Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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Just installed my first 2 hives, my experience so far.

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Just installed my first 2 hives, my experience so far.

Friday (Installation day): 2 boxes of bees to work with and 2 brood boxes ready to go. I give box 1 a good spray of sugar water and slam them down to the bottom of the box. My spray bottle sucks and after removing the food can and groping for the queen cage a number of worker bees start climbing out of the box. I manage to get the queen cage out and quickly place the lid back onto box 1. Using one of the staples coming off the queen cage, I push the staple into the top of one of the middle frames and hope it holds up her cage.

I turn my attention to the now very active box 1; I remove the spray part of my spray bottle and start splashing sugar water onto the bees in the box. I give them a good knock back down to the bottom of the box, and then start dumping them into my brood box. During the process the queen cage is knocked loose and plummets into the pile of sugar coated bees. The queen cage quickly sinks to the bottom of the writhing bees. I try to dig through the bees to find the cage, but the bees are too dense and start stinging. Out of ignorance, I leave the cage, close up the box and move onto hive 2.

Hive 2 ends up being much easier to install, after my failure with the queen on hive 1, I've found a spool of twine and use it to tie the queen cage directly to a middle frame. The queen cage is easily accessible. I give the bees in the box a good splash of sugar water and dump them into their new home. These bees seem much less irritated and I receive 0 stings. I close up the box and call it a night, allowing the bees to get used to their new homes.

Saturday: Hive 2 has little activity, and not much sound coming from the box… seems normal to me… Hive 1 on the other hand is pissed. Bees are climbing all over the front of the box, they are flying aggressively around the hive, and the box is loud. I decide I need to save the queen.

I suit up, get the smoker going with nice thick white smoke and battle my way into the hive. Enough bees have moved from the bottom of the box that I spot the queen cage… it's up-side-down… No wonder this hive is pissed. I grab the cage, getting a number of stings, get some twine ready and anchor the cage with the twine onto a middle frame. I quickly close up the box and wait. Within an hour, all the bees on the front of the hive have gone back in, the bees flying around aggressively have stopped, and the hive is much more quiet… It's amazing how quickly the bees settled now that their queen is safe.

Sunday: The bees still need time to free their queens, so no opening the boxes today. I watch both hives for a while. They are already starting to forage, I can spot a few bees returning with pouches full of pollen… These bees are amazing… Both hives seem happy.

Monday: Time to check if the queens have been freed. I suit up, open hive 1: The twine I used to tie the queen cage is fully chewed through, I find the cage empty on the bottom of the box, not a single crumb of marshmallow left. Can't spot the queen (didn't think I would), but again I'm amazed at how docile these bees are now, no stings, bees happily working away, and I even notice comb being drawn.

Hive 2 is much of the same, a few spots where comb is starting, queen cage empty on the bottom of the box, no marshmallow left, docile bees, no stings.

Bees have finished their initial food cans, time to make more food. Sugar and water, easy-peasy. I swap out the cans for jars of new syrup. Within a few hours, I notice 1/4 of the syrup gone.

Tuesday: It's overcast, and supposed to storm in the afternoon with high winds. I take my spool of twine and tie down my boxes, just in-case. The jars of food are nearly empty, time to make more food… Refill my jars and replace them. I notice a lack of activity outside the hives today, bees are still guarding the enterances and a few are going out to forage, but not many, figure it's due to the weather.

Wednesday: Jars are almost empty, another day of making more food. I know this is going to be the pattern until the bees are well established. I watch both hives for a few minutes. Outside activity is low like it was yesterday. But weather is much the same. I'm surprised to see a few forages going out and returning with sacks full of pollen, so despite the bad weather, these little solders are still foraging what they can. These girls are amazing.

Edit: The wind has died down and the sun has made a brief appearance. Suddenly both hives come to life with activity. A good number of bees are performing orientation flights, while forages are quickly setting off and coming back with full loads of pollen. Looks like weather isn't going to stop them today.

TLDR: Almost fucked up my first hive, installed 2nd hive correctly. These creatures are amazing.

submitted by /u/dark_onewho
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