the bees are here!
May 10, 2010, 9:15 am
Filed under: bees | Tags: , , ,

And we didn’t kill them. Well we didn’t kill too many of them.

It was neat to see all the cars in the parking lot ready to pick up their bees. And the stacks of bee cages sitting in the loading area. Where were all the people we wondered? Turns out they were behind the building watching a bee demonstration. Of course, the doode says, hey we know all this already, let’s go!

Back at the ranch we did the humgee humgee–it’s so cold! It’s so dark and looks like rain. Should we put the bees in tonight? Won’t they be cold? Eeeek. I was pretty annoyed that yes, these bees qualified as new charges for which we would fret and worry and argue about the best way to do things. Yes we actually contemplated keeping them in the basement overnight.

Sigh. They’re insects. And they’re going to have to be able to survive out in the wild. Anyhow we decided to just start getting things ready and we’d see how far we’d get. Doode put the concrete pads out and leveled them. I mixed the sugar syrup–Used a whole container of sugar–in 2.5 quarts of water. Filled the spray bottle. Filled the baggie feeders. Assembled the super frames.

super frames with beeswax foundation--smells GOOD!

I brought all the  hive parts out.

inner covers, frames, baggie feeders

goal is to dump bees into space between frames

moment of truth--prying lid off the box

round can is syrup feeder, white tag holds queen cage

The queen is in a cage because she’s not from the group and they’ll kill her. The cage gives the bees time to adjust to her. There’s candy in the bottom of her cage, and the bees will eat it and release her! We have to take the cage out and remove a cork that protects the candy stopper.

Check, did that. Now onto the bee dump.

Yep and so there are no photos of the actual event–the dumping part. We needed more hands for that. I was too busy spraying bees peeling screen off the box, etc. It was a bit nuts! And the second one didn’t go any easier. Some people say to just dump out of the syrup can hole. But there are thousands of bees in there–and to get them out of a little hole seems daunting. Others say to take the side screen off and dump them out that way. We tried that but didn’t take the entire screen off. Sigh. It was a bit nuts. But we survived and we didn’t kill that many bees.

baggie feeder and last frames in place

After we got them in, we gently placed the frames in on top and then put the feeder on top. Notice the white tag in between the frames–that’s where the queen cage is suspended.

now we just worry

they made it!

They survived the night, and the next day we saw them flying about checking out their new neighborhood! If you enlarge the photo above you can see that the bees are actually flying around (click on the photo twice to get real close up)! It’s cool! Notice the dead ones on the slab. There are a LOT of bees inside. It’s so tempting to take the lid off to inspect, but we’re trying to let them adjust. We need to check in another day to see if they’ve chewed the queen out of her cage.


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