Brothers In Bees Update: Package Install


April 23, 2017

We have had a very, very lucky weekend at Brothers In Bees.  A few things have happened that we're excited about:

  • First, we caught a massive swarm of bees (see the last post) 
  • Second, Vince called us up to let us know that someone ordered too many packages of bees so we got a certified, disease and mite free, package of Italian Honeybees on the cheap!
  • Third, our other brother (Alex) just found out he's not systemically allergic to bee venom.  We had a bit of a scare, but all is good, so now all three brothers are back at it! 


Italian Honeybee Package Install

After getting the package from Vince, Kyle installed it this Sunday.  Installing a package is pretty easy, if you follow a few simple steps:

  1. Spray down the bees with 1:1 sugar water - this helps the bees stay calm and prevents them from swarming elsewhere. They get too preoccupied with cleaning each other.
  2. Make sure your queen is acclimated to the workers - in our case, the queen was acclimated, so we could release her into the hive.  Otherwise, the workers may kill her by overheating her. In many packages, the queens and workers are from different hives so it takes a few days for the workers to adopt to her pheromones and accept her as their queen. 
  3. Shake! - shake those babies into your hive set up and rest the package box near the entrance so any stragglers can walk into the hive.
  4. Feed - Place a jar of sugar water in the hive for them to feed on.  At the moment, they are pretty weak as a hive, weighing in at 3 lbs, so you must feed them to give them the best start.  This helps them start to build their comb.
  5. Set it and forget it! - Bees need time to settle in! Just like when you move into a new apartment, you don't want your friends and family checking in to see how everything is on moving day. You want to set things up, decorate, paint, and make babies.  Well, maybe not so fast with humans... but, with the bees, that's exactly what they want to do.  

So, for now, like with the swarm caught on Friday, we will let them settle in and make their homes. We did not think we would have bees so early in the season so we're very excited that our apiary is at our planned capacity (2 hives). We'll be back with a post on our first, dual hive inspection, early next week!  

Until then, keep it buzzed!

Brothers In Bees