WHY CHOOSE A PACKAGE BEES AND HOW TO USE IT
A package bees is a set of 1,5 kg bees (around 15000 workers), kept calm and aggregated by a synthetic pheromone that simulates the presence of the queen.
Beekeeper can use them for various purposes, that's why package bees is a so very versatile tool.
Regardless of the reason why it is used, the positive aspect is that of being able to start clean from varroa. We do the varroa control a must in company, and we are willing to challenge you to find in our packages. But if you did not want to trust, you always have time to treat them quickly in absence of brood.
You can set up new colonies using your own foundations by limiting the risk of "buying" diseases or contaminated wax too.
Therefore it allows to recycle frames in good condition from previously dismantled hives or to use wax foundations of certain origin. It also allows to produce new colonies regardless of which type of format you use, Dadant , Langstroth, Layens, British etc.
Obviously for this usage you must also buy queens.
In case of purchase of orphaned packages, a very common use is to empty'em in the supers, shortly before or at the beginning of a harvest, the whole package or just a part, to allow weak colonies to have in place, in a metter of days,, a greater number of foragers to boost honey crops. Let's say a kind of turbo to be spent to level colonies strength .
For those who own a queens breeding and can not be self-sufficient with filling mating boxes or Apideas, package bees are a comfortable option too.
Start your own breeding handling livestock bees and entering a cell's about to be born. A long time tested system.
Last, in recent years, we have heard indirectly of packages with pheromone used for pollination services. We do not want to write anything about this for two reasons: first of all, we have no direct experience with this usage. Second,we do not even advertise and encourage it because, from what we understood, it's often about bees with little chance to survive .
In any case,, whatever the reason why you decided to use packages bees, it is of utmost importance to handle them at best in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Spray gently with water to limit flying bees before being introduced in the permanent hive.
Don't overdo it, especially if it is done with harsh temperature conditions . You might end up with dead bees on the bottom suffocated by the weight of those on top of them.
If you must start new colonies, place your beehives with distances and different orientations to limit drift effects. Insert bees, preferably in the evening by removing the pheromone.
Introduce queens with its cage. Do not leave empty packages and pheromones in the apiary.
If handled with care, processing speed of livestock bees, looks like a swarming one, If supported by a natural nectar flow or a systematic feeding planning it will surprise you for the tight time within which you will pass from around 15000 bees to an established colony ready for the best harvest.
It's normal to end up after about 1 month, with colonies with a lot of brood and relatively few bees, especially if you started with 0 constructed frames or even foundations. After 20/30 days it touches the deepest population minimum . But if carefully supervised, after 40/50 day you can count on colonies ready for every kind of harvest .