May 3, 2011

Today we received a new package of bees. At around 4 pm we did the install into the new hive. The process goes like this:

First, you spray the sides of the bee package with 1:1 sugar syrup. This helps calm the bees down so they don't go flying all over the place when you dump them into the hive. Then you give the cage a little bonk to knock all of the bees off of the feeder can so it can be removed.

Then you remove the feeder can from within the package in order to get access to the queen cage and dump the bees into the hive. In this photo I'm removing the can.

Once the can is removed you spray the cluster of bees inside to keep them calm as they have gotten a little agitated from the bonking of the cage.

Then you remove the queen cage. The queen cage is suspended from the top of the cage and in this photo I'm grabbing the metal lip that is attached to the cage and sliding it out through the opening.

Here is she is... all looks great!

Next, I pour the bees into the hive by rapping hard on each side of the package moving side to side.

Then the bees need to spread out along the bottom of the hive ("Like Spreading Sauce on Pizza.")

Once the bees are in the hive then I give the queen cage a little squirt of sugar syrup, open her cage slowly by removing the staple, and then let her crawl out slowly onto one of the frames within the hive. Which she did beautifully! Just like last years queen, this one had her nose poking towards my hand as if she knew I was about to let her free.

Once she's in place then you put the four frames that were removed back into place. This is done very slow as to not hurt the queen.

This is basically the end of the process. A pollen patty is put in place (probably not necessary since the other hive has clearly found sources of natural pollen), and sugar syrup is given. The entrance reducer is at its smallest, plugged with grass so the bees don't leave too quickly. I checked back later this evening as the sun was going down and everything looks great! The bees removed the grass from the entrance reducer and the remaining bees in the package found their way into the hive along with their sisters.
Teresa Robeson said...

This is such a fabulous tutorial with great photos...I love it! Makes me feel almost ready to get some bees. ;)

Michelle said...

I strongly suggest you keep bees. Lol! It is the perfect addition to your homestead :)

Amy W said...

Look at you! You're really a beekeeper!! Hope all goes well this year and they make lots & lots of honey! :)

Michelle said...

Thanks Amy! It is getting better as time goes by, learning bit by bit as I go :)

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

Michelle,I couldn't find your e-mail so I had to comment.I thought you might be interested in the photos of a huge swarm. Great pics.

I've heard of bees swarming, but WOW!

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for.sharing! That is my favorite kind of swarm, hanging so nicely from a branch. I hope if that ever happens with our bees that it ends up in a branch since that would make retrieval easiest, of course if not too high. I have no idea how to catch a swarm if they are attached to something permanent :( That is a nice sized swarm in the photos. Always very cool to see. I think my neighbors may hurt me if mine end up in their yard like that. Lol!

Beekeeper said...

nice work!

Allison said...

Hi Michelle,

I'm the editor of a community news website that covers Apple Valley, MN, called Apple Valley Patch, and I recently ran across your blog—it's really great! On our site, we just started up a blogging platform, so I'm looking for Apple Valley community voices to host their own blog on our site, and I wanted to extend the invitation to you since you already seem to be an avid blogger and this would let you reach even more readers. If you're interested in learning more about it, feel free to contact me at Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Allison Wickler