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Set up questions for install?



get my bees on Friday.

when i install the bees:

  1. how many empty top bars should i start with? i’m thinking 10 is good…is that too much space?

  2. should i start with full entrance/exit? or start with the entrance reducer?

  3. direct release queen…CHECK YES

  4. place the beethinking feeder back by the divider?

Thanks and thanks!

  1. 10 is fine.

  2. I’d start with one end entrance completely open. No reducer.

  3. I would direct release only if she’s been in the package at least a couple days with the bees. If you are not sure, don’t direct release. Call the package supplier for confirmation.

  4. Back by the divider is fine. Just make sure you monitor it for comb attachment. If you do add it to the same side as the bees, you’ll need to start with more than 10 bars of space. 16-18 would be more suitable. When you stop feeding you can move the divider back.




a couple things.

firstly, thanks Matt for taking the time to help.

secondly, the install was pretty cool. a great experience. firstly, i drove north about 1.5 and picked up my bees at a local bee supply place that i never known to exist…my package of bees rode shotgun with me in ford f150 and on we went. i included my family in the install and we did it mid afternoon…it was drizzly outside and about 50 degrees…so i figured that’d be as good as time as any. i wore a veil and a long sleeve white cotton shirt and some atlas fit gloves (don’t wear those)

i did have one helluva a time getting that can out of the package and i think it made for some angry bees when i did finally get it out. i chose poorly for gloves and did get stung…i didn’t have a bee brush and thought i’d use a large chicken feather…well that sucked so i used a new paint brush instead…i had used it earlier in the day to brush the package with sugar/water (2:1 ratio; per michael bush) and the small “cubby” paint brush worked like a champ.

while i was being stung (about 10-12 times through the gloves and a couple through my long sleeve shirt) i kept my cool and didn’t move quickly or swiftly…slow and deliberately. so i kept my cool and calmly set the package down and knew i had to take off the gloves i’d had on…i’d read somewhere when the bees sting you their little bee butts and stingers put out pheromones and that tells others to sting you there as well…so i calmly went and switched gloves…brushing bees off me as i walked away. that made all the difference. the bees were still a bit perturbed, but i went back to the hive with my new gloves and from there it went swimmingly. i took out the queen cage and began dumping the bees into the hive with 16 bars deep to allow room for the double feeder…and then i had asked the supplier how long the queen had been with the package…“going on 3 days” good enough for me…i direct released her into the hive …she is a marked queen…which doesn’t excite me all that much…but who knows…maybe in the years to come i can get a “natural” queen through swarming or what have you ;)

anyways, i took my time placing the bars on the top and moving them slowly and waiting for the bees to move. closed it up and went on my way. the package still had some bees in it so i placed that next to the hive…at about 8:30 at night all the bees were in and hunkered down in the hive. i went out without a veil and went in the enclosure where i keep my hive and snuck a peak through the observation window. just amazing little creatures!!!

all weekend i just kept staring at the hive and watching and listening to the bees.



currently, i’m staying out of the hive and have not opened it since the install and i don’t plan to do so for at least another 2 weeks…depending on what’s going on. right now i’m just going out there with my two kids and checking them at night with a flash light through the observation window…they seem to be doing well.

the main thing i’m excited for is: plenty of dandelions and plenty of blossoming flowers on my cherry and plum trees…lilacs are darn near there too and my crab apple tree and mackintosh apple tree should be on their way in the coming weeks. not to mention my surrounding neighbors have tons of flowers in their gardens. this excites me cause i feel comfort in knowing the bees should have plenty in their surrounding area to keep them hived and happy. they are not aggressive at all and in fact i walk up to the hive a couple times a day…my dogs do as well and they don’t seem nervous around the hive either. my black lab did get stung a couple times but hasn’t since the install. and my chickens were out and about the yard yesterday and didn’t have any troubles with em.