Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bringing Back the Buzz


I have previously had bee hives here at the farmette.  After having trouble with swarming, I gave it a rest.  I became a bit discouraged and didn't keep a hive last year.      


After a bit of mental regrouping, I decided to give it another try.  Yesterday I picked up a fresh box of bees.  This is how they arrived and the one on the outside stayed there for an hour, during the ride home.  Obviously she felt she had found her people.    



Taking off the small, brown top reveals the can of sugar water and the queen cage, to the left.  The queen cage holds the queen and her attendants, along with a solid piece of sugar type candy that provides food.  The cork you see, that hold her in, will be replaced with a bit of marshmallow.  Yes there are dead bees in this photo.  Unfortunately, this does happen.   




After removing the can, everyone is ready to come out and see their new real estate.  




Here is a close up of the queen cage.  She is the one with the white dot on her body.  I ordered a marked queen as it is easier for me to keep an eye on her in the hive.   The sugar candy is at the bottom and, at this point, I had replaced the cork with a marshmallow.  On the exterior, right in the middle, is a drone.  Noticeable by the thicker body and larger eyes.  




Here is everyone after I dumped them in the hive.  That sounds crude, but you essentially dump/shake them out of the box into their new home.  


The queen cage is placed between two frames.  As you can see, the workers are already covering her cage.  The marshmallow will be eaten away, thus releasing the queen into the hive.  In this way the other bees accept her.  




Here everyone is buzzing around their new home.  The bee box still holds a few bees and is placed by the hive entrance.  They will eventually fly into the hive.  




The plain wood tray, underneath the top cover, holds a feeder.  I will continue to provide sugar water for a time.  


This time I am hopeful for a prosperous hive that enjoys their new home.  


"There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know.  The keeping of bees, for instance."  

Henry David Thoreau 



33 comments:

  1. Looks good, I would like to give it a try. I have helped harvest.

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  2. I knew none of this so it was fascinating to read! Hope it is a successful year. The bees need a helping hand these days.

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  3. I am impress with what goes into setting up a hive. Good lucky with your honey this time.

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  4. I am so impressed with your bee knowledge and you telling us how it works. I think we tried bees a long time ago. I hope this time it works a charm for you. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  5. I find bee keeping so interesting, please keep us informed Michelle.Blessings Francine.

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  6. We have friends who keep bees. This was fascinating.

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  7. Fascinating post and thanksfor ahots and information.

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  8. Michelle, honey . . . lol

    Seriously, how fascinating. It is a wonderful hobby/pass time. I am tempted myself to have a go, living quite near the countryside. I have always been interested in bee keeping. I hope you have a very successful season ~ I love honey and it is so good for us.

    Did I read somewhere that there was a shortage of bees, caused by a serious virus, but the bee population is recovering?

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    1. You've got me interested, Michelle. I've been studying via YouTube all evening and I am going to get some books . . . gosh I could do with some honey right now . . :)

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    2. Eddie, I apologize for my late reply. I have found beekeeping to be fascinating. I studied during the winter months, a few years ago, and got my first hive in the early spring. I have found Italian bees gentler to work with than some others. I enjoy checking the hive and seeing the bees at work. So much to learn, but I love it! I hope you will give it a go!

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    3. I would have thought the Italians might be a tad more excitable . . . lol
      A fascinating study. . . . :)

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  9. Oh good. I am proud of you, Michelle.
    I am sooo into bees, and have been helping my 80-year-old friend, Joy Stinger (real name)
    manage and harvest her 80 hives for the past few years.
    They are so remarkable, so important.
    Keep us updated.

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  10. May your bees be happy, healthy, prolific, and productive! Wonderful explanation and photos of the release.

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  11. Oh, my, scary stuff there. You are amazing, I would not go near that hive. Fascinating how it all works, thanks for the info. Happy honey hunting.

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  12. I find this so fascinating. Good luck!

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  13. It's a good thing you're doing here Michelle, they are so important.. a while back we had neighbours who kept bees, it was a nightmare in summer because the bees were attracted to the water in our pool which was tricky when swimming, definitely not a suburban hobby.

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  14. Hi Michelle, This is all fascinating. Hope you will keep us posted on how it all turns out this summer. When out on road trips in the countryside I often see the bee boxes. How much honey can you expect out of one hive? Very neat post ... thanks for sharing.

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  15. So interesting...You will have to let us know if the honey tastes different than processed honey.

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  16. What an amazing process.Thank you for posting about it, I always wondered how people started a bee family. ;p
    I can't wait to see the fruits of your/their labor.

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  17. I am scared of bee, you are brave. Good luck, I hope all goes well with the hive! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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  18. I'm glad you are trying to grow a happy thriving hive again, Michelle! I find the process so interesting. I'm wishing you success!

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  19. This was such a fascinating read! We buy honey from a friend's Mom...delicious stuff! Please keep us posted on this subject.

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  20. With the decimation in bee populations, it's wonderful to see a thriving hive in action - good luck with your new bees!

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  21. I could NOT DO this....not even stand nearby watching. Heebie Jeebies.

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  22. I cannot think of anything more miraculous in nature than bees making honey. I used to step on the daily in the summer yard full of clover, so I won't be doing it myself. I think I like the lighter honey the best.

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  23. Such a fascinating process. Good luck! I'll look forward to seeing updates.

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  24. Interesting documentary.... I don't think I have ever seen images as good as this. I better use honey, so I can buy some new from a farm I have passed...... and seen a sign about this.

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  25. oooooh goodness, how very interesting!!!!

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  26. I love that you are a bee keeper! This is another goal of mine, I hope to hear more about this.
    Jemma

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  27. Very interesting! Wishing you a happy, healthy, productive hive! I would like to try that someday.

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  28. You are such an interesting person, Michelle. It would never occur to me to have bees. (Though my daughter will probably give it a try sometime.)

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  29. That's so cool to see. We bought some land by our homestead that the previous owners were planning on making into a bee farm. I thought about it at first, to give it a shot, but haven't yet. I love the ones I see on Pinterest with the glass jars. Good luck and here's to no more swarming!
    -Lisa

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