Monday, April 26, 2010
installing - the NON-SHAKE method
I TRIED THIS! This was an article in Feb/March issue of Bee Culture Magazine (don't remember which)...they called it the KELLY (non-shake) METHOD of installation.
BASICALLY - you're hanging the queen cage (replace cork with marshmallow - you don't want her out just yet) in the box with the 10 frames you've prepared. they suggested a rubber band wrapped around the frame...i just used a thumb tack and stuck it through the queen cage tab and into the top bar. HANG HER "OFFSIDES"! (don't want syrup drowning her!)
place the opened package in an EMPTY bottom box...and the bees will migrate to the frames. the next day or two - take your EMPTY PACKAGE BOX out! (obviously?...take the bottom box out too) your finished hive configuration is the 10 frames on the bottom board, the inner cover and your covered syrup bucket.
ADVANTAGES? MANY MANY LESS BEES flying about!!!! they suggested in the article - this method could be used in the rain...and I'LL ATTEST to that. I didn't have rain - but I had a heck of a wind.
THINGS I LEARNED and/or SUGGEST? when you replace the cork with the marshmallow...don't use a CRUSTY old marshmallow....grab a nice soft piece from the inside...and DON'T STUFF IT FULL!!! you only need to keep her in there long enough to configure the hive.
I myself...was without marshmallow. so - i had to leave the cork in place 'till i got back (day 2) to remove the package. When I removed the bottom box and package - I removed the queen (in cage) I then popped the cork and let her MOSEY into the entrance. I have to say - she took her DARN SWEET TIME! and in ONE installation....SHE ESCAPED!.....before I knew it - I saw her disappearing under the deck board!! luckily - I can both SEE and REACH under there. I grabbed her and stuck her naughtiness into the hive. I CAN ONLY SAY....if you are leery about handling the queen PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE ON DRONES!!!! they can't hurt you and you can get a feel of having that little buzzing body in your fingers.....I PRACTICED when I installed...
DISADVANTAGE? ....you need that "extra" empty deep/brood box...but remember - you can use two empty supers to cover your syrup bucket too!