Spray bottle with clean fresh tepid water
A pair of wire cutters
A nail or something similar in shape
A spool of wire similar to that used for picture hanging
Feeder prepared with syrup mix and ready to go
A piece of wood or something similar to cover the holes left when pulling the queen cage
Marshmallows or fondant
1.) When the bees arrive, place them in a cool, dark quiet place to let them calm down.
2.) Spray/Mist them lightly with sugar syrup 1:1 ratio or plain water
3.) Prepare the TBH:
Set the bars and follower boards so only the part where the bees will be is open. Make sure there is adequate room to work.
Put the entrance reducer in place.
When it’s late in the afternoon, take the bees out to the hive. Put the two bars you will use to suspend the queen cage in place. Put the feeder in the same compartment with the bees off to one side.
4.) Prepare the Queen Cage
Pry the lid off whatever is holding the queen cage in place only. Before you do this have something to cover the hole when you pull the cage so you can work with the queen cage without disturbing the other bees.
Now pull the queen cage out and cover the hole. There will be bees clinging to the cage you can brush them with your finger/brush into the hive. You will feel resistance when you pull just pull slow and steady until it is free. Cover the hole, while holding the cover material in place set everything you just pulled out down, you will need both hands to tape the cover in place. Tape it down well as you will be shaking this package later and you don’t want it opening up on you!
Breathe! It’s not as bad as you are imagining!
Remove the wood piece the cage is hanging from because it will not fit between the bars nor will it allow the cage to hang far enough in the TBH.
Cut a piece of wire and fasten it to the queen cage to hang it from, make it longer than necessary so you can just bend it over the top bars when you close them up on it or wrap it around the nail. When you have the wire fastened turn your attention to the candy and what is blocking access to it. If you are lucky it is just a cork, pull it and put it in your pocket. If it is a plastic cage, a piece of plastic will have to be pulled or cut out using the wire cutters. Ensure the cage came with candy (it should have) if not you will need a piece of marshmallow or home made candy to stuff in to plug the cage up.
Your queen cage is ready to be hung, suspend it a couple of inches below the bars between 4 and 5 close the bars and bend the wire or twist the end of the wire around the nail and place the nail on the top of the TB. Close the bars on the wire with the nail on top and the cage hanging an inch or two below the underside of the bar.
5.) Prepare the package.
First check to see if the package fits inside your TBH. If it does you will skip shaking the bees in and instead pull the feeding can and just lay the whole package in the hive. The bees will exit and find the queen cage you hung on their own!
If The Package Does Not Fit Inside Your TBH:
Remove whatever is holding the can in place, (tape or stapled piece of wood ….etc). Now with your thumb on the can pick up the package and hit the bottom against something firm. This will jar all the bees down. Pull the feed can out and set it down, be careful not to crush any bees clinging to the bottom! Flip the package over and rock it side to side while shaking the bees out of the opening for the can into the hive.
If all the bees do not come out of the package lay it on the ground open end toward the hive and watch, in a few moments there will be a steady procession of bees heading for their queen they will climb into the hive! They are following the scent of the bees fanning on the landing board!
Now go back and put all the bars in place and close the hive up, Gather up all your tools and equipment.
Congratulations! Grab your camera and watch in amazement and take some pictures!
Come back in 3 days and free the queen if necessary. Remove all package equipment. If the bees have enclosed the cage in comb cut this entire comb away with the cage!!