How To Install Package Bees: A Simple Guide for Beginners

  • By: Jack
  • Date: January 28, 2024
  • Time to read: 10 min.

Installing package bees can be a daunting task for any beekeeper, but it doesn’t have to be! With careful preparation and planning, you can take control of the process and ensure that your new hive will get off on the right start.

In this article, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to install package bees in an efficient and successful manner. You’ll soon feel confident in taking charge of your own hive installation without having to rely on anyone else.

What Are Package Bees?

When it comes to installing package bees, you have your work cut out for you. But with the right tools and knowledge under your belt, getting a bee package ready to go is not as daunting of a task as one might think.

Package bees are essentially small boxes or containers that contain all the necessary components required to start up an apiary. In order to successfully install a package of bees, there are certain elements that must be taken into account – such as understanding what exactly comprises the package in terms of its components.

To put it simply, having a clear grasp of how to install a bee package is essential for anyone looking to become an amateur beekeeper. With that said, let’s dive into the details about what makes up these packages and get them ready for installation!

What Are The Components Of A Package?

A package of bees is a great way to start a new hive. It’s the most efficient and cost-effective way to get your bee colony up and running. But what are the components of a package? Let’s take a look:

  • A wooden frame containing 10,000-14,000 honeybees with their queen
  • The feeder can full of sugar syrup for nourishment during transit
  • An empty box for transferring the bees into the beehive

The key to a successful installation of package bees lies in how many bees you place in the hive when transferring them from the package. Too few or too many can cause issues, so it’s important to follow instructions carefully.

Additionally, make sure that all entrances are open on both the packages and beehives before the transfer begins; this will reduce stress levels on both sides and provide an easier transition for your colony.

With these tips in mind, you’ll have no problem putting those buzzing beauties into their new home!

Transporting The Package Bees

The goal of transporting and installing package bees in a new hive is to ensure their safety and health so they can begin producing honey quickly. Knowing the best time of day, the equipment needed, and how to properly install your bees are all key components for a successful installation.

The most important factor when installing package bees is timing; it’s ideal to transport them early in the morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler and the wind has died down. You will also need protective gear such as gloves, jackets, hats, etc., plus a beehive set up with frames inside, along with a smoker and frame gripper tool.

Now that you know what supplies are necessary and how to properly install package bees without shaking them, you’re one step closer to becoming a successful beekeeper! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to determine which time of day works best for you during this crucial moment when introducing your new colony of honeybees into their future home sweet home!

Best Time Of Day To Install Package Bees

Generally speaking, early morning or late evening is preferable as temperatures tend to remain moderate throughout these times.

Secondly, you can introduce the queen first by carefully removing her cage from inside the box and placing her gently in the middle of the brood chamber.

Thirdly, pour in all remaining worker bees directly onto the top of the frames using a gentle tapping motion until they begin finding their way down towards her majesty – this should take no longer than 30 minutes.

Once complete, ensure each frame has been sufficiently filled before closing up the hive entrance for good. This will give your colony plenty of time to become well-established prior to wintertime ahead coming!

With careful observation and patience, you’ll soon have a thriving apiary full of happy bees.

How To Install Package Bees In A Langstroth Hive

Now that you know when the best time of day to install package bees is, it’s time to learn how. Installing package bees in a Langstroth hive is an essential part of starting a beehive with packaged bees. Here are some tips and tricks for successful bee installations:

  1. Prepare the hive: Make sure your Langstroth hive is ready for the bees by removing any debris or dead bees from the frames and ensuring the frames are properly spaced.
  2. Install the queen cage: Locate the queen cage in the package of bees and remove it. Hang the queen cage between two frames using a wire or string.
  3. Release the bees: Open the package of bees and carefully shake them into the hive. Be sure to shake out as many of the bees as possible, but avoid shaking them too hard.
  4. Close the hive: After installing the bees, close the hive and leave it undisturbed for a few days to allow the bees to acclimate to their new home.
  5. Check for the queen: After a few days, check to make sure the queen has been released from her cage and is laying eggs.

Installing package bees in a Langstroth hive requires careful attention to detail, but with these steps, you can ensure a successful installation.

How To Install Package Bees In A Top Bar Hive

Installing package bees in a top bar hive can be a bit different from installing them in other types of hives. Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, make sure your top bar hive is set up and ready to receive the bees. The bars should be in place and the hive should be level.
  2. Prepare the bees by spraying them with a sugar water solution. This will help keep them calm during the installation process.
  3. Remove the feeder can from the package of bees and set it aside.
  4. Gently shake or tap the package to encourage the bees to move towards the bottom. Then, carefully remove the screen covering the package.
  5. Turn the package upside down and shake the bees into the hive. Make sure the queen is in the package and falls into the hive.
  6. Once all the bees have been shaken out, replace the feeder can on top of the bars.
  7. Close the hive and leave the bees to settle in for a few days before checking on them again.

It’s important to note that installing package bees can be a bit stressful for the bees, so it’s important to be gentle and calm throughout the process.

For best results, whether it’s a Top bar or a Langstroth hive, install the package on warm days when temperatures are over 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Once installed, use smoke to calm the bees down before attempting to move them around any further.

