Learning to Install a Package of Bees

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/learning-to-install-a-package-of-bees.aspx

 Installing honeybees into a Warre and top bar hive 

The theme of the past week has been bees.  We finished our top bar hive just in time to put together a Warre hive for side by side comparison.  (Well, same farm comparison—honey bees are healthier if their colonies are separated by a good distance.)

Then the packages arrived.  We installed both packages, enjoyed watching the bees through our top bar hive's observation window...and then tried to catch the swarm when one hive's bees absconded.  In a matter of hours, we'd gone from having 24,000 head of bees on our farm to a mere 12,000.

I've got a rundown of the factors that probably caused our bees to abscond on our main blog, along with scads of photos showing installation of two packages of bees.  Stay tuned throughout the week and I'll be posting the specifics of package installation into a Warre vs. a top bar hive.

Mark Hamilton and Anna Hess are full time homesteaders who make a living selling an innovative, POOP-free chicken waterer.