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Timing of first inspections


#1

Northern Hemisphere, Western North Carolina mountains

I started my first hive with a package 2 days ago. No foundation, pretty much following this video Beginner Beekeeping Ep 4 Part 2 - Installing a package with Michael Bush. It’s been quite entertaining getting to know them.

I’ve read that inspecting is important, but also that it sets them back a bit. When should I do the first inspection? How often thereafter?


#2

You queen was caged? Did you release her, or is she still in the cage? If she is still caged, you need to inspect after 3-5 days to ensure she has been released. If she hasn’t, you either need to release her, or you need to make it much easier for the bees to do that - lots of info on that on this forum if you use the search function. So that is your first inspection. At the same time, assess the frames - how many drawn, how much nectar/pollen stored, how many eggs/larvae (if the queen is loose) etc. that will decide when you go in again. It may be as little as one week later. It probably shouldn’t be longer than 2 weeks - you will want to make sure that frames are being drawn out straight, no bridge comb, and enough food.


#3

I did release the queen. I guess I’ll do the first inspection once they have been in a week.


#4

I’ve no experience with package bees. Is it safe to release the queen when you install them?
I suppose it depends on how long they have been in transit.
Can somebody tell me?
Packages are becoming more common here in the UK and it seems a good way to start of with a clean colony…but only if I could collect them myself. A bit like a shook swarm with a new queen.


#5

I am sure I have seen @Michael_Bush discussing doing it both ways - waiting a few days, and releasing immediately. His Flow video suggests waiting, if I recall correctly. However, his article on this page talks about releasing right away:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm

As he installs new bees almost entirely from packages rather than nuclei, he should have a lot of experience with the method! :smile:


#6

The day of the video we installed four or five packages. Two were direct released and the others the queen was left int he cage on the bottom (which I don’t recommend unless you are certain the nights won’t fall to 50 F). One of them swarmed to the trees. It was one with the queen still in the cage…

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm