Various methods are used to organize an apiary or expand it, one of which is the acquisition of bee packages. This concept should not be confused with the bee colony. There are several types of bee packages; they need to be maintained and transported correctly. The transplant of bees from the bee package to the hive is organized according to a certain algorithm.
What is a bee package?
Each package contains a certain number of individuals selected from special bee colonies for subsequent sale. For their creation, honeycombs, food and the required number of insects are taken from families, placing them in a specially prepared box.
Custom packages are created. Not only beginners in beekeeping buy them, but also beekeepers with extensive experience. The buyer has the right to pre-view bee families from which the package will be formed.
Difference from bee colonies
The bee package is a kind of family, but still different from the standard bee family. Usually young intra-moths are used to create it, and flight insects are rarely selected. In each bee package there is a fertile female. Its usefulness and age of 1-2 years are required.
One of the differences in a bee package is that they are formed and sold only in the spring, when bee families are available at any time. The bee packet is only part of one or several families formed in the season, and the bee family is insects that have survived at least one winter (naturally, the composition changes, but the general characteristics are preserved).
Bee Pack Content
Bee packages are transported in special hive boxes. For their manufacture, plywood or chipboard is more often used, less often corrugated cardboard. In one package there can be 1.2-1.5 kg of insects, 3 kg of feed and printed brood (2 large frames).
If a bee package is selected from several families, then it is called a prefabricated one. To create it, brood of different ages is used - most of it must be closed.
When forming a non-assembled bee package, one bee family is divided into several layers. One layering - one bee packet. This option is appropriate if the bee family is quite strong. The bee package is usually delivered at the end of April or the beginning of May after the bee colonies gain full strength and form a large brood.
After transplanting insects from bee packages, a critical period begins, which usually lasts up to 2-3 weeks. This is due to the ratio of young and adult individuals. Losses are observed during the formation of bee larvae , a quiet change of the queen is possible. Avoiding this will help reinforce the hive with mature print brood. It is better to do this 2 weeks after the bee packet transplant.
The productivity of the transplanted bee package will depend on the timing of the start of the main honey collection. The later it starts, the greater power insects have time to build up.
Watch the video with recommendations for beginner beekeepers purchasing bee packages:
Types of bee packages
A bee packet can be cellular or cell-free - the quality in both cases must meet GOST. The most popular is the first option, which is also called the framework.
To form a cellular package, use the standard Dadan-Blatt framework. There may be 4-6 pieces. A classic option is a complete set of frames with brood and feed 3 + 1. An option is also possible with the same number of frames with brood and feed - the buyer himself chooses the appropriate ratio. The amount of feed should be related to the distance the bag is transported and the duration of the transport.
The cell-free bee package is also called frameless. The fetal uterus is placed in a box, there is a feeder ( candi or sugar syrup), a drinking bowl and the bees themselves. Such a package can be used for any hive. Beekeepers note that in cell-free packages, the risk of disease is lower.
In addition to the two main varieties of bee packages, the breed of insects should be taken into account. To create a package, use such breeds of bees:
- Krajinskaya breed (Karnika): medium size, suitable for various farms, little susceptible to disease, resistant to cold (adapt well);
- Carpathian breed (Carpathian): earlier they start collecting, there is less sugar in nectar, high productivity, low aggressiveness, rapid build-up of strength;
- Backfast : preferable rainy climate, cold intolerance, good adaptation, low susceptibility to disease.
Bee transplant from bee packages to the hive
After acquiring a bee package and delivering it to an apiary, they begin to transplant insects into the hive. It is prepared in advance. A new house for insects should be clean, disinfected, dried.
A drinker with water and frames with sushi and wax are prepared in advance. Upon arrival at the place the insects are fed - sugar syrup. Be sure to inspect the bee packet, as there is a risk of disease, although sellers submit veterinary documents.
The nuances of transplanting bees into a hive are associated with types of bee packages. If the package is cellular , then you must act on the following algorithm:
- Choose the right time for a transplant. On cool days, you can carry out all the manipulations at any time, but in hot weather it is better to wait in the evening. Do not disturb the bees once again.
- A bee packet must be placed in front of the hive, directing the letches in one direction.
- Open a batch letlet for flyby.
- Move the frames to the hive - the order should be the same as in the bee package.
- If the bees remain at the bottom of the bag, they are swept away into frames. The package is removed.
- The uterus is usually contained in a cell; it is not yet necessary to release it. First, the rest of the insects should calm down.
- You can skip overflight, but this is done in exceptional situations. In this case, you need to put the package behind the hive, which opens in advance. Letok needs to be narrowed at the rate of 2-3 individuals. After that, quickly move the framework - the placement order is strictly followed. This option is risky wandering bees in the apiary.
The acquisition of a cell-free bee package means the need for independent harvesting of honeycombs. Each package requires 4 frames of Dadan (standard). Usually it’s 2 feeding frames and 1-2 frames with honey and sushi each — this option is attractive for starting an ovipositor.
The honeycomb bag is left cool before planting the bees - it is much easier to work with insects that have strayed into a ball. If the uterus is in a cage, then first you need to move it to the hive, but do not open it. Shake other individuals in a hive or put a package with insects in it - this option is appropriate for a multi-case design.
The hole in the uterine cell with the uterus is sealed with a wax, be sure to make a small hole in it. The bees will release the queen themselves.
When transporting a bee package, certain precautions are necessary so as not to damage insects. They must be transported taking into account the following factors:
- Sustainability of the design. The case is more stable if fully equipped with frames. Otherwise, they need to be fixed so as not to harm the insects. It is also important to strengthen bee packages in transport used for transportation. The hive should not stagger.
- Competent organization of ventilation. During transportation, it is needed to maintain optimal temperature conditions in the family. Ventilation should be organized so that insects cannot get out of the hive.
- Optimum temperature conditions. In the hive, it is supported not only by ventilation, but also by environmental conditions. Extreme heat or cold must be excluded. On hot days for transportation, you need to choose the best hours, preferably evening hours, since even in the hive the bee packet needs to be transplanted at this time.
- Calm Bee packets must be transported carefully, avoiding strong shaking. If possible, choose a smoother road. It is important to travel at a moderate speed.
- Providing insects with food and water. Such a measure is needed during prolonged transportation.
- Flyby. This measure is necessary for bees if transportation takes several days (from 2-3).
Bee packages are one of the methods for forming an apiary or expanding it. They resort to this method only in the spring. Bee packages are formed in different ways and come in two main types: cellular and cell-free. The features of its transplantation into the hive depend on the type of package.