Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Ladies Have Arrived

Yesterday I traveled to the Walter T. Kelley Bee Company, which is about an hour away from the farmette. I had two packages of bees to pick up for the season.This is a bit late for bees to be arriving, but due to our rains this spring, pick up had been rescheduled by the company.  

Here I have my suit, the two packages, marshmallows (more on that later), and to the right, two different types of hive feeders.  


This is the box of Italian Bees.  This time I have both Italian and Russian Bees.  They both have different qualities, so it will be interesting to see how they do this season.  




After I open the box, I take the queen out of the package.  She is the long figure in this queen cage.  She is in there with some candy fondant (white substance at the bottom), and her attendants.  As her primary role in the hive is to lay eggs, her attendant bees take care of her needs.  There is a cork on the top of this tiny box that you can see.  I pop off this cork and replace it with a marshmallow.  The bees will eat away the marshmallow and accept the queen into their hive.  



The package of bees actually gets dumped into the awaiting hive.  More frames will be added to this hive as the bees create comb on the frames.  




While I dumped the package of bees, I sat the queen down and you can see that she created a lot of interest right away.  



Here is the queen cage in the hive, with the marshmallow in place of the cork.  


In less than a minute, the other bees were taking notice of their new queen.  




Here are the two hives in their new location.  My third hive (robins egg blue) will be moved to this new location today.  The bee packages will sit outside of the hive entrance and allow any remaining bees to make their way into the hive.  


The purple hive has a hive top feeder in use.  Sugar water is in a tray and will feed the bees until more flowers are available for them to feed from.  The pink hive has a jar feeder system in place under its lid.  Same reason, just a different system.  

Is your brain on overload yet?  


53 comments:

  1. Lucky! I can't wait to have bees ☺

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have to say, I admire you for being a bee-keeper. I love honey and use it daily for this or that. We try to buy local honey as 'they' say it is best for your health. I am sure yours will be yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so cool Michelle. My sister who lives in Montana just got her bees last week to set up her hives. I'm so happy to see people doing their part to help bees along after the recent colony collapses. A couple years ago in Greece I was fortunate enough to put on a suit and experience some beekeeping activity myself! You will certainly enjoy the delicious honey that will undoubtedly ensue!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so excited that you keep bees Michelle...no overload here, my Dad had bees, he had the hive situated about 50 feet from the picture window in our living room...we could sit inside and watch (with binoculars) the life of the bees. one of the most interesting thing to watch was what the worker bees did after a drone(s) had mated with the queen...tossed those now useless drones right out of the hive they did. while sad watching a swarm was interesting too...my father was never home when they swarmed which meant we always lost the bees...Dad always had Italian bees...eventually his hives were destroyed by wax moths

    ReplyDelete
  5. Isn't it all amazing....only God could it make it that way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. No overload on my old brain, instead I want to learn more. What a good teacher you are, this was so interesting. Just one question: After the bees eat the marshmallow and accept the new queen, will the queen box open? Where will the queen actually live and lay eggs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inger, I took the cork out of the queen's cage and replaced it with the marshmallow. When the marshmallow is eaten, then the queen's cage is open. She will start laying eggs in the comb cells.

      Delete
  7. wow, that girl/woman/queen gets a TON of attention! bless her! i hope they all make it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Morning Michelle, I find bee keeping so interesting, thanks for sharing, love all the pictures, Francine.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fascinating to learn more about your bees. Best wishes to you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. No it isn't on overload, this is fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You ROCK! I hope they do well. I would love to do this by I have a neighbor who complains about everything. I can hear her now! Maybe an "OUCH" would be a good thing, ha ha.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My head is spinning just from reading about all the activity. So fascinating! Looking forward to hearing how the Italian bees do this year.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow and thanks for sharing your beekeeping secrets! Never would have guessed a bee would like marshmellos ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Actually yes, it is! I think this is all just so interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That was very interesting about how the queen is introducted to the other bees! Good post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I totally loved seeing and hearing how you set up your hives with new bees and a queen! Very cool! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very, very cool! I loved this....how very interesting. We had more bees in our flowering trees this spring than I have seen in a long time! That is a good thing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh wow....great photos and I find them very interesting....I know nothing about bees or being a bee charmer.
    Can't wait to see all that delicious honey..

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a fascinating post, Michelle! See the things I read by following good bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That is so cool... I love knowing a bee keeper

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very cool - that queen is one popular lady!

    ReplyDelete
  22. How interesting! Will they gather honey from the wild or crops?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoLynne,
      Mostly from the wild, as in clover, wildflowers, blackberries, and honeysuckle. But, they will pollinate the garden, etc..

      Delete
  23. Very exciting and fascinating. Hope they all settle in well and make lots of honey for you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is sooo fascinating. I could NEVER do it as I am the world's largest TITTY BABY...
    I always think of the movie, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, when I see bee keepers. :))

    ReplyDelete
  25. So very cool! My son will be picking up his Italian bees this Thursday. He is very excited. He has the italian bees. He painted his boxes white. You will need to keep us posted on your bees.

    Happy spring!

    Velva

    ReplyDelete
  26. My son will be expecting his shipment on Thursday. He is very excited. His bees are Italian. I will need to ask him about the Russian varieties. How exciting for you. Keep us posted on the progress.

    Happy spring.

    Velva

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Velva,
      I hope things go well for your son! It is an exciting hobby!

      Delete
  27. Ooh I am a buzzing with smiles ...you are quite the teacher Michelle. Thanks so much for sharing. They bring many hives of bees each year to leave for cranberry bog pollination and then take them back after pollination season. The bees usually end up all over our clover on the farm if they don't pick up the hives after the cranberry blooms have gone by.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing the process!

    ReplyDelete
  29. It looks like an exciting experience..
    If I was in your shoes, I would have had fear! ahah :D

    pensierinviaggioo.blogspot.it

    ReplyDelete
  30. i love reading about your bee adventures! makes me want to try!

    ReplyDelete
  31. FANTASTIC! You are doing all of us a great service by keeping the Bees!

    ReplyDelete
  32. No overload, just wow! love it! I wish I was in setting that we could have bees.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Absolutely scary (at least for me), but extremely fascinating at the same time. My compliments for the clarity of you reportage... Brava!

    ReplyDelete
  34. What an interesting post. Not sure I could be a beekeeper, but I find your post on this fascinating, none the less. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh, my HM loves bees. If we were in a bit more of a rural area, we would have bees in a heart beat. We can't even have one chicken were we live. dang. Yes, dressing for success is no longer the norm, either, huh? Thanks for your visit. It was nice to see you again!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yay, congrats! It amazes me how you use a marshmallow on the queen cage - it seems like it would have to be something more difficult than that, but it is so simple! Everything about bees amazes me actually :)

    I don't know if I could ever shake the bees into their new hive and frames. That would be really nerve-racking!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow! Enjoy =) My bestie from elementary school had bees and I enjoyed the fruits of her father's labor of love with them!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Reminds me of my grandpa's honey comb!!! I think there is a fruit market nearby that sells that stuff... hmmm....
    there goes my diet.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh Michelle this is fascinating thank you for posting it in detail and photos. I love hearing about this. Your photos are fantastic. Good luck I am sure everything will be fine. I was telling My Hero I have not seen any bees around here yet this year and am getting nervous it may be the cold but the lilacs are usually buzzing with activity. I wonder about our fruit trees and such. I hope they are just late. B

    ReplyDelete
  40. Interesting information about the queen and how she is accepted. I'd consider somebody royalty too if they fed me marshmallows! Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Saw alot of bees when our serviceberry trees were blooming, which was great to see indeed. I wish you great success with your new hives. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've never used a marshmallow before. Great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I AM SO JEALOUS!!! But happy for you : )

    ReplyDelete
  44. Bees are so fascinating and your explanation was great. I hope more and more people take an interest so we can bring back some of the lost populations.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Fascinating! Thanks for showing and explaining.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You certainly had to read up on this. We'll all watch with interest & maybe have to refer to this post again at some point in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Très beau reportage, vraiment intéressant.Merci.
    Amicalement.

    Roger

    ReplyDelete
  48. That's the coolest! Thanks for the lesson on bees.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Very interesting post and great photos to go along with all the information. will be good to look back on this post every so often. I have not seen many bees here as yet (Northern Ireland). well done and have a great weekend. Margaret

    ReplyDelete