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First time introducing a Package

Hi, have my first hive in about 20 years. Receiving a package next week and wondering if I should use smoker or not. Seen plenty of videos of people spraying syrup but no smokers, just wont to make sure before they arrive.
Cheers in advance

Hello Shane, I’m ex Richmond. welcome to the forum.
You will get a range of answers but a whiff of smoke certainly won’t cause any harm.
A frame of brood if you can get one will help the bees settle and regard the hive as home. It has a longer lasting effect than wetting the bees with a spray of syrup, in cooler weather I wouldn’t consider spraying the bees…
Cheers

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I have never used a smoker when installing a package. Unlike a nucleus, packages are almost exclusively nurse bees. A package is made by shaking bees off frames of brood into the shipping container. The bees on brood are nurse bees. Nurse bees are not looking for a fight, they just want to build comb, run the hive and look after baby bees. No need for smoke. :wink:

One other thought. If you are installing a package into a new hive, it won’t smell like home to the bees. No wax with pheromones, brood etc. If you use smoke, they may decide to abscond right away, as they have no investment (brood, food etc) in the hive to make them stay.

I am strongly in favour of no smoke. :blush:

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Shows it all…we use frame feeders as a syrup source and choose a cooler, cloudy day to do this on…or towards evening.

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Thanks for the help, I was also thinking of use it some Lemon Grass Oil. Is this a good idea?

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A drop or two might help, but you have to be a bit careful. Queen bees don’t like the scent of lemongrass. Workers do. :thinking:

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I would use the lightest of a smear of lemon grass oil and it will be a help, but too much isn’t better so go easy with it. Doing that and adding a frame of brood and you won’t have a problem.
Cheers

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As @Peter48 says, a frame of brood changes everything. If you have one, you don’t need lemongrass oil or smoke.

If you don’t have a frame of brood, i would just “tread lightly” and use the lightest touch possible. No smoke, no lemongrass oil. Just put the bees in the hive box and give them some feed. Nineteen times out of 20, they will happily stay.

:blush:

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Not using lemon grass oil and Dawn has a 19 out of 20 success rate, but it is an attractant to bees and that is why I use it. It might be an over-kill but I like the idea of doing everything possible to make the bees feel comfortable and stay. It won’t do any harm using it in my opinion and to shoot for 20 out of 20.
Cheers

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Unless the queen decides she doesn’t like it and flies up into your roof tiles instead of staying in the hive. Yes, that was my very personal experience… :disappointed_relieved:

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Maybe using a drop or two was the reason you lost the colony,

Most on the forum advise a light smear when using lemon grass oil. They also say too much can be counter productive and cause a colony to abscond.
Cheers

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I didn’t lose the colony. I lost the queen. Got another queen and the colony did fine. You just need to be careful with these powerful essential oils, like lemongrass.

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As I said Dawn too much can work against a success. A drop or two is too much according to others. I use just a finger tip and smear that at a couple of places in the hive with no ill effects.

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