You built/bought a hive, installed some bees… now what do you do? Well the answer is not to fuss like a mother hen and constantly check to see if your new little friends are doing okay. This topic is for ways to distract Newbees during the first week or two after installing a package of bees.
It really depends on the bees, the hive, the season and forage.
- You will need to re-enter the hive in 3-5 days to retrieve the queen cage and confirm she is out. If she is alive and still in the cage, then release her manually by removing the cap off the cage pointing it downwards close to the side of the frame to allow her to walk out into the hive (careful she could fly away). If your queen is dead in the cage, then you will need to get in contact with a queen bee supplier ASAP and have one mailed out to you. You don’t need to pull up the frames to find the queen, if she is out just let her be.
- If your bees are from a package, then they will need regularly feeding to keep their wax glands working. It takes a little while for the bees to draw out the comb to a point where the queen can begin laying. If you have an internal feeder then this will need attention and re-filling every few days, an external feeder is easy to top up. Don’t use open air feeding, this can encourage robbing from other hives in the area and if it gets out of control your new hive will be destroyed.
- Bees from a Nuc, they will have brood, pollen and honey stores so you can leave them undisturbed for 1-2 weeks, they will still need some feeding to help them along with the new frames. They will be ready to forage from day one so observe the entrance for bees returning with pollen.
- Bees from a swarm, similar to a Nuc if they have established brood comb, otherwise treat as above for a package of bees…
Every beekeeper has a different way of doing things, it’s best to listen to all offering advice and make your own judgements. Good luck.
Perfect points, and these are indeed things to care and fuss about, it’s just that a common issue I have seen with newBees is that they fuss too much during the first week or two of installing their bees.