Sunday, May 12, 2013

Steps to Install A Package of Bees

Today I installed my bee packages.  As always, it was an experience.  This is how it's done.

Step 1:  Put the hive together and set it on the stand.  Put bee package on the hive and admire it.  Think about how peaceful those little bees are.  Think about how ticked off they're going to be in a minute.

Step 2:  Remember that you not only have to annoy bees once, you have to annoy bees twice.  Begin to rethink the sanity of what you're doing.

Step 3:  Say to yourself "They're just little bees.  They can't really hurt me".  Suit up anyway. 

Step 4:  Pop the top of the package and remove the queen cage.  Take a look at her and try to ignore the bees that are already buzzing around you, as well as the ones clinging onto the cage.  Be glad you have gloves.

Step 5:  Open the queen cage's tab and place her between two frames.  Make a space in the hive by removing frames for the bees you're about to shake--yes, shake--in there.

Step 6:  Remove the feeder can from the package, which makes a big hole in it's top and then bang the bees on the ground.  Proceed to hold breath, turn package upside down, and shake 10,000 bees into that space you made in the hive.  Try to ignore the angry buzzing.

Step 7:  With your gloved hand, push the bees that are in the way of the top out of the way so they don't get smooshed.  Put the inner cover on, put the feeder over the hole, and place the empty hive body over it.  Put the top on and step BACK.

Step 8:  While you try to ignore that the air is full of thousands of confused and somewhat ticked off stinging machines, admire your work.  Then remember that you have to do it all again.

Step 9: Know that the package you haven't installed yet knows what you're about to do and doesn't really like the look of it and would rather opt out of the whole deal, thank you very much. 
Suck it up and  repeat steps 4-7.   

Step 10:  Ignoring the fact that there are now twice as many confused and someone ticked off stinging machines in the air all around you, place the fairly empty packages under the hives so the bees that you only annoyed by shaking, but did not manage to get into the hive, can get into the hive. 

Step 11:  Go back several hours later to see that all the bees went into their homes.  Take the packages and gently flick the "slacker bees" into the hives by the feeder so they don't freeze all by themselves.  Close them up and walk away.

Step 12:  Go have a stiff drink and know it was a job well done.

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PS--Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas!


  1. You are really brave. We have bees too, my husband is a beekeeper. Beekeeping is interesting and you can always learn something new.

  2. Oh good job! You can bet I will refer back here when I finally get bees!


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