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Installing Package In Hive That Died Overwinter

 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 191
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
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My hive died out over the winter and I got a package coming in a couple of weeks. Much of what I've found talks about starting a new hive with new frames and feeding them. I haven't tore the hive apart yet but I know from looking in the top I have several deep frames full of honey. How should I assemble a hive for the package of bees? The hive as it sits is two 10 frame deeps. I also have some mediums, but didn't have on the hive stack last year due to being too busy with other commitments. I know I need to reduce the entrance way down at first, but should I start with just one box or two?

This weekend I'll take the hive apart and see what I've got.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Our strategy is to dump a 2.5 pound package of bees into a singe Langstroth deep-body hive. The bees take care of cleaning. If you have comb with honey or pollen that's great for helping them get off to a good start. After foundation is drawn, we only put 9 frames into a box. We don't reduce the entrance. Our strategy is that since the bees are going to die anyway during the winter, then we take a shallow box of honey from the colony before adding a deep box for them to fill for themselves for the winter. If we're feeling up to a bit of extra work, we might throw the boxes into the deep freeze to kill insect pests before letting the bees have them. We release the queen a day after installing the bees into the hive.
 
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