||[May. 12th, 2011|08:43 pm]
A few months ago, I ordered a couple of packages of bees. I already had the equipment -- a couple of hive bodies, some supers, hive tool, veil, suit, brush, smoker, etc -- but couldn't get the apiary started last year due to injury. They arrived this morning, and I just got in from putting them in the hives. |
It was pretty uneventful, no stings, no rush, just put the queen cage in the hive, dump the bees on top, and put it back together again (yes, I'm simplifying, but not very much.) The biggest problem was when I noticed the bottom board on one hive was upside down -- that must be a pretty common newbie mistake, easily fixed.
The bees were, as I'd read, extremely non-aggressive, essentially being a swarm and looking for a home, not trying to protect their home from honey-hungry invaders like they will later, and certainly nothing like the destructive menace portrayed on TV. For the initial hiving, I wore the full suit, gloves, veil, tucked my pants into my socks, and had the smoker handy. By the time I noticed the bottom board, I just moved the hive off the board, flipped the board, and put the hive back without protection. It was clear they just didn't care about me at that point.
This year will be mostly the colonies building up in strength and resources, I probably won't get much if any honey until next year or beyond. Still, they're good for pollination, and so long as they don't die out, more of a long-term asset than anything else.
They've got about a gallon of sugar syrup to feed on until they can find the lay of the land and start foraging, they're under decent shelter in the form of some trees, and because I know there are skunks in the area (notorious bee eaters, they'll sit in front of a hive and pick them off as they fly out) I've got them elevated a good foot off the ground.
They seem happy, I hope they stay that way.
2011-05-13 12:55 am (UTC)
Hurray! happy bees!
Exceptionally cool. We have wild honey bees and bumble bees out here, part of the reason I leave the clover in the front yard and have flowers in the back. Seems to make them happy. Between the bees and the bats, we're doing well.