Bees and Shipments
10,000-12,000 bees and 1 mated queen (either Italian or Carniolan, depending on which you order)
Bees will ship during the month of April and the 1st week of May. As the date approaches we will contact you and let you know the exact shipment date.
Installation and General Beekeeping
Before dusk, as this forces the bees to stay in their hive.
It is recommended to install bees within 24 hours. If there is rain or snow please see the next question.
Although it is recommended that you install within 24 hours, the bees can wait to be installed up to 3 days later if necessary (not recommended unless conditions require). You will need to care for your bees in the meantime. If it is cold (55 degrees or below) bring your bees inside, leave them in the wooden cage. You can remove the outer shipping box. If the bees are very loud and buzzing, they are hot and you can LIGHTLY mist with water to help cool them. The bees have a sugar feed inside and won’t require any syrup of food. The key is keeping the bees cool. They need to be in an environment around 65 degrees. Do not place them in direct heat, wind, sunlight or on a heat vent.
As long as it is not snowing or raining, the bees will be fine to install. Cooler temps are actually better than high temps.
Your hive tool acts as a great pry bar otherwise a flathead screwdriver will do.
There is no need to use a smoker or spray with sugar water on install. The bees will be active and want to get into their hive. Feel free to view Harvest Lane Honey's install video if you are unsure:
Please see Harvest Lane Honey's install video for guidance:
We don’t recommend marking her unless you are experienced in this method. You could accidentally injure the queen without knowing and cause the hive to reject her. Finding the queen on inspection isn’t as big a deal as knowing that you have eggs. Eggs are a very good indicator that the queen is active and laying.
The bees won’t be able to release her with the cork still in. Go ahead and take the queen cage out of the hive and switch the cork out for a marshmallow (be careful not to release the queen) and put the cage back into the hive.
Yes it is totally normal to have to leave a frame or two out of the hive on the 1st week after install. This will not hurt the bees; just remember to replace the frames on your one week inspection. You can on your 1 week inspection just use your bee brush to gently push the bees out of the way. Use slow motions when replacing the frames and this will prevent any unnecessary bee crushing.
Yes, we recommend having the feeder set up prior to installing. Starter Kits come with an in-hive feeder which you can fill prior to installing bees. If you forgot to put a feeder in we suggest using an entrance feeder.
We recommend Harvest Lane Honey Liquid Bee Feed
You should wait 7-10 days before checking on them.
You should check your hive no more than 1 time per week. Checking during the heat of the day will ensure that most of the hive is out foraging and make for an easier inspection. You should not check your hive at dusk or early morning, the hives are easily aggravated during these times and naturally more aggressive.
Until the end of June in colder climates, end of May for warmer climates.
Use the smallest setting.
It will take about 4-6 weeks before you will put on a second box to the hive. How you will know the hive is ready for this, is when 8-9 frames are built out with a comb and the bees are beginning to fill the comb with brood and honey reserves. Once you see this, it will be time to add another box.
Concerns About the Bees or the Queen
Yes, this is normal. Our supplier actually fills the bees fuller in anticipation of the hives having some loss.
Please reach out us immediately (email@example.com) with an image of the bees.
Note: You must have been home and signed for the bees to receive a refund or replacement.
If the queen is still in her cage:
Please email a picture to us immediately (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Must send within 24 hours. Queens will only be shipped M-Th. Your bees will be fine without a queen, so don’t worry. You can install the bees now and the queen when it arrives.
If the queen is NOT in her cage:
You can purchase a new queen and we can have her shipped to your home M-Th. Your hive will survive during the wait period. If you haven’t installed your bees go ahead and do that. Please reach out to us (email@example.com) to inquire about purchasing a queen.
You can purchase a new one and we will have her shipped to your home M-Th. Your hive will survive without her for a few weeks. Please reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to inquire about purchasing a queen.
Please email a picture to us (email@example.com). Please note, we can only accept claims within 3 weeks from receiving bees for a drone layer.