On April 14th, I picked up three two pound packages of bees. I met Brushy Mountain Beekeeping at our local Cracker Barrel Restaurant along with several other people. Loaded onto a flat bed truck was at least 100 packages of bees that had traveled to Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.
The package comes with the bees, a queen, (in her own cage), and a metal can with sugar water. After ensuring your queen is alive and well, you are ready to take them home and install them in their hive which you have already prepared.
A new hive contains your frames and empty foundation for the bees to draw out comb and place pollen, honey, and the queen to lay eggs. I had replaced two of the empty frames with honey from last year to get them off to a good start.
The box is opened, tin can with sugar water removed (and saved), and the queens cage removed. Separate the frames so allow space for you to shake the bees into the bottom box.
The queen is in her own cage, with a cork on one end, and a sugar plug in the other. The worker bees with chew through the sugar and release her. This takes 3-4 days a gives them time to get used to her. You need the check the hive in 3 to 4 days to be sure she has been released, and remove the cage.
After putting the hive back together, and ensuring they have sugar water, there is nothing to do until 3-5 days when you check to be sure the queen has emerged, and your bees have enough sugar water.
Through out the next few weeks, you need to check to be sure the queen is still alive, and the hive is healthy.
This is blurry but you can see pollen, built out comb, and the queen has deposited eggs in the left hand corner.
Beekeeping is a great hobby, and most backyards can comfortably accommodate a hive if you’re city or county allows.