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Author Topic: Cool weather package install?  (Read 361 times)

Online Nock

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Cool weather package install?
« on: March 04, 2020, 01:59:21 pm »
This is a just in case question. I have two packages coming around 26th this month. There always is a chance of it being cool daytime temps and around freezing at night. Last year I got them a month later so wasn?t concerned then. Let?s say it?s below 50 during the day. Do install or put them inside and wait till above 50?  Last year I had no drawn frames. This time I do. If we are still getting cold nights would it be better to put in a nuc instead of a 10 frame deep?  Thanks

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2020, 02:41:54 pm »
This is a just in case question. I have two packages coming around 26th this month. There always is a chance of it being cool daytime temps and around freezing at night. Last year I got them a month later so wasn?t concerned then. Let?s say it?s below 50 during the day. Do install or put them inside and wait till above 50?  Last year I had no drawn frames. This time I do. If we are still getting cold nights would it be better to put in a nuc instead of a 10 frame deep?  Thanks

Nock, I have never dealt with a package. But your post has struck my curiosity. I would think it would be imperative that the package feed asap and consistently. How do you feed the package when you keep it inside? All new ground to me.

Phillip Hall

Online Nock

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2020, 05:16:40 pm »
They come with a can of syrup in the package. Not sure how long it would last them.

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2020, 06:32:35 pm »
Nock, I?ve had 100% luck with packages.  I always provided a frame of food and a frame of brood.  They will not abandon the brood in my apiary, although I am sure this has happened.

I ordered two packages this year as I adore watching total strangers unite forming a thriving colony and I need new genetics.  I keep the queen caged and release a day later if accepted.

In the past, I received packages while raining.  I just placed the package indoors until weather permitting.  Not sure what temp is the threshold, critical temperature that is.  I am going out on a limb here and suggest if your other hives are flying, then install the package.  If your other hive is clustered, I would definitely wait.

You can direct feed the package safe honey or 2X syrup.  The thick solution will stick to the wire in small batches, so you can feed from the outside.  I realize there is a can of syrup which the bees will cluster around.  But if you have to keep indoors, offer some food as described.

Don?t plan on checking the queen until you install the package.

To install, removed the plywood cover over the syrup can.  Your bee tool is perfect for prying the plywood away.  This exposes the can of syrup and a tether holding the queen cage.  You have to remove the syrup can to get to the queen cage.  When you CAREFULLY remove the syrup can,,,,, bees are free to fly!!!!  Bees will stick to the can so remove slowly as not to roll the bees.

Now there are two trains of thought on releasing the package of bees:
1.  Drop the box of bees so all the bees fall to the bottom of the cage, then remove the can, the queen cage and place the bees directly over the frames shaking the bees out of the package.

2.  Place an empty deep body over you vacant hive, place the package in the empty deep body, remove the syrup can, remove the queen cage, place the top/lid on the empty deep and let the bees slowly walk out of the package that is directly over the frames.

Packages of bees are so much fun.  They are basically strangers from many hives that have an incredible ability to organize.  The frame of brood locks the package of bees in, I have never witnessed nurse bees absconding leaving brood, although I have heard from fellow beeks it happens, very VERY rarely.

Your gonna enjoy the package bees if you purchased from a reputable supplier.  Like I said in the beginning of this text, I have never lost a package and I purchase a package every other year.

Watch closely for disease after the bees settle in.  You know the routines.

Health to your bees.

Van

Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline iddee

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 09:42:34 pm »
I will add a couple things to what van said. I feed them by spraying both sides of the cage liberally with 1/1 sugar water twice daily in a warm area.

Also, on # 2 install. Bees work from the top down. If you release them in an empty deep on top of a deep full of frames, they will not use the frames. They will cluster on the lid of the empty deep and start drawing wild comb. Remove 5 frames from an 8 or 10 frame deep and set the cage down beside the remaining frames. Install the queen between 2 frames, remove the cage top and close the hive. The bees will come up and out. 24 hours later, remove cage and replace missing frames. ""24, NOT 72, or you will have comb everywhere.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2020, 05:35:30 pm »
ID, thanks.  Always good to have a fella critique my post.  I made good on the coffee if you read the latest on the post by fishnut and scout bees.
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline jvalentour

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2020, 03:44:53 pm »
I've installed many packages in late March.  Cold or not, best to install asap, having comb is very helpful.
They will need food. 

Online Nock

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2020, 08:12:09 pm »
So what y?all think about putting them in nuc vs a 10?  Any benefits if it?s cold?  I would think smaller size would be better.

Offline jvalentour

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2020, 12:33:11 am »
All my package installs have been in in 10 frame deeps with comb. 
No losses due to temps. 
On 3/5/20 bees were bringing in pollen.
"It happens".

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2020, 09:28:53 am »
Nock, I have never installed a package in a nuc.  This is because my concern of absconded bees due to a small hive.  A nuc may be perfect, I don?t know???   As mentioned, I have never tried do to concerns of size. 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 06:40:58 pm by van from Arkansas »
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2020, 06:44:15 pm »
I would install them no matter the weather.  The advantage to cold weather is they won't drift much.  If the weather stays cold you will need to heat the syrup once a day so the bees can take it.
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Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Cool weather package install?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2020, 08:47:13 pm »
Thanks, Nock, Van, Michael, and all, this is a good discussion because I've wondered about packages.  Never had a problem with them before long ago but wondered if things had changed.


Offline TheHoneyPump

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Cool weather package install?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2020, 11:11:12 pm »
In years past, I remember shaking packages on snowy days at well below sub freezing temperatures.  Definitely not ideal, but preferable to leaving them in a screened box indefinitely.  Bees belong on comb.  Try to limit the time in storage in the package to 3 days from the day you receive them, regardless of weather.

If it is cold concerning; consider bringing the hive equipment (combs) into a warm place overnight.  Plan it out so you can get the hive taken out the next day and setup quickly/efficiently in such a way that the bees can be shook into warm combs.  Close up promptly.

PS: packages are best installed late in the day, evening just before dusk. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 01:04:17 am by TheHoneyPump »
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