Installing Packages In Bad Weather
Installing Packages in Bad Weather
Package bees season starts soon.
What do you do when you cannot install your package of bees due to adverse weather conditions but they have been in the package for over 4 days?
First, spray them with sugar water, 1:1 at lease 3 times a day. Breakfast, lunch and supper. You eat three meals a day, so should your bees. This should give them several more days to survive. However, it is the queen that you must also be concerned about. She is in a separate cage and may have attendants in that cage who will soon die and be unable to feed her.
If you find that you cannot install your package due to a week long of cold rainy days, here is a last resort effort. I have done it and it works great for me. Choose a room that can be made dark and kept around 50 degrees. Anything warmer may cause the bees to fly around the room too much. This room should not be inside a house or building where people live in case the bees should escape. An outside garage or shed would be the preferred building.
Next, with the lights on, take your package into that room along with the hive you wish to install it into. Just before you install your package, spray it with sugar water again. Always where your protective gear. Now, shake your package into their new hive.
After you have installed your package removed the queen plug place your queen cage between the frames in the middle of the box. Replace all 10 frames and place the lid on the hive. Turn off all lights and wait a couple of hours. Then, go back and place a screen over the entrance so no bees can leave the hive.
Now your package is installed and sealed in their new hive. This works better if you are using a screen bottom board because bees need air. If you do not have a screen bottom board, then you may want to use only your inner cover as the lid, and place a piece of screen securely over the inner cover oval shaped hole. Now, place an entrance feeder in the entrance with 1:1 sugar water. But be sure the screen securely blocks the entrance, even next to the entrance feeder. This will give them the sugar intake they need to produce wax for comb building.
This has gained you some valuable time. Your bees are installed, they cannot fly out, the queen will be released by the bees in a few days and this room provides them extra warmth from the below freezing temperature outside. If you keep the room completely dark very few bees will attempt to fly out of the hive. You could even drop the temperature down to around 40 degrees now, and the bees would cluster together and be happy.
As long as the temperature is not below freezing at night outdoors, you can place the hive where you want it outdoors and remove the screen from the entrance. So, if tomorrow night's low is 38, you can go ahead in the morning or afternoon and carry your hive to its permanent location. Just be sure all hive pieces are securely fastened to each other. I place a tie-down strap around the entire hive and tighten so the hive becomes one solid hive as the strap holds all pieces securely together. You DO NOT want the hive to fall a part while you are moving it!!
If the temperature outside is still cold, you can keep them in this dark room several more days until the nightly low temperature is above freezing.
If light leaks into the room or someone accidentally turns on the lights, then it will cause the bees to fly out of the hive up to the light. Turn off the light and they should return to the hive if the room is kept cool.
You can also do this on a porch, out of the rain, on rainy days.
Here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms we are here to help you get started keeping bees. We are down to earth, ordinary folks, a family business that turned a hobby into a business. We take great pride in our work and do all we can to keep our customers satisfied. I was born and raised in Tennessee, a hard work family that believes honesty and hard work is rewarding. Indeed it is. I want to thank all of our loyal customers who have treated us so kindly and also welcome all new customers as well. Thank you.
Finally, please let others know about our business. Our website is: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/
Until next time, remember to BEE-have yourself!
David & Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms Website: http://www.honeybeesonline.com