Friday, April 17, 2009

Bee Installation 2009

My two, four pound, packages of bees arrived yesterday so it was important that they be put in their new homes quickly so that they didn't get chilled or hungry. My son (4.5 yo) is my assistant beekeeper & photographer. Unfortunately, we only took a couple of pictures & the camera shut off because the memory card was full! I had planned to take step by step photos of the installation but that will have to wait for another time.

I already had my hive boxes cleaned out & ready for the new bees. I also have some frames full of honey from last year so we cleaned up the frames & put some those frames in the brood box. The bees will love this~
Here's me leaning down to pry the can of syrup out of the temporary hive / travel box. The queen is inside in a small cage that I needed to remove after pulling the can out. I put the queen in a pocket on my green garden tool belt. My husband gave me this garden tool belt a number of years ago but I never really used it until the past couple of bee seasons. It works great as a tool holder after I'm suited-up.
Here's the junior helper checking out the new~bees!
The spray bottle has warmed sugar syrup in it so I gently spray the bees before I dump them into the prepared hive. The sugar water calms them down & they get distracted because they lick the sugar off of themselves & each other ~ slick, uh? I used to use smoke but I don't use it on a regular basis. Sometimes mid season I might use it as an alert to the bees that I'm going to open the hive but early in the season it just seems be an agitator.
Well, dumped the bees into the hives, added the honey filled frames & feeder on top & closed the hives-up.

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