We got our packages on the 25th, the same as Janet and Tom. I went with Bam to Tyngsboro, MA on Sunday to get a car load of bees. We had fogged up windows with 25 packages of bees in the back seat and trunk! My four packages spent the night in the basement and did ok in spite of my checking on them every few minutes.
The next day was not the promised sunny and 40’s, but cloudy, windy and 37 degrees. I wanted to get them into their new homes so in the afternoon I suited up and had at it. I was worried about the temp being too cool but I think that it worked in my favor as they didn’t fly around too much.
The whole process took me about 3 hours, but putting the packages in was only about 45 minutes. What took the longest was hauling all of the equipment out to the bee yard and then wrapping them up with an insulation blanket. I started the installations with my nitrile gloves on but I was having problems putting a thumb tack into the queen cage so I decided to forgo the gloves.(the tack was to wire the cage to the frame so that it wouldn’t fall down) Seemed to work ok! I only had one sting on the finger that I think I got from a bee that I had pinched while I was cleaning up the yard.
One thing that I did was to remove the cork from the candy end of the cage as opposed to the non-candy end. I’m not sure if this was the “correct” way or not but when I checked on them on Saturday two of the hives had eggs and all of the queens were out of their cages. I did see two of the queens but I didn’t want to dig too deep into the frames.
The deeps that I installed the packages into all had 2-3 empty drawn frames in the center and the balance of the frames had honey and pollen from some of last year’s nucs that didn’t make it through the winter. I also gave them some sugar candy, 1 to 1 sugar syrup and a pollen patty. This may be overkill but they shouldn’t starve before they can bring in some real food.