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Installing a Package of Honey Bees

Order packages and equipment in the fall. Assemble and paint the hive equipment in March. Prepare a base for the hive and place the hive on the base when the package arrives. When the package arrives, place the bees in a cool, dark place until early evening. Mix a one to one sugar solution and brush the solution on the wire of the package with a new paint brush.

Take the package to your bee yard early in the evening. Remove the outer and inner covers from the hive. Brush the sugar solution on the wire sides of the package. Remove the top cover and feeder can from the package.

Remove the queen cage from the package (Fig. 29) and cover the opening of the package. Remove the cork from the candy end of the queen cage. Suspend the queen cage between two center frames in the hive body. Shake the bees to the bottom by bumping the bottom of the package on the ground.

Remove the cover from the hole in the top of the package. Shake the bees out of the package into the hive. Shake some of the bees over the queen cage suspended between the two frames.

Smoke the bees down into the hive. Place the inner cover over the hive body.

Place a feeder can with a two to one sugar solution and Fumidil-B over the opening in the inner cover. Place an empty super on the inner cover around the feeder can.

Feed one gallon of Fumidil-B plus sugar to each installed package. Repeat this medicated feeding in three weeks.

Check the queen cage in three days to see if the queen has been released. Do not look for the queen or disturb (Fig. 30) the colony for 10 days.

Keep the feeder can of sugar solution on the bees throughout the spring and summer.

Open the colony for inspection as often as you want after the colony begins to become established in the hive.

Do not neglect the rapidly expanding colony. Continue to feed the colony.

Inspect the colony at least once a week. Prepare a super to be added about six weeks after the package is installed.

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