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How do I hive my package of bees?Updated 2 years ago

Your package will consist of 1.5kg of bees and a caged, marked Queen. There will be syrup inside the package box to keep the bees happy. The important point about transporting bees is making sure they do not overheat so please make sure there is plenty of airflow around the box at all times and if you can keep stoppages to a minimum on the journey home.
1. Take the bees back to your hive location.
2. Remove 3 or 4 frames from the middle of the brood chamber, or some of the top bars of your top bar hive, so you can shake the bees into the hive much easier.
3. Remove the rod from 3 of the sides on the package box, this will mean the lid can flip or hinge back. - BUT DO NOT OPEN THE BOX YET.
4. Bang the package box on the ground, just hard enough so the bees fall from the cluster on the lid onto the bottom.
5. Flip the lid back
6. Turn the package box up side down over the hive and shake so the bees fall into the gap between the frames. Get most of them out but dont worry about the few remaining bees as they will move by themselves later. Stand the box to one side. 7. Replace the frames that were taken out back inside the hive to fill the brood box.
8. Place the Queen cage (with the Queen still inside) between 2 of the middle frames, using either the wire that attached it to the package box or just a matchstick so it is hanging securely.
9. Place a crownboard onto the hive and feeder on the top and feed.
10.After 48hrs, return to the hive and open it up.
11.Locate the Queen cage and remove the plastic tab on the end which is covering the candy. This now means the bees will have access to the candy and will over time eat through it to get to the Queen.
12. Replace the Queen cage back into the hive, between the 2 frames.
13. The bees should have started drawing out some of the brood foundation, but will probably need more food so refill the feeder, then close the hive.
14. After another 48-72hrs, open the hive up and check the Queen has been release from the cage. Sometimes she can get stuck inside but if this is the case you should be able to open the cage up carefully, over and close to the frames in the hive so she can walk out safely. If she has already been release, remove the cage and close the hive up.
15. Apart from checking they have feed to help them draw out any undrawn frames, try to limit big inspections until the queen has fully settled into a rhythm i.e. no more than once a week and maybe even leave it for 2 weeks to start with. Eggs should be seen within 1 week of the Queen being released although sometimes it can be 2 or 3 weeks.

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Our hatch is open every Wednesday from 11am until 7pm at the address below:

Paynes Bee Farm Ltd

Bentley Cottage

Wickham Hill


West Sussex


You can purchase our full range of products via this service but please note that there is no shop to browse, and as our stocks are kept off site you will need to order online in advance as a click-and-collect service by selecting 'Local Pickup' during the checkout process.