Lesson 86: Package Bees, How To Winter Wrap A Hive & DEC 3rd Class Candle Making & Cooking With Honey & Honey Sampling

dnsHello everyone! And welcome to another beekeeping lesson from David & Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We’re glad that you have landed on our site. Where else will you receive such detailed and fun information on keeping bees?
In today’s lesson, I’ll teach about package bees, and share a detailed teaching on wrapping hives for winter along with a video of how to do it.
And let me remind you to join me at the 3rd annual Garfield Park Conservatory Bee Forum in Chicago Saturday, November 20th from 10am-4pm. I’ll be speaking on Queen Rearing & Running a Honey Bee Business. The Keynote speaker is: Dennis vanEngelsdorp the country’s leading CCD researcher. And Marsha Wheeler from the University of Illinois Bee Lab will speak on bee nutrition and its impact on bee behavior. CLICK HERE FOR MORE REGISTRATION INFORMATOIN
GOLD11We are excited about our Holiday Special Hive Kits that are now available that comes with bees too! To start with, our GOLD HOLIDAY SPECIAL, 2 complete hives plus 2 packages of bees with queens and all the supplies you’d want, such as hat, veil, smoker, hive tool, 2 queen excluders, gloves, smoker fuel, a beginner’s bee book, entrance feeders, a bee brush and more. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO. It’s always better to start with 2 hives.
silver11Secondly, OUR SILVER HOLIDAY SPECIAL which is the same as our Gold special, only this deal comes with one hive and one package of bees. Supplies include hat, veil, smoker, hive tool, 1 queen excluder, bee book, smoker fuel, gloves and more. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Bronze11And last but not least is our BRONZE HOLIDAY SPECIAL for the more budget minded beekeeper. The Bronze Special is a start up kit, meaning it is sufficient to start keeping bees, but an additional deep hive body will need to be added a month after installing the bees. But if you are looking to lower your start up costs and purchase more items as your hive grows, this is a great way to start keeping bees on a tight budget.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms hand-makes your hives, personally raises your queens and for those of you picking up your packages from us at our apiary, I personally work along side our team throughout the whole process of shaking packages.
ScalesLast year I ran the scales, weighing bees going into packages for pickup. I’m going to do it again this year too! It’s a lot of work, but a sacrifice we make to help others enjoy beekeeping. We moved around 500 colonies into the shaking yard, set up our team and equipment and spent a day and a half working in the heat shaking bees down a funnel into packages. We shook bees back in April and were a little short handed as you can see in the video.
This video will show you some of the up close and hands on work that goes into shaking a package.
Who else will build your hive, shake your bees and raise your queens and teach you, through classes, how to be a successful beekeeper? All of this delivered from an EAS certified Master Beekeeper. I’m not trying to sound too boastful, but want you to know what you get by allowing us the privilege to be your beekeeping supplier of hives, packages, nucs, queens, and all your beekeeping supplies. Thank you in advance! We appreciate your support. When you purchase from us, you are helping to support our ongoing research, improve queen stock, continue to offer free beekeeping lessons and more.
Before I get into today’s lesson on package bees and wrapping hives for winter, let me encourage you to come join us on Friday night, December 3rd from 6pm – 8pm. Join us as Angela Faulkner demonstrates candle making, my wife Sheri shares how to cook with honey and I’ll have tops opened on lots of jars of various tasting honeys for you to sample. Come and have a good time with us, click here to reserve your early spot now!
ituneimageSTUDIO BEE LIVE is a beekeeping podcast produced right here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. Every week, Sheri and I pull up to the mic and talk about beekeeping. Now, we are on iTunes. Which means you can easily listen to our podcast on your iPhone, iPod or iPads. To find us on iTunes, click on the image to the left. If you do not use iTunes, you can always listen to our beekeeping podcasts by clicking on http://www.honeybeesonline.com/studiobeelive.html 
Tens of thousands of packages of bees are shipped to beekeepers throughout the US every year. Bees have been shipped through the postal service for over 100 years and is very successful. Some speak poorly about the stressed placed on bees shipped through packages and suggest that local nucs are better. I’ve addressed this in previous lessons. Our great country provides us with various climates. The southern climate allows us to get a jump on raising bees and queens for northern beekeepers. This has always been the motivation for providing packages, and northern beekeepers have always been grateful. Packages can be produced in early April in the southern states, but nucs aren’t available in northern states until May-June.
All of the southern package producers that I know work hard to make winter hardy stock queens. I’m also a nuc provider so I understand why some people prefer nucs. However, I love packages! I remember when I received my first 2 packages in the mail. Wow! What an exciting time. I thought it was the coolest thing that the post office delivered my bees to me, and they did great.
Most newbies to beekeeping are taken off guard. They wait until late winter or early spring and then try to purchase packages. But by then, many suppliers are sold out. I know, because I answer the order line and I hear so many tell me that they can’t find any packages for sale.
Packages must be purchased early. That’s why we will start taking orders in 5 days, on Nov. 15, 2010. That’s why I’m taking time now to get the word out that packages need to be ordered as soon as possible.
Three ways you can order our packages:
ONLINE by clicking here. On Monday November 15, 2010 our website will be opened for package bee sales.
BY PHONE 217-427-2678
BY CHECK – Call first to place your order, than send a check for payment. No packages are secured except through cleared payment.
Typically, bees do not need to be wrapped for winter. We are in central Illinois and our hives get along fine with open bottom boards and no wrap. Bees do not heat the inside of their hives like we do our homes. Instead, bees do not heat the inside of their hive, they only keep their cluster warm. Parts of the hive away from the cluster are as cold as it is outside.
Even with your best winter preparations, it will not be enough if your bees have a mite infestation or are lacking stored honey. Make sure your colony is disease free and is not infested with varroa or tracheal mites. Then, make sure your hive has an ample supply of stored honey and pollen. A winter hive wrap is useless if these important things go unchecked.
Something negative happens when a hive is wrapped. The extra wrap can allow the bees to warm the inside of their hive so much that on a very cold day, excessive moisture will accumulate on the inner cover or top cover. This cold water will drip down on the bees, causing them to become too cold and wet, and eventually perish. The excessive moisture in the hive can also cause the growth of mold and bacteria.
Two precautions must be taken when wrapping a hive for winter: 1) The hive must be given an upper entrance. This is especially necessary in regions that receive several feet of snow per year. The upper entrance will allow the bees to take cleansing flights even if the hive is buried in a snow drift. 2) The hive must have upper ventilation. Upper ventilation will help deplete away excess moisture condensation from the top of the hive.
Spacer77We now make a special spacer that has the upper ventilation and upper entrance all in one. We are selling the winter spacer with black wrap paper for $10 and what is neat is that they also accommodate our winter candy boards. CLICK HERE TO ORDER. In the video below, I will demonstrate how the candy board sits directly on top of the upper vent/entrance spacer. And this spacer can also be used so provide space for pollen patty feedings or bags of sugar water as well. It can also be used when medicating your hives. These spacers have lots of uses! Enjoy the video on wrapping hives.

