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How to Install Package Honey Bees into an Empty Hive


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Would you like to learn more about honeybees?  This post and video will show how a new honeybee package is installed in an empty hive.  

When a beekeeper has a hive that dies off, they have to get the hive restarted.  There are several ways to start a new hive.  One way is to split a hive which is preparing to swarm. 

Another way, which we show in this video is to purchase a package of bees.  Honey bees come in packages of 10,000 - 20,000 bees along with a queen bee.  After the package is received the beekeeper installs the package of bees into the hive.

It's best to watch the video below in order to get full information on installing a package of bees.  Following the video, we have some still photos from the process.


Watch our Video Below or Click the link to watch How to Install Package Honey Bees into an Empty Hive in Youtube.


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The beekeepers in the video are Needlepointers.com owner Chris's husband and daughter, Kaitlyn.  You will know Kaitlyn from some of our past crafting videos.Installing Bee Package - Beekeepers with Package

Kate loves helping to work on the honey bee hives.  This is her 2nd year in a honey bee project for 4-H.  This year, she plans to start up her own hive.  She learned a lot about taking care of honey bees last year and won a special award ribbon for her honey entry in the fair.

Below is an empty box with a few frames in it.  These are new frames, which the bees will have to build comb to store the honey.Installing Bee Package - Empty Hive Box

Below is the empty hive before installing the bees.  The frames in this hive have honeycomb already on the frames.  These frames came from a previous hive that died off.  The new bees will use the old honeycomb and this will save them a lot of time and energy.Installing Bee Package - Package Ready to Install

These are some extra boxes and frames.  These will be added to the hive later.Installing Bee Package - Extra boxes and frames

This is a closeup of the bees in the package.  The bees are all gathered around a can with sugar syrup in it.  The sugar syrup is food for the bees and keeps them alive during their travel.  The packages usually come from somewhere in the southern states, like Georgia.  We are not sure exactly where this specific package came from.Installing Bee Package - Closeup of Package

The top on the package is carefully pried off to start the installation.  The can with sugar syrup is removed trying not to squash any bees in the process.  The small cage with the queen is also removed.Installing Bee Package - Prying off Lid

In the photo, Kate is videoing the shaking out of the bees and also holding the queen cage at the side of the hive.Installing Bee Package - Shaking out Bees

The bees are dumped or shook out of the package and into the hive.Installing Bee Package - Shaking out Bees 2

After most of the bees are out of the package.  Beekeeper Keith and Kaitlyn, put the package onto the top of the hive.  The bees remaining in the package will figure out that their friends are all down in the hive and will move into the hive also.Installing Bee Package - Package left for bees to vacate

This is the empty bee package after the bees have all moved into the hive.Installing Bee Package - Empty Package

Below is a photo of our larger hive which survived through the winter.  Later this spring, this hive will probably be split into a new hive for Kaitlyn to work on.Installing Bee Package - Hive

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