I got myself enough bees to start off two hives, around 20,000 bees total. They arrived in these wooden crates, the queens are in little containers and there are sugar water feeders inside the boxes for them to feed on during travel. The beehives are ready to go, and glad I got my packages of bees onsite without much issue. When we first loaded them in my truck they were making alot of buzzing noise, but they seemed to calm down after awhile during the drive to where my beehives are.
A had a few things to do before I could install the bees. Had to fill up their sugar water feeders. So I followed a guide online where I mixed a certain amount of sugar with the water to get close to a 1:1 ratio. I did this with cold water and was a pain in the ass mixing the sugar into the water. Maybe next time I will try to heat up the water first, add the sugar and stir. Then add that water to my large 5 gallon buckets along with cold water to cool it down. I used a shovel to mix the sugar and water, cleaned it before I did and mixed each bucket for a few minutes before most of the sugar was dissolved in the water. This proved to be quite messy, and I got sugar water all over my boots and pants.
Once mixed I carried the two filled 5 gallon buckets to the feeding area, around 75 feet from the hives, its important not to place their sugar water feeder buckets too close to the hive. Otherwise the scouts cannot express to the other bees how to get to the food source. I flipped over the buckets and saw the sugar water filling the little channels as planned. It dripped for a few minutes and then leveled out.
Next was mixing about half a bucket of sugar water to scoop into my top feeders. These are small sugar water feeders above the hive, they do not hold as much liquid so I may need to refill them more often.
There are certain pests I need to be aware of, such as the small hive beetle. I set some traps for these bugs using two kinds of systems. One that holds some bait I made using honey, boric acid, coconut oil and a little flour. I place the bait where the honey bees cannot get to it but the beetles can.
Another system I use is a trap that when the beetles fall in they will drown. So I use a little olive oil to fill the traps and set them between the outside frames for when the beetles do find their way in.
Once the baits and traps were set up for the pests, I got to opening the packages of bees. With my gauntlets on I held a screw driver and pried the lid open.
Pulling the sugar water feeder out, it opened up the bees and I had to be quick about covering the hole again. Some got out while trying to get the sugar water feeder.
When trying to remove the queen from the package I made a mistake. I cut the cord holding the caged queen. Now I needed to figure a way to get it out. I have to attach it to a frame.
I decided to just go ahead with the install and pull the caged queen out once they are all in there. At this point the amount of bees in the air was amazing.. Hundreds of them flying around me as I installed them into their home. I could see the queen cage that I needed to grab.
Sticking my hand in the hive I grabbed the cage with the queen inside. The buzzing vibration on my hand was quite amazing, but I grabbed it and pulled it out so I could attach it to a frame.
There are two plugs on this cage, one that covers a candied plug. And another that goes directly into the queen cage. I pull the plug from the candied side. This will allow the bees to eat their way to the queen to free her.
With the queen ziptied to a frame, I place it back in the hive and see if the workers free her soon enough. This gives the colony time to adjust to the queen and keep her from leaving the beehive right away.
I close up the first hive with the queen inside and most of the packaged bees at the bottom of the box. Many are in the air but they started bearding outside the opening of the hive as they settled down.
Moving onto the second package of bees, I am more careful with how I remove the sugar water container. Having a little practice from the first one I get the feeling down and remove the container a little better this time around.
This time I got the queen out without having to dump the whole thing in the hive. Had I did not need to stick my hand into the hive of thousands of bees again.. lol
I remove the plug from the candied side and prep it to be attached to the frame. Just like I did on the previous hive.
Putting it all back together the hives are assembled, time to add sugar water to my second hive.
Using a measuring cup I scoop out the sugar water I made earlier in the video. I pour it into the hive top feeders until they are full. A couple bees fly in the water, but I pull them out before closing up.
With both hives all ready to go I clean up around the site and carry everything up the hill. It was not so bad that day as it was cool outside.
Walking back down the hill is not too bad, just had to be careful with the bee suit on.
As I cleaned up I set the camera to record the hives for a few minutes. Hopefully all the bees get back inside the hive before the cooler weather comes around that night. I got down close to freezing, but I think I provided them everything they need. I saw one bee working on the wax already and saw another bee feeding from the 5 gallon bucket feeders.