When it’s time to install package bees, make sure you have all your equipment and supplies ready before you begin!
Tips from the Dadant & Sons How to Install Package Bees Video
Start with a hive stand and a screened bottom board
Ventilation and temperature regulation are crucial for honey bee colonies. Adding a hive stand and screened bottom board helps the bees with both, as well as with Varroa mite control.
Read more about how to assemble a hive in our Learning Center article, Beehive Components Part I: Building a Hive from the Ground Up.
Remove 3 or 4 frames from the hive body
This gives you enough space to pour in your new bees from the shipping package.
Use a sprayer filled with 1:1 sugar water to calm the bees in warm weather
The sugar water works better to calm the bees than a smoker at this stage.
For more tips on how to handle package bees, read our Learning Center article, How Do I Install Package Bees?
Be sure the queen stays in the hive
Carefully remove the queen from her cage inside the hive or allow the bees to release her over the next few days.
Provide your bees with plenty of food to encourage drawing out foundation
We recommend adding Brood Builder Patties and topping of the hive body with a hive top feeder filled with plenty of 1:1 sugar syrup. This gives your package bees a good start before nectar and pollen production are in full swing.
Read our Learning Center article, Feeding Bees in Early Spring for more information on providing proper nutrition for your honey bees.
Give your package bees time to adapt to their new home
Don’t disturb the hive for a week after installing your package bees, then check that the colony is drawing out foundation and the queen is laying.
For more information about checking your bee’s progress, read the Dadant & Sons Learning Center article, Performing Your First Hive Inspection.
For beekeeping equipment and educational materials, visit our online store.