In becoming a beekeeper be prepared to address situations that you have not experienced before. Every year is going to be a different process when working your hives. This is just one of the perks of beekeeping: nothing stays the same. We want you to be able to recognize certain circumstances and know how to react.
Restricting the entrance helps the colony defend itself
Regulates ventilation in the hive
Smokers: It is recommended to light a crumbled up piece of newspaper and place it in the smoker (push it down with your hive tool). Pump the smoker until you see a distinguished flame then begin to add smoker fuel as you continue to pump. The fuel should smolder to produce a cool smoke. Test the smoke temperature by puffing it on your wrist (like you would test a babies bottle) and if it is hot to you then it will be hot to the bees.
Entrance Reducer: An entrance reducer is used on new as well as established hives to restrict the opening of the hive.
Installing Your Bees: Getting your hive set up is exciting but the real fun is yet to come.
Spray your bees heavily with sugar syrup
Bump your package on hard surface so your bees fall to the bottom
Check your queen bee and remove the cage (make sure the candy is still in hole)
Remove frames from the hive
Spray and bump package one last time
Begin pouring in your bees
Replace the frames that were removed
Secure queen cage with rubber bands or use a requeening frame
Working Your Hive: Always work your hive from the side or back. If you were to stand and work your hive from the front, you would block your bees flight path to and from the hive.