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Installing Package Bees without shaking or smoke


Where in the world are you? Location, nearest city? Maybe a forum member is near you and can help. Are you a member of a local bee club? It is always a good idea to join one when you want to keep bees and have no experience. Most beekeepers are very helpful people. It is very hard to help when we can’t see what you found, and what you have done. :wink:


Dawn’s right - find a local beekeeper to look at your setup as soon as you can. Is there a garden or farm supply center near you? That would be a good place to ask around and also buy equipment you might need. Are you feeding your bees? New packages need help to get started.

If you aren’t already feeding & cant buy equipment quickly, you can use a Ziplock or sealable plastic bag. Make a mixture of 1:1 sugar water, enough to fill a large pitcher. Pour some into the sealable plastic bag but don’t fill it. Seal it up and carefully place it across the tops of your frames, making sure there’s room for bees to come up around it. Using a razor, make two or three parallel cuts about two inches long in the upward facing side of the bag. Press lightly to release air bubbles to create a vacuum inside the bag. Now the bees can crawl onto it and drink the sugar water & it won’t leak into the hive.

Let us know how your queen fares & if your bees are still okay!


Yes, I am feeding them. I’ve done everything by the book. This morning there is some healthy bee activity by the small entrance at the top of the hive. Ill wait another day before opening the hive and checking the queen and the rest of the bees inside. So far all seems ok. Thank you for the replies.
I am planning to join the local beekeeper association. There was no meeting in April, so I’m going to the next one.


Hi Alena! Glad you’re feeding them, sorry but I got worried when I read that your package came without food! I think your idea to wait another day or so is good, let them carry on for a bit & maybe everything is okay after all.

Just curious, where in the world do you live?


Kentucky, USA. Warm climate. Flowering plants in bloom for 9 months of the year.


Sounds lovely! I’m in Pennsylvania. This is my second year, I’m picking up two new nucs this Friday :grinning: So excited spring is here!

I made a few goofs as a first year beek last year & learned a ton. My local mentor went MIA so I relied pretty heavily on this forum for advice. Keep checking in, post pics…


I’ve read many responses and advices here. This forum seems to be very active. More than my local beekeeping association. So, I’m glad I’ve joined.


Amen to that, didn’t we all. Best thing is is that we have all admitted to it and shared selflessly for the benefit of others. :+1:
Good luck with your bees tomorrow Eva, we’re all behind you cheering you on.


I’ve seldom done anything by the book… When I have, I’ve usually regretted it…


Thanks for the boost, Skegs! :beers::sunglasses::+1:

If it weren’t for all the encouragement here I probably wouldn’t be trying again :rainbow::sweat_smile::honeybee::two_hearts:


So glad you stuck around and tried again @Eva :heart_eyes: I hope that everything goes beautifully for both you and @Cowgirl this year. I think you both got very unlucky, but you also both have natural wisdom and common sense. Please stay in touch, I am very interested to hear what the season is like in PA this Spring and summer. :sunglasses:


Thanks Dawn, your support & interest really mean a lot!!


So, I removed the cages today (the queen cage and the big cage they came in) from the inside of the hive. I was pleased to see they began to build a comb. Sorry I couldn’t make any pictures as the beekeepers gloves are not Tech sensitive :slight_smile: I also opened another entrance for them. I plan to add more frames once there will be another dry day here :slight_smile:


Don’t leave it too long. Bees get creative very quickly if you let them have big empty spaces inside the hive. :blush:


There is rain here for the next 4 days. Should I go back today (and disturb them again) to place additional frames?


I would. It should take you about 2 minutes, which isn’t much disturbance. :wink:


LOL. It might take you two minutes. I’m a newbee at this - it will take me longer :slight_smile: . Ok. I’ll do it


Dawn_SD Thanks for the advise! The bees already began to build a new comb - It’s been only 2 hrs!! Quick! Now I can leave them alone for a couple of weeks.


@Alena - you need to use the little @ symbol in front of my name if you want me to see your message faster! :blush:

Glad that you went ahead and did the frame installation, and that you understood and saw evidence of the reason why you should. Thank you for giving us all a chance to gain something from your experience. :wink:


@Eva, did you get your nucs and install them? This is my first venture . Just got my 2 nuts this morning and installed them. Fingers crossed. :sunglasses: