Monday, May 4, 2009

You're Installing What? Where?

Ok. Call us crazy if you wish, but we are putting a hive of bees in our backyard.

It is a new adventure, but we are really looking forward to it. Of course we would not go into this without any experience - we recently helped another beekeeper install bees in a new hive. It is his first time too.

We have read a lot, watched some DVDs, and researched online. We ordered our hive and beekeeping supplies from Mann Lake (yes, we got cool hats)and our bees from Bee Weaver.

We picked up the bees on Thursday, April 30th, 2009.
After picking up our bees, we made sure our hive was set up correctly. We put in 7 frames and a feeder frame which we filled with sugar water. We sprayed the bees several times with sugar water as we prepared to install them into their new home.

A typical bee package comes with a queen and 3 pound of bees - at nearly 3,000 bees a pound there is some 9,000 bees in that first package. It was a little scary, but we were prepared.

The first step was removing the queen. We pried her cage off and set her safely on the hive. Then we removed some of the frames and dumped in the bees. Carefully, we replaced the frames carefully placing the queen's cage in between two frames. The queen is kept in place by cork covering some candy. We removed the cork and poked a small hole in the candy which will help the bees eat through and release the queen.
Finally, we closed up the hive.

We will check back in a few days to see if the queen is out!

Happy Farming.

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