Sugar Rush!

Leave a comment

Last night, the low temperature was 78 degrees.  Humidity has been high, as well.  Lots of foraging going on, even though we need some rain.  Maybe tonight we will get a couple of thunderstorms.  Colony “C” has been gulping sugar syrup so quickly today!  So far today, or since 8:00 A.M., at any rate, they have consumed nearly a half a gallon of sugar syrup!  I’m going to refill the quart syrup feeder jar before nightfall but I’m just about sure the feeder will be empty by daylight tomorrow morning!  The young bees need a lot of sugar syrup, since they are building beeswax comb.  They consume the sugar and glands in their bodies produce beeswax, which is used to make beeswax comb.  The queen needs comb for laying eggs and the bees need storage space for nectar and pollen.

Perfect Weather Conditions

Leave a comment

We’ve had a very good nectar and pollen flow since the package bees were started in Colony B and Colony C.  Nice temperatures in the high 80 degree range, as well.  I’m feeding sugar syrup, both regular and medicated with natural essence oils.  Foragers have been busy returning with their pollen baskets full.  We’ve had dry weather for a couple of weeks now, but this morning we awoke to early morning thundershowers.  Not a lot of rain, but enough to freshen and water vegetation.  We will most likely get a bit more rain today and temperatures are anticipated to reach 91 degrees.  Nectar and pollen will be in abundance!  Some of the little foragers are already trying to fly between the occasional raindrops and it’s only 7:00 A.M.  The next few days should be everything a bee colony could ask for!

Queens Set Free

Leave a comment

Last night, I opened Colony B and C, with the new package bees and released the queens from their cages.  They are now able to begin their “queen work” of laying eggs and building the colony population.  Concerned with the number of ants around this area, I now have all three colonies on ant-proof stands, so feel much better about that!

Shaking Package Bees Into The Hive

Leave a comment

Here is how the package bees are “shook” into their new home.  They have been sprayed with sugar syrup, so are wet and not really able to fly.  They are also busy eating the sugar syrup.  Package bees are all very young, gentle bees and easy to work with.  You can see that I don’t even bother to make sure the gloves cover the bare skin on my arms, as the young bees have no desire to sting.  Wearing a protective veil merely keeps the bees from accidentally getting on my face, but there is little chance I would be stung.  I put the first package of bees into Colony B while Joan, my wife, watched.  She has never handled bees before, but I let her put the package bees and queen into Colony C all by herself.  I watched, in case she encountered problems, but she did just fine!  She was quite proud of her efforts, being her very first time.  As always happens with a newbie, she was awed by what she was seeing.  She now understands and has a new perspective on the amazing little world of the honey bee!!  They are no longer just those annoying, stinging “bugs.”  They are more of an almost “mystical” experience.  Joan spent time yesterday, rescuing a few bees which had been trapped in the swimming pool, while trying to get a drink of water.  She was scooping them out, watching as they dried their wings and could fly away.  She’s beginning to share their world.  Mission Accomplished!

Shaking Bees Into Hive

And Here Is The Queen!

Leave a comment

Here is the queen in her cage, after being removed from the package of bees.  She is placed between two frames in the hive, then the bees are shaken into the hive where they will cluster around her.  After 24 hours, I opened the hive and released the queen, as she had been accepted by the bees.  The cage was then removed from the hive.  Now, the bees will continue to consume sugar syrup so they can build was comb and the queen can begin laying eggs in the new comb.  Now, I just feed more and more sugar syrup, allowing the bees to work hard without flying great distances to collect nectar.  They will fly and bring pollen back to the hive, necessary for raising new bees.

Queen In Cage

Here Is A Package Of Bees

Leave a comment

Here’s what a package of bees looks like when they arrive from the post office.  There are 3 pounds of bees, shipped with a queen in a protective cage inside the package.  The bees will cluster around the queen, caring for her and feeding her.Package Bees

Package Bees Arrived!

Leave a comment

I received a call at 5:40 A.M. from our post office saying that my package bees had arrived!!  I had let them know they were coming and they did an excellent job of handling the bees!!  I picked them up and hardly any dead bees in the bottom of the packages.  The bees are all calm and peaceful.  All signs of proper transport and handling by the post office.  I was back home with the bees before 6 A.M.  Now, they will stay in the cool house today….out of direct sunlight…and be sprayed with sugar syrup to eat.  Later, due to the heat, I will be putting them in the Colony B hive this evening, about 7:00 P.M., after the temperature begins to drop.  Then, it’s feed….feed….feed!  This is horribly late in the season to start package bees, but with six pounds of them, good management and a lot of feeding, they should overwinter well and be ready to do their work, come Spring!

Older Entries Newer Entries