Brushy Mountain Bee Farm's Resources for Beekeeping, Candle Making, and Soap Making

Bee-Ginner's Guide
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Bee-Ginner's Guide

Installing your Bees Our first Packaged Bee Day at our NC Branch was an eye opener for us. There were many first year beekeepers that were unsure on the best method to install their package of bees. The great thing about Bee Days at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm is our live installation demonstration. This is an opportunity for beekeepers to watch Shane Gebauer install a package of bees and ask him questions. If you are going to be attending our next package pick up day at either NC or PA, please check out the demonstration if you are unsure or have any questions. We know that everyone is not available to stay during our demonstration but here is a video that shows the process of installing a package:

Installing a new package can be an exciting experience and knowing what to do before hand about the installation process will have you prepared for the task at hand. We want you to feel comfortable while installing your package. Ensure you have all the tools you need and are dressed appropriately for your comfort level. With your hive setup and painted, ensure that you have:

During the installation process there are certain steps that must be carried out to ensure the queen is installed properly. Remember that the cork must be removed from the candy end. Removing the cork from the non-candy end will release the queen prematurely and cause the colony to turn against her. It is critical the colony has time to become acclimated to the queen’s pheromones.

queen cage

For those who have purchased a NUC, you are ahead of the game. At the start they will have less bees than a standard 3 lb. package; however, because the queen is laying there will be brood in all stages and the NUC will grow much faster. Our NUCs consist of 3 deep frames of brood in all stages and 2 deep frames of honey and pollen. Here is a great video of a NUC installation but if you have the time to stay for our live demonstrations on our NUC Days you will be able to ask questions or voice concerns.

Once your bees have been installed, a feeder must be applied. Careful consideration should be taken when choosing your feeder. Both internal and external feeders have their pros and cons. Entrance feeders have the advantage of allowing you to check the feed levels and apply more if needed without opening the hive. Internal feeders such as division board feeders and hive top feeders, allows for more feed to be applied to the hive and decreases the chances of robbing.

Keep the feeder on until your bees are able to sustain themselves (even then, having a feeder on for that rainy day is recommended). If temperatures do not drop below freezing, a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water is an acceptable feed. The sugar water mixture will help stimulate colony growth. If colder weather is forecasted, feed with fondant or other semi-moist, hard feed.