with your second package.

Max
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: 1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

Postby Max » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:13 pm

I am completely new to beekeeping and all of my equipment is to. Vegas is a desert in more ways than one! Finding help as in a mentor was a struggle, in fact it wasn't until I actually received my first package two weeks ago that I stumbled across Marshall who is a third generation beekeeper originally from the salt lake Utah area. He started a Las Vegas Beekeeping page on FB and was just as glad to find me as I was him. Constantly encourages me to ask any and all questions on the page in order to stimulate other newbies that are a bit gun shy of posting. As I've found out there are a lot of great people out there in the beekeeping world but all it takes is one or two who take there beliefs to the level of a religion to smother a discussion.
As to misadventures,
I am/was using the syrup can as a feeder over the hole in the inner cover on the second day I went out to refill it and figured I don't need no stinking suit. WRONG ignored the head butting and ended up getting my first bee sting of my life!
On day 3 my wife texted me panicking that we were being "swarmed" I got to the house about 30 minutes later expecting a couple bees flying around, instead there was a cloud on the patio! Not dense but definitely a cloud. Turns out some dummy left the bottle of lemongrass oil on the porch and they found it during what was probably their first orientation flight.
That just takes me through the first two days!!!
Thanks for the guidance!!!


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Max
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Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: 1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

Postby Max » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:01 am

I got my first NUC today and it seems too easy, I feel like I must be missing something. Open one box, pull out frame, place in other box, repeat 4 more times and close the hive up.
I do have 2 questions though:
1. Should I leave the entrance wide open? Or reduce it
2. How long should I wait before doing an inspection and looking for the queen?

Max

Imker Ingo
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Re: 1st, um 2nd, would you believe 3rd installation?

Postby Imker Ingo » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:23 pm

I would reduce the entrance initially. I would wait at least 2-3 weeks, but keep a close eye on the entrance regularly. You should see workers bringing in pollen. I assume your queen is already mated. You mention your first package bees that absconded, were they local bees or from very far away? Local should be better as they will be acclimatised to your area.


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