Rog and I replaced the nails with screws and I gave them a fresh coat of paint - honey gold and vivid spring green. I think they will look sweet with colorful flowers planted around them.
SE MN Beekeepers Association had combined their orders and John, the bee club president, had driven to the supplier to pick them up for everybody - intrepidly driving with hundreds of thousands of bees in his car (many flying freely) for three hours.
Each package of bees came in a box with a can of food (sugar syrup) to sustain them during the long trek from California where they were raised. Before releasing them, I spritzed them with sugar water, which reduces their ability to fly and keeps them busy for a while licking themselves clean. I carefully pried out the food can and set it inside the hive on top of the frames. Then, I slid out the tiny cage within the box, containing the queen. I put her in the pocket of my bee suit until I was ready for her.
I don't have photos of emptying the bees into the hive because I was doing this solo and couldn't simultaneously shoot photos. But, I rapped the bee box on the ground a couple times and the bees let go of the screen and fell to the floor of the box in a cluster. Then, I simply poured and shook them into the hive. A few bees couldn't be shaken out of the box, so I set the box on the ground next to the hive so they could evenutally find their own way into the hive.