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  Wednesday, 22 February 2017
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I had reserved a package of bees for delivery in Spring 2017, and I just received notice that they will be delivered on April 15. I am looking for some advice on whether this might be too early to take delivery since it will likely still be cold in Northern VT (I have normally hived bees no earlier that May 7 in the past). My thought would be that I could hive the package (on already-wax-pulled comb frames) and feed them syrup and pollen patties until the weather warms so they can start foraging.

I have purchased packages from this outfit before, and they prove quite decent (strong mated Italian queen), although I've never hived them so early before. Any advice or input on hiving a package this early? I do have the option of postponing the delivery until later, but I thought (if hiving this early isn't problematic) it might give them a couple extra weeks to get established with brood rearing.

Thanks;

Steve
5 years ago
·
#2374
It's been many years since I installed a package of bees, but when I did, I found the best time for installation was at the start of dandelion bloom....approximately first week of May.
5 years ago
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#2373
A quick search of the 5 year weather history for Vermont shows that temps have been in the 60's around April 15. Does this help?
5 years ago
·
#2372
Steve,
You could prepare a deep hive body with a frame feeder and frames ready to go on your stand.Remove the can of syrup and place the queen in cage between the middle frames as usual with a few workers and put the inner cover on. Then place an empty deep hive body on top. Now put the now open package of bees right on top of the inner cover leaving the inner cover hole open and put the outer cover on. All the bees will go down into the bottom box to the queen and be protected from the elements. When ready to release the queen or check to see if she is already released, remove the empty hive body and empty package box, put a pollen party on and replace the outer cover.
Good luck, John
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