Your bees can last for two or three weeks if all goes well. They need very clean water and food available, and to be kept dry, quiet (darkness helps), and at a comfortable room temperature. BE AWARE: Winter bees are not as hearty as Spring and Summer and Fall bees.
You can leave your bees in the cage they come in, watering them daily by placing just a droplet of water on the screen away from the candy. A damp cotton ball in a small lid works excellently and safely, also. Use them by shaking out one or two at a time into a cottage cheese type of a tub containing 1/4 inch or less of water. (Too much water makes them harder to catch.) Then pick them up from the tiny bit of water with your reverse action tweezers when you are ready for stinging. A thin film of shortening around the top 1/3 will keep them from crawling out. We use a second larger tub with 3/4 inches of water and a few drops of dish detergent to drop the bees into, where they quickly die.
They can also be kept in a mason jar, but many prefer a "Beezza Hut", "Bee Condo", "Tiny Apiary" or other. They are easy to find on the web. The bees can be watered on a damp cotton ball placed in a small lid in the bottom of the bee house. Your bees can last for two or three weeks if all goes well. They need clean water and food available and to be kept dry, quiet and at a comfortable room temperature. There are a variety of ways to feed and water them. We suggest "bee candy" for feed, and a wet (not drippy) cotton ball placed in a pill bottle lid for water. A "bee candy" recipe is on the "Contact" page.
Bees at war: After being caged together the bees become a cohesive unit. When two units are combined they may see each other as invaders. Our recommendation has been to wet them with a light sugar syrup and allow them to get acquainted as they clean each other, or not release them all at once. Some people keep more than one bee house. Your comments on this or any other bee issue would be appreciated.
It's very important to avoid getting the bees too wet or too sticky. Bees' trachea are tiny and clog easily.
CALM - QUIET - COMFORTABLE
Keep your bees calm.
Keep your bees at temperatures you are comfortable in, away from heaters.
Keep them in a darkened area or cover them with a dark cloth.
Keep the air they breath free of strong odors or chemicals.
STICKY BEES SUFFOCATE.
Place a piece of tissue on any honey or sugar water (equal parts sugar and water) that may have dripped where the bees can walk. They can lick what absorbed into the tissue without any problem.
Water regularly, as they can dehydrate. A damp cotton ball in a small lid works excellently and safely.
Allens Apitherapy Bees - dba Allens Bees