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