14 June 2007

Beekeeping Update 14 June 2007

I'm a bit late getting some photos on here about the beekeeping, but better late than never, right? We were going to open up the hive and check on them again today, but the wind was a bit cold and it didn't really die down. Here is a photolog, though, of our progress thus far.

We received the "package" of bees via US Mail on the 28th of April, a Saturday. Got a call from the Post Office around 6:30am, in fact, to let me know I could come down and pick them up!! haha. As you can see here, the bees are clinging to the inside top of the package in a "swarm". You can see the edge of their syrup container they ate from during their trip. The queen is in her own special box in the middle of that clump of bees. You can see there is only a thin layer of dead bees on the bottom of the box. That's normal.

I feel so brilliant... rather than consulting my "Beekeeping for Dummies" book, I thought I could pry the box open... cut the screen... I did everything except lift the little flap to get them out!! Oh well. Both the bees and I survived my insane cutting and prying from every direction to get the blinking box open! :)
The directions for "installing bees" into their new hive that I did use suggested stuffing the opening of the hive with grass. After a day, the grass started to dry out, and the kids had fun watching the bees systematically removing the grass. Bees flying off, holding a blade of shrivelled grass, and dropping it around the yard... the neighbour's yard, etc. They did the same with any dead bees that got dumped into the hive. Kids said they saw a bee fly off, carrying a dead one, and then saw the little spot drop from about 20 feet in the air down into the neighbour's yard. Very interesting.

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