I started my first urban beehive today with the help of a nucleus colony ordered from Texas and the advice of local bee sage, TJ.
Here’s the story.
We took the whole package over to my hive and set to work. TJ first removed the syrup container from inside the package. The can was nearly empty as it had fed the bees for a couple days in transit. You’ll notice, still in the package a rectangular box hanging from the top… That’s the queen, whom we’ll get to in a few.
With the can removed, some of the bees start emerging from the package, curious about their new digs.
Back to the queen. We removed her cage from the package and took a knife to wedge out the cork at the end.
Behind this cork is sugar candy which the worker bees will eat over the next day or so, freeing up the queen at their own pace.
Next, we place the queen cage face down between 2 honey-filled combs. Squeezing to wedge her safely between the combs, we then marked her location with red arrows. (Where’d I get the comb, you ask? TJ donated some from his strongest hive to get my girls started.)
The rest is easy. We simply placed the package still full of bees into the empty half of the hive body. The bees will work their way out of the package and up onto the comb. NOTE: About 4 hours later when I checked on them through the window of my top bar hive, sure enough, the package was empty and the queen surrounded by a warm cluster of bees on the comb.
We placed the rest of the bars in the hive to seal it up.
And the girls (including their mama) are one happy camp.