Friday, May 20, 2011
Hiving Packaged Bees
So, they arrived today. They is 10,000 bees or 3 lbs including a queen.
My UPS gal said, "These bees are not happy!"
I honestlly wouldn't be all too happy either after a 24 hour transit.
Anyway. Great, they are here now. Now what?!
YES, I got to hive them. And this is precisely the part that I had been hoping to be able to do without Aurelia here but with Roberto's help.
Well, Aurelia's father apparently did not want to deal with her because she was still sicklish, so my girlie was here with me and Roberto was off. Off to work that is.
I had read how to do it.
BEEKEEPING. THE GENTLE CRAFT. AN INTROUCTION TO ONE OF THE OLDEST AND MOST BEGUILING CULTURES OF MAN.
I had watched youtube videos from other people on how to do it.
But honestly, it looks pretty easy but then you start doing this in full beekeeping regalia at about 75F degrees and you mess up a bit here and there and out of a sudden you realise that this is NOT as easy as these pros make it look like.
Anywho, I eventually got them in and here is how I did it (the plan was to take pictures along the way but I really did not want Aurelia to do that - and it'snot because she doesn't take great pictures):
I gave strict orders to Aurelia to stay in the house with Schoko until I gave permission to come out again.
OK, so now to the actual task.
I took out 4 frames out of the super and put them aside.
Then I tried opening the package of bees with a knife and pliers. And here is where I failed: I could not open this thing faster than the bees got out. GRRRR!
So, here I am with some of these 10,000 bees flying around me while the rest including the queen is still in the box and I still need to fully open this box to release everyone else. Yes, you bet, I am sweating in this apiarist-suit.
But I need to get it done. Noone else will and they need to be hived before dark. So, I keep pulling.
Eventuallly I got it open and then dropped the box a few times on the hive, as to shake out the rest of the bees. That worked. Good.
Obviously a few still remained in the box. Not to worry; I put the box aside, hoping that these guys will eventually find their way into their new home.
Found the queen cage. Hallelujah, she was alive and kicking!
I took it out, wrapped a wire around it (with up to a dozen bees on my hands all the time) and took out the cork infront of the candy. This will allow the rest of the bees to eat their way into the queen and this way allow the colony to accept her.
Then I hung the queen's cage between two frames and put the remaining four frames in and closed it.
DONE! Man, am I proud of myself!!!
"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis