Your Hive Installation: A Pictoral Guide to Installing a Bee Package

Ready for your hive installation?  To get started, we’ve prepared woodenware and removed two or more frames from the box. We’ve been keeping this package cool and comfortable in a shady spot and occasionally putting a little water onto the screens with a hand mister.

We’ll get ready to lift the screen and dump in the bees next Pry out the staple attaching the screen to the center post.

Next step to this hive installation: leave the top edge attached. But slice along the bottom and side edges with a matte knife. Or use a pliers to pull of the wood lath that holds the screen on sides and bottom. Next we prepare to lift the screen.

This package is ready to go, setting on top of the top bars. The screen facing us is loose on three sides but still attached at the top.

Gently lift the screen out of the way. Notice the bees are in no hurry to get out.

No need to wear gloves, but it's perfectly ok if you want to wear your beekeeping gloves.

Onto the next step of your hive installation...

Lift the screen away and tip the mass of honey bees into
the box. You may have to give it a shake or two.

Gently but quickly slide in all but one of the frames as the bees will start climbing onto the frames and box walls.

Leave one frame out.

This is where you’ll be placing the queen cage.

You may want to temporarily place the outer cover on catty corner to shade the bees while you prepare to install the queen.

Most of the bees are now in your hive. Your hive installation is nearly done!

Under this panel we’ll find the queen in her cage with her attendants, and the of the can of sugar syrup – which may still have some syrup inside.

Not all packages are exactly the same: Here, the white strip is suspending the queen cage inside and we’re pulling out the syrup can.

Now we remove the queen cage. Notice some bees will be hanging on the screen. The queen and some attendants are inside the cage. You can gently blow on them to clear them off

Pointing to the candy end: this end has the cork that must be removed before you place the cage in the hive.

Once the cork is out, the bees will eat the candy to release the queen during the next few days.

Use plier or hivetool to remove the plastic strip. Here again packages may vary in details.

Tack on to a thick part of the box to avoid injuring bees inside

Remember to remove the cork on the candy end of the box!

To remove the cork on the candy end, twist a screw in gently and pull out like a wine cork-

Hang the cage in the space you left so it backs up against a frame and the bees can get at the screen of the queen cage.

This is an alternative method of installing the queen cage. Careful of your fingers

Leave space for bees to get onto the face of the cage. You can fit in all ten frames with this method

Now you can put on your feeder. Feed 1:1 plain sugar and water. And then your outer cover.

We do not use an inner cover when using a feeder.

Hope this helps you with your first hiving! Please share your photos with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!


Thanks to beekeeping mentor James Fischer for the photos and instructions!