We have a new Flow Hive 2 with foundationless frames ready for a package of Italian bees to arrive in the next week or so from Mountain Sweet Honey.
I have a few questions that I’d love help with:
- In their “Installing a Package of Honey bees” video, Mountain Sweet Honey recommends feeding the bees for the first week or two, which seems prudent for our area (Connecticut) where we don’t have a ton of flowers blooming yet, and the trees are not making pollen yet. Based on some threads here, I purchased a Rapid Bee Feeder which I plan to place in the otherwise empty Flow Super, separated from the Brood Box by the Inner Cover which has a hole that is perfect for admitting the bees to the Rapid Bee Feeder. Question: should i put the Queen Excluder between the Brood Box and the Inner Cover, to eliminate the possibility of the queen getting up to the feeder? On the downside, the bees might try to build combs from it?
- Releasing the queen: in our area, it still gets below 50 degrees F every night, typically 40, but not freezing (forecast). I know from threads here not to just leave the queen plugged behind candy on the bottom of the cage, but some threads express concern about the hanging cage messing with the bees starting the combs on the foundationless frames. OTOH, I’m nervous about direct release, losing the queen. Best technique I’ve read is to pull the cork, put a finger over the entrance, place cage on bottom, then put the top on before she can go anywhere. Any advice in my situation for hanging the cage vs. direct release, technique? This is the part I’m most stressed about!
- Given our temp range, is it advisable to block half or more of the entrance, to reduce the work for the bees of keeping the hive warm?
Thanks a lot,