What should I do one week after installing my honeybee package?

About a week (4-7 days) after installing the package, you will want to check to see if the queen has been accepted. 

First, light the fuel inside your smoker. We use old burlap bags or cotton denim as smoker fuel. The smoker should be producing cool smoke, and no flames should be coming out of the nozzle. Use caution starting fires in dry fields. 

Use the hive tool to pry off the lid. Puff a small amount of smoke across the top bars of the frames. You should see bees go down between the frames. 

Grandpa Arthur Andersen keeping bees at 99 years old. Using the smoker.

Carefully remove a frame from the middle of the cluster. Look in the cells of the drawn comb to check for eggs. Eggs are long, thin, round, and white.  In the photo below, almost every cell has an egg. Sometimes they are tricky to see because the skinny end will be poking up toward the top of the cell. (It's like looking at a pencil eraser head on.)

If you need to remove bees from the frame to see eggs more clearly, hold the ears of the frame, smartly rap the bottom bar onto the hive box to jar the bees from the frame into the hive. (Some people use a bee brush, but we think it just makes the bees mad.) 

Keep feeding bees light syrup until there is a steady nectar flow, they have drawn comb in most of the frames in the bottom box, and they have two full frames of honey. You will probably use about 20-25 pounds of sugar per hive. 

If syrup smells  off (fermented), rinse out the feeder and replace with new syrup. 

No comments: