The bees arrived in the mail via UPS around 10:30 am on April 10. To my surprise, I was greeted by a smiling delivery driver. The driver didn’t seem the least bit fazed that he was holding a box full of bees that were buzzing like mad. My dog, on the other hand, was not the least bit happy about the intense sound.
Inspecting The Package Closely
I quickly took the bees out back and put them on our patio table. The awning and umbrella provided plenty of shade. Make sure that your bees are alive. You may find some dead bees on the bottom of the package, that is natural. We had about 25 dead bees at the bottom. If you find an inch or more of dead bees on the bottom of the package call your vendor.
Cooling Down and Hydrating
Next, mist the bees lightly with water. Make sure you use a spray bottle that is either new or has never been used for anything other than water. As hard as it was to do I then went inside and let the bees cool and calm down for an hour. After about an hour it was time to lightly mist them with a 1:1 sugar-water mixture. Again, this was a light misting from a spray bottle. They seemed to really enjoy this. I could see them drinking it off the side walls and bottom of the box.
Setting Up The Feeder
You must have a means for feeding your bees once they’re in the hive. You should use a good quality feeder. There are several options available. We are using an entrance feeder. It’s best to have your sugar-water made up ahead of time because it needs to cool. You’ll also want to have your feeder filled and ready to place on the hive.
Hiving The Bees
Scott and I had already agreed that we would wait to hive the bees together when he got off work. I went ahead and gathered everything we would need and had it ready to go as soon as he got home. Once he got home we lit the smoker, geared up and within about 20 minutes the bees were down in the hive! Thankfully it was all went very smoothly and neither of us was stung.
Ahead of time, I did set up a video camera so we could record how the bees behaved around the hive after being hived. The camera records for about 2 hours and then has to be recharged. I managed to record most of the first 24-hours. There are only short lapses where I had to quickly recharge the camera. I did not leave the camera on overnight since you wouldn’t be able to see anything, anyway.
All Is Calm
The bees were very active the first few hours after being placed in the hive then slowly the activity died down and within about 3 hours everything was fairly calm. We did our best to leave the bees alone and just looked on from afar. I have to say it was incredibly hard not to move in closer.