Winter Wrapping A Hive

For those who may not have been able to play the video, let me walk you through the steps in the pictures below or CLICK HERE to watch the video from our website:
spacer2I’ve chosen to use a very common material known as roofing paper or black tar paper available at most home improvement stores. A common width is 36”. I like 36 inches because most hives are two hive bodies deep which means the hive is approximately 22” tall. However if the hive has a super, it makes it about 28 inches tall, and two supers puts it right at about 36 inches tall. So for the purpose of this hive, 36” width is perfect.
Next, cut your piece of roofing paper at around 80-85” long. This will allow you to wrap it around your hive and overlap. Overlapping a few inches is critical, especially in windy places. If the wind starts to pull the paper, it could rip it off over the course of a windy winter.
spacer5It is important to insert your front entrance reducer, your top entrance spacer and place your candy board on for added food.
spacer4Your bottom entrance reducer should be on its smallest setting. The entrance on the upper spacer can face the front or the back. I place it in the front so that I can work my bees from the back.
spacer6Now we are ready to wrap. Start on one side and use a hand stapler to fasten the paper to the hive. If you are concerned about staple holes, you can use duct tape or gorilla glue. Wrap the paper along the side, and around the back, stapling as you go, along the other side and across the front. If the bees are flying, you will disrupt their landing and take off and they might let you know about it. You can also wait until a much colder day when the bees are inside and clustered.
You’ll notice I had to notch a small cutout for the opening in the front, both at the bottom and at the top. Once the paper is stapled or taped down, you can put your top on. It might fit tight, but just make sure you get the paper under the lid to help hold it down tightly in high winds.
spacer7You’ll notice the top entrance is just below the lip of the top cover minimizing rain and snow from going directly in. However, small amounts of weather will not bother the bees in this upper placement.
You did it, and it looks nice. You’ve given your bees an upper entrance/exit and you’ve given them a nice upper vent. And you’ve wrapped your hive to help keep out excessive winds that might leak through cracked and broken boxes.
Although we rarely wrap out hives, we do enjoy experimenting to see if wrapping does make a difference. So the hive in the picture/video is one that we’ll follow along all winter to see how it does. The queen in this hive has some very unique characteristics in storing honey and pollen, and so we are anxious to observe her overwintering skills. This hive is a 5 year old survival hive that has not been treated with any medication for the last 5 years. It had mites all year, but no signs of infestation and no apparent negative effect. It does not have tracheal mites going into winter. Currently the cluster is very low in the hive with about 60 pounds of honey on board.
CLICK HERE if you’d like to order our $10 wrap kit which includes:
1) One wooden spacer/vent/entrance/exit
2) One section of roofing paper approx. 36” x 85”

And check out our webpage exclusively for CANDY BOARDS.
Thanks for joining us for another lesson in beekeeping. Our next lesson will be an extensive lesson on Varroa Mites. See you then.
Here’s our contact information:
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
14556 N. 1020 E. Rd
Fairmount, IL 61841
(217) 427-2678
CHECK OUT OUR PODCAST: www.honeybeesonline.com/studiobeelive.html

See ya next time,
David Burns
EAS Certified Master Beekeeper

2010 Package Bee Work

Źródło: Lesson 86: Package Bees, How To Winter Wrap A Hive & DEC 3rd Class Candle Making & Cooking With Honey & Honey Sampling

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