The Day The Bees Arrive....
Your bees will be delivered in screened boxes via UPS Overnite or the US Postal Service mail, Special Handling. The boxes contain 3 or 4 pounds of worker bees (female), a handful of drones (male), and the plastic queen cage with candy release plug. This package with syrup can sustain the bees for about 7 days. Spray your package with water or syrup upon arrival. Avoid heat or direct sun. In case your colony isn't thriving, click here for instructions.
Installing your Bees
Every standard honeybee box contains 8 or 10 wooden frames complete with wax/plastic sheeting called foundation. These frames should fit tightly into the deep bee boxes which are called supers. The honeybees build up the foundation into wax cells which are filled with, brood, pollen or honey. By placing the frames tight against each other, the bees will build out the wax while leaving a 3/8 inch walking space between the frames. This space is known as the bee way or bee passage.
Package bee installationshould be done late in the day. To start your new colony, just remove 4 frames from the super, remove the feeding can from the shipping box, take the queen cage out, and hang it from a wire between the frames. Then dampen the bees with water or light syrup, bang the package of bees on the ground and then pour the bees into the hive. Slowly lower the 4 frames back into the super. Some bees may remain in the shipping box. Just place the box on the ground, near the super and the stragglers will move into their new home the next day. The only thing left to do is set up a feeder bottle containing sugar syrup, so that the honeybees have a food source to stimulate comb building.
The most commonly misunderstood fact is the source of the wax. Wax actually comes from the worker honeybees body. The rear area of the abdomen (the striped area) contains plates which produce the wax. It literally falls off of the bees and is collected, chewed and formed into cells.
By the following day, the bees will make short orientation flights to familiarize themselves with their surroundings and then begin to forage.