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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm tossing around the idea of beekeeping and finding all the info here really interesting and informative but people keep talking about ordering bees and i just have this image in my head of opening a box in the mail and swarms and swarms of bees coming out of it lol so how does the shipping work that they actually get them into a box and that they live for the trip and aren't stinging mad when they get to you?
 

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Ideally, you buy bees from a local beekeeper and avoid shipping, but yes, you can have bees mailed to you. They come in a box, and usually you'll get a phone call from the post office early in the morning asking you to come down immediately and pick up your bees. The box includes a can of sugar water so they have something to drink during the trip, and the queen is in a small cage within the box of bees.

Here's some pictures of me installing two boxes of bees:
http://s301.photobucket.com/albums/nn64/indypartridge/installing bees/

No, they don't come swarming out mad-as-all-getout. You spray them with a bit of sugar water. Between being damp and licking up the sugar water, they tend to be very mellow and you just pour them out into the hive.
 

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:goodjob: Indypartridge did a good job. It's really not much of a chore. If you do it in the evening, they tend not to fly around as much and wont get lost, being new to the area. :lookout: Then in the morning they'll get their bearings better for scouting trips and foraging. :bouncy::bouncy: You can sometimes get a nuc delivered too. This is a 4 or 5 frame mini hive with a laying queen, brood, honey or nectar and pollen. All you have to do with them is pull the frames from the nuc box and put them right into your Deep Hive body. Keep them in the center of the deep and put additional frames with foundation on the outer sides of the centered frames. Nucs have quite a start on a package. And of course make sure they are well fed. :icecream:
 

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When the bees arrive they are frightened and confused, and gratefull for a hive to hide in with their queen.

I am sometimes stung while installing them, but never more than once. Of course, I am a small-timer so I have only installed a half-dozen hives, if that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the info everyone!! i'm mostly thinking just one little hive to stick in a corner of a garden to help pollenate. if i can get an occasional comb i'd be delighted but i dont need massive amounts of honey.
what do you feed them, or do you just mean have flowers planted around?
 

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thanks for the info everyone!! i'm mostly thinking just one little hive to stick in a corner of a garden to help pollenate. if i can get an occasional comb i'd be delighted but i dont need massive amounts of honey.
what do you feed them, or do you just mean have flowers planted around?
I live in the woods and don't plant anything for my bees. They gather nector from whatever is blooming. I feed a 1:1 mixture of sugar & water in the spring (if they need it) or if there's a long summer dry spell. If the hives feel "light" in late fall, I feed a 2:1 mixture so they will have sufficient stores to last thru winter.

Check here
http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=274256
to see if there's a beekeeping club near you. Many clubs offer beginning beekeeping classes. Also check your local library for any books or videos they may have on beekeeping.
 

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Honey is bees stored food. They eat it when the weather is bad, and make extra besides *IF* they can, with the intention of setting aside winter food.

But, I like honey as well!

So that there is more honey for me, I feed them extra sugar-water syrup in the spring so they raise more babies than they usually would. This means a bumper crop of working bees to bring in the nectar this spring, and more honey for me. Honey is for the bees UNLESS there is extra: by feeding in the spring I ensure that there IS extra!

A new hive, one that has no honey stored from the summer before, will also need feeding.

Many people feed pollen patties as well, but I have always just fed syrup as the maple trees produce pollen in February, and I have 3 maple trees.
 
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