This will help ensure a successful transition for both handlers and bees alike! With patience and care, you’ll soon have your vibrant colony settled happily in their new home.

Installing The Queen Bee

Introducing a queen bee to a package of bees is a delicate process that requires careful planning and execution. The queen bee is the heart of the hive, and the success of the colony depends on her health and acceptance by the worker bees.

The introduction process can vary, but one common method is to use a queen cage. The queen is placed in a cage with a candy plug, and the cage is suspended between two frames in the hive.

The workers will gradually eat away at the candy, allowing the queen to be released over time. This gives the workers time to become accustomed to her pheromones and accept her as their new queen.

Overall, introducing a queen bee to a package of bees requires patience, careful observation, and attention to detail. Following proper procedures and waiting for the right time to introduce the queen can increase the likelihood of a successful introduction and a healthy, thriving colony.

Feeding Package Bees

Feeding package bees is crucial during the installation process, which can occur in two locations: the package box and the bee hive. If the bees stay in the package box overnight or before transferring to the hive, they should be fed. Additionally, feeding should continue until the colony can sustain itself. Water is essential in their diet.

The primary feed for bees is sugar syrup, which should be made in a 1:2 sugar-to-water ratio. A feeding cap or other container is often provided in the package box, and its instructions should be followed.

It is a good idea to feed the bees with sugar syrup just before moving them to the hive. This calms them and makes them more docile. For beginners, it’s recommended to remove frames from the hive during installation and reinsert them once the bees are settled.

Keep hive entrances small to maintain heat and prevent robbing. Adding supers or a second hive body should be done after the bees are fully settled.

Regularly monitoring the hive is important to assess its progress. It’s not uncommon for some bees to die, but large-scale losses can harm the colony. Overall, proper feeding and care can lead to a thriving bee hive.

Now let’s explore some other considerations when installing package bees…

Considerations When Installing Package Bees

After taking the necessary steps to feed your package bees, it is time to consider how best to install them in their new home. This process can be daunting for some beekeepers, but with a few simple tips, you will soon feel like an expert.

When installing package bees, timing and temperature are two important considerations. It’s best to install them on a day that has temperatures between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit as this gives the bees ample opportunity to become acclimated to their environment without stressing themselves too much.

The most important part of installing package bees is making sure they have enough space for growth–not only now but also in the future. Begin by placing the hive box at least three feet away from any other structures and six inches off the ground.

Make sure that air can circulate freely around the box and then open up the top of the box so that you can easily access its contents.

Finally, make certain that all entrances into your hive are facing southward as this ensures optimal exposure to sunlight throughout the year while minimizing drafts during colder months.

With these simple steps taken care of, you’ll be ready for a successful first season with your package bees!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Package Bees Last?

Package bees typically last for up to two years and can be an excellent way to get started with beekeeping. Depending on how you take care of them, package bees may even last longer!

It’s important to make sure your hive is properly set up and that the environment around it is suitable for their needs. To ensure maximum longevity, try adding a few extra frames or boxes full of pollen when first introducing the package bees into the hive.

This will give them enough resources to keep them going until they’ve established themselves in their new home.

What Is The Best Temperature To Store Package Bees?

Storing package bees at the right temperature is key for keeping them alive and healthy.

The optimal temperature to store your bees is between 40-45°F (4.44-7.22°C).

Anything higher than that can put stress on the colony and make it difficult for them to survive.

To ensure that you are storing your bees properly, use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of their environment and adjust accordingly if needed.

Keeping temperatures in check will help your package bees thrive!

How Often Should I Feed The Package Bees?

Feeding package bees is key to their success! Generally, you should feed them at least twice a day.

Use either sugar syrup or candy boards – both are effective and help the bees get off to a strong start.

Make sure your hive has plenty of food reserves for when nectar flow slows down or stops entirely during bad weather.

Keeping an eye on how much they consume can also be useful in determining if more needs to be provided.

Are Package Bees More Susceptible To Bee Diseases?

Package bees are more susceptible to bee diseases than ever before, thanks to global warming and the spread of mites.

Not only do package bees face a greater risk of disease, but they require special care if you want them to survive – from proper nutrition to preventive treatments.

With this in mind, it’s essential that anyone considering installing package bees takes their time researching how best to protect these little creatures from potential threats.

Taking the necessary steps can help ensure your new arrivals have a healthy future!

Is There A Difference Between Package Bees And Established Bee Colonies?

Package bees and established bee colonies are both types of bee populations, but there is a difference between them.

Package bees are newly-purchased honeybee colonies that come in a box with several thousand worker bees and one queen.

Established bee colonies have been living for some time already; they contain thousands of worker bees, many drones, and an existing queen who was reared by the same colony.

While package bees offer convenience since they’re ready to install right away, established bee colonies can be hardier and better equipped to handle disease due to their longer life span.

Video – How to install a Bee Package


Package bees are a great way to start beekeeping. They can bring life and vitality to an apiary, but they come with some challenges as well.

As long as you take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety, such as ensuring proper temperature storage and regular feeding, package bees can thrive for many years in your hives!

One thing is certain: caring for them will be like nothing else – it’s truly an experience that has no comparison; everything about it will be simply amazing!

So don’t wait any longer – dive into the incredible world of beekeeping today with package bees!