Agtually…My sister came for a short visit a few weeks ago and I finally realized after her repeated asking, that Chris and I haven’t really shared our newest adventure properly with our readers and that we need to rewind a second and share our beekeeping experience from the beginning. So, if you’ll indulge me a little as I moderate the pictures, we will try to get you up to speed…
Late March, Chris pulled into the drive with two boxes of bees…literally. See the image below, that is a box of bees making a serious buzzing racket. Chris wasn’t nervous and told me that the buzzing was simply a way for them to cool off by fanning themselves.
In anticipation of introducing the bees to the new hives, I grabbed my camera and Chris lit the new smoker.
Smoker all lit we headed towards the hive. Here Chris is finished placing the boot straps that tighten his pants legs so the bees can’t fly or crawl into them…can you imagine that sting? OUCH!!
Next step is the veil and the jacket…Chris even admitted that he should have removed his wedding band and worn his gloves but that it was easier to do his job without the gloves this time.
The first step to opening the “bee box” as I was calling it by this time, was for Chris to spray the cage with a little sugar-water solution feed. He said it would calm them a little while he worked at removing the queen cage and such.
Once the cage was sprayed he went to work prying the lid and removing the liquid feed container.
Then he removed the queen cage, replacing the lid to the box so the rest of bees didn’t venture out on their own.
The cage was quite interesting. Chris told me that the bees will stay with their queen and work diligently to release her from the cage once they get in the new hive.
After a few good pictures, Chris placed the cage in the hive.
Now the fun, I mean frightening, I mean fun part begins. Chris picked up the box of bees, smacked it on the bench so that all the bees were away from the opening, reopened the lid, turned the box upside down and began shaking the bees out…
I stayed at a nice safe distance, in my full gear, with my zoom lens as he proceeded to gently beat the bottom of the box and shake the bees again…
Though he shook and shook you can see that some of the bees really liked the sugar solution that he sprayed on the box. Also, can’t you see the importance of those straps? See the bees that are checking him out near his ankles?
Without paying an attention to the bees that were curious about him, Chris continued getting the hive set up and ready. Here’s he placing the pollen pack, a food supplement, to help them get established.
The kids really seem to like the pollen pack…
Chris told me that the pollen pack was a supplement since we were establishing new hives and the clover, flowers, etc weren’t in full bloom at the time. The real food for the bees is a liquid form that he pours into the feeders at the top of the hive.
We quickly noticed that Chris needed to regroup and have the feed already poured into the box when we set up the second hive as the bees were greedily flying into the solution.
Once the hive was all closed up, Chris took one last look for the day to make sure the kids felt welcome in their new home.
I continued snapping pictures from a safe distance wondering all the time where the Epi pens were in case the bees quickly became angry with their home.
Don’t you just love my crazy imagination, ha-ha!!