Transferring Your Bees To Their
You've done your beekeeping
homework. You've chosen a dedicated beehive site where it won't be knocked down by a strong wind, or be bothered by
pets and humans. You've purchased all the right equipment and are comfortable using it. You've tried on all your
beekeeping gear and are comfortable that it fits you properly and are confident that you are reasonably protected
from potential bee stings.
During the cold winter months
you placed an order for your honeybees and were notified that your bees were successfully shipped. Now you have
gotten the call from the post office where a scared postal worker has politely asked you to please come and remove
your package of angry stinging honeybees from their work environment.
You've picked up your honeybees and
noted that other than a few dead ones at the bottom of the container (you should really be prepared for a few to
not survive the stressful travel routine they have been asked to endure) the honeybees overall look healthy. Now
all you have to do is transfer the new bees from the screen container they were shipped in to the beehive you have
set up for them.
Have your smoker handy when you
are ready to transfer your new bees from their shipping container to the beehive. Also make sure you have your
beehive gear on.
You should notice a small
container within the bee's shipping container. This small container is where your new queen is being kept. The top
of her personal shipping container is covered with a cork. Remove the cork and you will see a second cap that is
made out of sugar.
Hang the queen's container in
your hive. Your going to want to put it in between the two frames that are in the center of your newly constructed
hive. Pierce the top of the candy top with a nail. The worker bees will have an easier time freeing the queen if
there is already a small hole in the sugar barrier.
When using the nail be very
careful that you do not inadvertently stab the queen. You won't be able to purchase a replacement queen after the
winter months. Once the workers have chewed through the sugar barrier the queen will be able to escape into the
Once you have the queen in the
hive use your smoker and place a puff of smoke into the shipping package. Gently shake the honeybee's shipping
container, gently allowing the bees to spill out of the container and into the hive. When you are no longer able to
coax any bees out of the container, set the container down near the hive, any honeybees that are still in it will
eventually find their way out of the container and into the hive. Make sure you inset a feeder filled with a simple
sugar recipe into the beehive.
Leave your new bees alone for a
week. During the first week the honeybees will become acclimated with their new home. The queen will start laying
eggs and the bees will start to making honey.
Bees like to be transferred from
their shipping container to the hive either early in the morning or late evening.
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