Installing Package Bees on Drawn Comb in 6 Easy Steps!

Installing Package Bees on Drawn Comb in 6 Easy Steps!

I understand installing package bees isn’t a very easy part of beekeeping. For conducting the beekeeping process smoothly, beekeepers need to know these steps thoroughly. 

This will ensure the best outcome as well. Especially if you are not an expert beekeeper yet, you need a better understanding. 

So, how will you be installing package bees on drawn comb

To install package bees on a drawn comb you have to follow certain steps.

The initial steps include preparing the hive and placing the package. After that gather assembling tools. Finally, you’ll have to install the queen cage, and you are done. However, be careful while dealing with the queen bee.

Don’t worry! Here I’ll provide you with all the details you need. So, Let’s get started! 

How to Install Package Bees on Drawn Comb?

Now, here I’ll thoroughly guide you on how you can install package bee on drawn comb

There are 6 easy steps. And you’ll need some tools which will make the work efficient and easier. 

So, this is how you do it- 

Tools You Need to Install Package Bees

The process of installing package bees in a drawn comb is easy and time-saving. Only if you prepare your gears in advance, can you make the process even faster and smoother. 

The tools you need are- 

Now if you’re done with gathering the tools then we’ll be getting into the main steps. So, kindly read on.

Step 1: Prepare the Hive

You have to prepare your hive before you proceed with the installation procedure. For that, you have to follow a few simple steps. Those are- 

  • Finalize the location you find best suitable to keep your comb. 
  • Prepare all your equipment and bring them to that place. 
  • Assemble your hive and remove the cover. 
  • Take out a few frames to make space for the bees you’ll install. 
  • Then use your hive tool to remove the wooden lid from the top. This will uncover the tin can. This tin can is used to feed the bees while shipping. 
  • Next, hold the queen cage and slowly remove the strap. 

Step 2: Place the Package

This is a small step. As the name suggests, you have to place it over your hive. 

However, while transporting the package bees make sure the bees are secured in the box. What I actually do here is use a bee mesh transport bag. Simply put your box in this bag and they’ll be fine. Because this bag is breathable.

Furthermore, ensure that the beehive package is placed on its side over the vacant scape above the hive. After that, gently slide that can. 

Step 3: Install the Queen Cage

Next, pull out the queen cage very gently from the package. Keep it on the side of the top frame of your hive. 

Step 4: Install the Bees in the Hive

Turn the package upside down and shake very gently. This will help the bees fall inside the hive. 

If you feel all the bees are not coming out, you need to take one more easy step. You can strike very gently on a side of the package to get them moving inside the hive. 

Step 5: Install Queen Bee in Queen Cage 

It is suggested to leave the queen in the queen cage initially for some days. Thus worker bees will get enough time to get habituated to her pheromones. 

Now we will mention 2 ways to do that-

With Candy Plug

There are some queen cages in which a white candy plug is covered by a cork. Queen bee is kept in the cage by that plug. This continues till the worker bees eat the candy and free her from the plug. 

Here are some candy plug suggestions for you. These are very durable and come with large holes and a fine screen. Take a look and choose now-

You’ll need some sharp tools like a wooden screw in removing the cork and bringing the candy out. 

Without Candy Plug

Sometimes in other cages, this candy plug might be absent. Here all you need to do is leave the cage sealed for a few days inside the hive. Then remove the cork and reopen the hive. 

Here is a useful hack. For this type of cage, if you want to add candy, you can do that too! Just put a small marshmallow

You can remove the cork and plug the opening with that marshmallow. Then the bees will gradually eat and free the queen.

Step 6: Place the Queen Bee

Now you have prepared the queen cage, what comes next? It’s time to place your queen bee! 

So, this is how we do it- 

  • Place the cage in the frame. 
  • Then use the frame’s pressure to hold the queen bee in one place. 
  • Put the frames back in place which you took out in step one. 
  • Replace the cover. 
  • Ensure enough space between hive frames. 

So, by following these easy steps you know how to install package bees on a drawn comb.

Best time to Install Package Bees

Well, so far we’ve learned how to install package bees on a drawn comb. Now, you might be thinking, is there an appropriate time for this process? Or does it really matter?

Yeah, there is an appropriate time and it does matter. So, without further ado, let’s take a look into it-

Afternoon or Morning?

So, you were wondering, what time of day should I install package bees?

Well, the best time to install your package bees in the comb is in the afternoon. Just place the queen bee properly and ensure she doesn’t leave that place. 

Also, comparing ultra bee and bee pros, you can use any of these during the installation. As these beneficial vitamins are very good for the comb at the right time.

However, are you now asking, can I install bees in the morning? 

Preferably not. It is not ideal to put the bees in their home on a warm sunny morning or earlier time of the day. Rather it is recommended to wait till the afternoon or evening. 

What’s the Suitable Weather?

So, Can you install package bees in the rain?

Well if it’s drizzling or light rain, you can install package bees. But if it’s a downpour, it’s better to avoid it. 

If you have all the equipment prepared, moving the bees won’t be a problem. Bees will get settled. But in case of heavy rain, stragglers can’t be settled. So you’ll need to have another plan for those. 

Now we know about a usual sunny day and rainy day. But what about the weather? 

Can bees survive cold nights? 

Bees have adapted to cold weather. They have managed to live in many cold regions in the world. 

They have found their way to do so. That is, they stay inside their hive in winter. They have the team power to work and keep themselves warm. 

But you can use a beehive entrance reducer. So, what does a good quality entrance reducer do? 

It helps the colony maintain the proper thermoregulation of the hive during cold. So, if you’re residing in a cold region then get this reducer ASAP!

You can get one from the following recommendations-

So, how cold is too cold to install bees? 

It is completely okay if the temperature is dropping by about 40 degrees. This way, bees cluster together. 

Don’t keep the room completely dark. If that happens, bees will try to come out of their hive.  Keep the Burns Feeds Feeding System on. 

Which Things You Shouldn’t Do While Installing Package Bee?

Now, if you’re a newbie then you are likely to make some mistakes during this process. But fear not! I’ll not keep you hanging here.

Because now I’m going to give you some essential tips. These tips can save you from some common but silly mistakes.

So, let’s have a turn here-

Tip 1: Don’t Spray the Package Bees with Syrup 

It’s actually best to not spray anything on the bees. But if you’re interested in doing this then I would suggest not using heavy syrup.

Instead, follow the 2:1 ratio for your sugar water or syrup. 

Then just spray a tiny bit on the screen and keep repeating until they clean it. However, you can also use bee feeders and fill them with syrup. Here are some entrance feeder with lids only for you.

These are made of high-quality plastic and very easy to install between frames. Grab one now-

Now, what is the burn feed feeding system?

The Burns Bees Feed System is used to ensure the strategic placing of bee food. It is used to place the food over the brood nest. Thus, it keeps the food in the most accessible position for the bees. 

No matter how cold or hot the nights are, bees will always have proper access to food. This way it helps to avoid the lack of nutrition that bees often suffer during summer and fall.

Tip 2: Don’t Droop the Queen between the Frames

There’s usually a limit to how much honey can be stored in one frame. So, if you hang the queen cage between two frames it’ll result in the extra comb.

However, if you can dump the queen then there’s no tension of messed-up comb. Now, you don’t need to worry that the package bees will kill the queen. I’ve not experienced anything such.

The least that you can notice is some shaken or over-excited bees to find their queen.

Tip 3: Don’t Install Packages without Any Safety Guard 

Don’t proceed to install the package with any safety of protective equipment. If you’re a professional beekeeper you might already have all the guard tools.

But if you’re a novice in this sector, then the first thing you should do is get the necessary tools. But no need to look far. I’ve listed everything only for your convenience down below-

FAQs 

How long can packaged bees stay in the cage?

It is best not to keep the bees for more than 4 days. But if you see the queen bee isn’t released yet, feed them properly. Then you can keep the bees for about a week. 

How long does it take bees to draw out the comb?

On average, it takes between 7 days to 2 months for the bees to draw out a comb. At this time, bees produce a comb and fill it with honey. But this varies depending on many factors. 

Can you add a package of bees to an existing hive?

Yes, you can add a package of bees to an existing hive. You have to decrease the hive to 1 deep super. Also, you need to kill the queen bee for at least one day before installing too. Then place that deep hive body over a newspaper and install the package. 

When should I replace my beehive frames?

5 years after installation, chemical traces rise to an unhealthy level inside the hive. This makes the environment toxic. So the solution is to replace the frames once every 4 years. 

Endnote

That’s almost all you need on installing package bees on drawn comb.

By following the steps, you can easily install your bees. Just maintain your safety and ensure your bees are keeping well.  

So best of luck for the next time when you are installing your bees. Happy beekeeping!

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