The bees are here!
This year I ordered 3 packages of bees from the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association, and picked them up on Saturday.
Once you'v readied your hives, you pry open the lid and remove the feeding canister. You remove the queen and make sure she is alive and moving around. By now bees are swarming out of the box, so you need to get them into the hive. For the first two hives I am using "deep" hive bodies and I could just set the whole open box into the hive alongside 5 (of the ten) frames of honeycomb and comb foundation.
For the third hive I'm using "mediums" and there is not enough room for the box, so I had to shake out all the bees into a pile in the empty hive and then set the frames in on top of them. The frames settle down and into place as the bees distribute themselves out from under.
The queen is trapped in her cage by a plug of candy, which is in turn capped with a cork. Once you remove the cork, the bees begin to eat their way into the queen cage. The reasoning is that by the time they get through (in a few days) they will all be familiar with one another and these bees will have accepted this new queen as their own.
With a thumb tack I fixed each queen in place between a couple of frames. Then I placed on the "inner cover", which has a hole in the middle. I had made sugar feeders out of mason jars, and I inverted one of those over each hole.
Then the outer lid goes on and you leave them to fuss and fret and figure out where they are.
|Bea in the bee yard|
And although Dad's still stuck in a wheelchair with his broken leg, they came out for the hiving of the bees.