A pictorial showing how to hive package bees.

The queen in her cage.
Usually when you get package bees the queen is in the package hanging in her cage. To get her you need to remove the feeder can then slide the queen cage out. These packages came with just the bees and the queen was separate.

Getting the hive ready. I am putting in three empty frames and six filled with honey for food for the new colony. You can hive the bees on new foundation, but you should feed the bees for about five weeks if you do that. Notice this is drawn comb and I am only using nine frames in a box. If you were using new foundation you would want ten frames in the box. The frames will be spaced a little when using nine.

Putting the queen cage in the box between two frames. It is placed such that the screen is facing the beespace, not the frame, so the bees can feed her and get aquainted. It is fastened in place with some masking tape. I did not take out the cork and release the queen because she had not been with the bees, and I planned to go out the next day and release her after she had been with the bees for a while.

Giving the bees a drink of water. This settles them down and they are not so apt to fly.

Take out the feeder can. This can has syrup in it and is the life support for the bees while in the cage. I will feed the rest of the syrup to them.

This is the feeder board. It is put on now instead of a regular top cover. Notice it has a hole in the center for a feeder can to be placed there.

Ready to put on the feeder board. The queen is in the hive between two frames, still in the queen box.

Shake the bees out of the box as well as you can. Some will remain, but you will leave the box near the entrance and they will come out after a while and go in the hive.

Feeder board in place. The feed can has been put over the hole in the feeder board and the bees are crawling in.

Here an empty hive body is placed on the feeder board.

Then the top cover is put on. This protects the feed can from the elements, critters, and robber bees. This is an excellent way to feed the bees if you are going to feed them. You can use a larger can, like a gallon can or plastic bottle.

Another picture of the bees crawling into the hive. They will go to the queen.

All done. That tall stack of boxes is just extra equipment that will be stored there for a while. All entrances have been sealed up so the bees cannot rob the contents.

Tomorrow I will go out and release the queens. I just take the queen cage and hold it close to a frame and remove the cork from the cage with the corner of the hive tool, and let the queen crawl out onto a frame. Then the queen cage is left out of the box and the frames are spaced right for nine frames and the feeder board, feed can, empty hive body and top cover are replaced.