Ready with a clean hive, a few new frames, 4 frames with left over honey so the bees have food until spring arrives, I will “bonk” the bees in to the hive from their package. There is a hole the size of a soup can where they will spill into hive as I bonk the package and dump them in the hive. Unfortunately in the hiving process about 100 – 300 bees were lost, it’s all part of the transfer process, having snow on the ground this day didn’t help.
The Queen is isolated in a wire cage in the package during shipment so that the colony gets comfortable with her so we keep her in the wire cage, replacing the cork with a marshmallow so by the time the bees eat through each side she is officially declared the Queen and will find a spot in the hive to start laying eggs. We put on the second story and put in a couple artificial pollen patties and a bird feeder of heavy syrup since the weather has not been cooperating and there is not a lot of pollen or nectar for the bees to eat. We also leave the package in the second story of the hive for the stragglers to make their way out then we put the cover on the hive.
We will not disturb the bees for a couple of weeks so that they get comfortable with the inside of the hive, rest from their long journey and eat so they can be strong to explore when the snow melts.
See you girls in a couple of weeks!