On April 29th, I picked up my package of bees – essentially a box with 30,000 bees plus a queen. And on Thursday night, May 1st, we installed the bees in my backyard hive!
Make sure the hive is ready, I removed a couple of the frames. The super is stacked atop 4 bricks. I wonder if I might have to move that around because of ants, however….
Make sure the smoker is going…1 sheet of newspaper, plus a handful of pine needles.
Take the feeding can that came with the package out – oh, did I mention, do this at night, or when it is cool. The bees will be a little quieter, a lot more docile.
Give them a little smoke, and then shake, shake, shake – get those bees into the hive. When they are all in, nestle the queen in her cage between two frames (leave her in the cage) and put a second empty super on top, put the feeding can in upside down, and put the lid on the whole thing. Leave undisturbed for 48 hours to let the queen settle in. After 48 hours, check and see how the bees are with the queen. Depending on their mood (and yours!) you might decide to leave her another 24 hours in her cage. Don’t wait much longer, or the cage might become part of the hive!