Thousands of BEES!!

Can anyone guess how many bees are in a 3lb package of bees?  The answer is 3-4 Thousand bees.  If you have ever wondered what a package of 3-4 Thousand bees looks like, well, you are in luck.  Below is the photo you have been looking for, as well as how we installed that package into a new hive. Note, you can see the candy plug sitting on top of the package.

3-4 Thousand bees and one queen.

3-4 Thousand bees and one queen.

Now the question is, how do you get these bees to move into the hive?  Here is what our hive looks like before the bees.  We have protected the outside of the hive with a clear varnish.  We purchased the bees and the hive components from Knight Family Honey.   I took one of their classes before we purchased anything.

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This is what the hive looks like with all of the frames and the lid off.  The white bucket next to it is the sugar water that we are going to feed the bees with for the first little while.  Before you start, you need to remove the middle two frames from the hive.  You will be pouring the bees into the gap that the missing frames create.

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First you have to remove the feeding can from the package and remove the queen cage.  I found it handy to have Punk #2 hold the queen cage hanger while I removed the feeding can.

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This is what the queen cage looks like.  I gently brushed the other bees off the cage and then we removed the cork and inserted the candy cork.

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Then you pour the bees into the slot where the missing frames are.

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Then carefully add the frames back into the hive, and then replace the top.

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I also put the package close to the opening of the hive so that any remaining bees could find their way into the hive.   I then put three-five holes in the top of the feeding bucket and then put it upside down on top of the hive.

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By the next day all of the bees left in the package had either flown away, or joined their relatives in the new hive.

 

It should be noted that the cat was having fun batting at the bees, but once he got stung by one, he has left the hive alone and stays clear of it.

For the record, Beekeeping is like any other hobby, there are a lot of people who have different ways of doing things.  This is our first hive, so this is the first package we have ever added to a new hive.  Having said that, I am sure we did some things wrong, and differently then others would of.   I STRONGLY suggest that you research bees before you set up anything.   You need to find a good location for your apiary, and what type of equipment you want to use.

I would also suggest that you contact local beekeeping clubs.  There are a bunch of them in Utah, and most counties have one as well.  I am currently a member of the Utah County beekeepers association.

There are also laws, etc. that you need to be aware of.   The Utah department of Agriculture and Food has lots of resources for people who are thinking about keeping bees.  You can find a lot of information on their honeybees page.  You can also look-up who the licensed beekeepers are in your area from their site.  Go to: http://webapp.ag.utah.gov/LicenseLookup/ and then click on the 1201 button.  You can then search on current license holders.

You can also find some great deals on honeybee books and hives on eBay.  I suggest that if you are going to buy, that you buy new, or from someone local you know for hive.  But books can be found for a great discount on eBay.

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Comments

  1. i thought your comments were great as were the pictures. I was really wondering why #2 child did not have more protection and did the both of you get stung. Hope not. We good and we know you are all working hand. Happy trails. mom

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