Installing Your Bees

Installing Your Bees

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Your bees come in a wooden nuc box, which can be used for many purposes, including for capturing swarms, housing splits next Spring if your bees overwinter, and using as a “quiet box” during inspections, so you can ensure that the queen is secure in the box before any hive manipulations that may endanger her.

When installing your bees, keep the frames in the same order that they are in your nuc box. Make sure that the frames are positioned so that the front of the hive is in the same direction as the nuc entrance disk. Put empty frames on either side of the nucleus frames. If you have clean frames (no foul brood, etc.) from a previous colony the bees will be happy to use them, and clean them up if required, as long as the previous occupants didn’t have American Foul Brood (AFB). It takes far more resources from your bees to produce comb than honey – and extra drawn comb helps your new queen build up the hive population more quickly.

Your bees come with frames of nectar and pollen that they’ve collected themselves, and a sizable population of worker bees. You do not need to feed sugar syrup to your colony initially, and as long as they continue to collect sufficient nectar they will do better without sugar syrup, which can make bees more vulnerable to varroa mites by raising the pH of the hive.

Your bees will start to orient to their new location once installed. You will see a lot of activity at the entrance, and you can expect this continue daily as new bees emerge, and nurse bees graduate to become foragers.

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