This is the back of our car yesterday. I will tell you that driving with two 4 lb packages of bees in my car, on purpose, is something I never imagined myself doing until recently.
We met local beekeepers, Deborah and Mr. Charlie, at the house to install them. Mr. Charlie showed us how to install the 1st package, and then Nate had the honor of installing the 2nd one. The whole experience was crazy. Bees were flying everywhere; you can see them all around us in the pictures.
This is one of the packages. See all of the lovely ladies clinging to the sides. The queen is in there somewhere.
First, the cover had to be pried off. Then, the can of sugar water was removed, along with the queen cage.
Nate's holding the queen cage, which is closed off at one end by a plug of candy. She is alive and well and being cared for by her attendants. Her cage is suspended between the center frames, and the bees eat through the candy to release her.
A good spraying with water weighs down the bees, and a good whack on the ground forces them into a large cluster in the box. Then, it's a matter of pouring/shaking them out of the box onto the top of the hive.
A few more whacks on the ground and pours and most of the bees are out of the package and in the hive. The box is placed at the front of the hive for the rest of the bees to make their way out and into their new home.
Nate replaces the missing frame carefully to try to avoid crushing any bees, and then makes sure the bee space between the frames is correct. Too much space is filled with propolis and too little is filled with additional comb.
Here we are with our newly installed bees!
Thanks to Mr. Charlie for the great instruction and to Deborah for the pictures and moral support! It's great to have local support from people who really love beekeeping. It makes such a difference to newbies like us.