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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ramblings on busy like a bee...

Howdy Folks,


Today I installed one three pound package of bees. These bees started out from a apiary in Georgia up to Moravian Falls, NC and finally to the farm...

Ideally it would have been best to put them in their new home yesterday when I brought them home, but it was raining and 50F all day yesterday. Bees don't really like that kind of weather and can get irate!

Opening the package of bees

First of all I had to open the package of bees. A three pound package of bees costs $71.53 out the door from Brushy Mountain Bee Farms FYI.

Inside the package is a can of sugar syrup with small holes poked in it to give the bees access. For those of you who have seen swarms of bees in the wild this is similar behavior inside the package.

The Queen Cage removed from the package

The queen that comes with the package of bees IS NOT the queen of the rest of the bees inside the package. She is isolated with a few of HER worker inside her own little cage.

Detail of Candy Plug in queen cage

There is a cork covering a 'candy plug' that you remove when you place the bees in the hive. By the time the worker bees eat the candy away, they will be use to the NEW QUEEN and accept here as their ruler. Pretty cool if you ask me! Once she is free, she will begin to lay eggs!

Queen cage pressed into drawn comb

When you place the queen cage in the hive, there are several different methods. I just press it into some drawn out comb (the bees will fix it later). YOU MUST place the candy plug pointing UP. The reason is that in case one of the queen bees workers dies, they will fall to the bottom of the cage they will not block the candy plug exit. If you place the plug down and one of the queens workers die... they may block the exit and then your queen will not be laying eggs until you free her. I will be removing the queen cage within a week.

Emptying the last of the bees into the hive

Now I simply shake the bees into the hive. I remove about 3 frames (I use 9 frame hive) to give the bees room to spread out, I then replace them after about 20 minutes. You also spray the bees with a sugar water solution. This gives them some FOOD, as well as keep them from flying around. They are very docile for now, but next time I visit them, they may get a little defensive!

What it looks like after I dump the bees into the hive

Here is what it looks like after I dump the bees into the hive! Spread out ladies!!!

Waiting for the bees to spread out in the hive

Now I place on the inner cover and wait for 20 minutes as they bees spread out through their new home! After that time I replace the 3 frames I removed and on to the final phases.

The best junior beekeeper in the world pouring sugar water into the hive top feeder

I really love these type of hive top feeders. They allow you to fill them up without the bees being able to get to you. My wonderful Junior Beekeeper helper fills up the feeder with sugar syrup. This will allow the bees to locate their own food and water sources while having a source of food until they locate their own.

I have two more hives coming in May maybe I will get a better pic of the queen bee inside her cage!

I hope you found this interesting and as always thanks for reading!


1 comment:

PJ said...

Seriously awesome!! Soooooo jealous!!

I hope to set up some hives of my own one of these days.

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