Editor's Note: This is the latest installment in Kim's backyard beekeeping series. See DIY Backyard Beekeeping: A Beginner's Guide for tips on placing your hives, choosing the right equipment, hives -- and of course, finding the best bees. Then, you'll be ready to establish your first hive of bees, with these simple recommendations. See Kim's book The Backyard Beekeeper for more thorough tips.
When you get your package home, spray the sides with a 1:1 sugar mist to settle and feed the bees.
Get your hive ready by removing half the frames from the middle of the box.
Pry off the cover on the top, and carefully remove the can inside containing food. Dont drop the queen cage, which is suspended right next to the can. Replace the cover so the bees dont leave.
Remove the queen cage and suspend it from the top of one of the exposed frames, using wire or the tin hanger from the cage. Bring some string with you just in case.
Spray the bees again, then thump them down to settle them.
Dump the bees into the cavity produced when the frames were removed.
Slowly replace the frames, not squishing the bees, put the feeder on top of the frames, but not over the queen, put another box over the feeder, then the cover to protect it all.
Come back in four or five days. Check the feeder for more feed, take the queen cage out, and NOW remove the cork on the candy end of the cage and replace as before.
In 10 days, check again. She should be released and laying eggs. You are now a beekeeper.
Check here again in a few weeks see whats next. But really, get a good book and read that, attend meetings, take a class, meet a beekeeper and have fun!
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