Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Adventure -June 16, 2016-The Bees Arrive

Our buzzing package arrived from USPS at 5:04 PM

I was SO glad that they brought it to us after hours instead of letting the bees sit overnight.

Here I am installing our package of Caucasian Bees today.  They came from Tennessee.  The process went very easy and quickly.  The WORST part was wearing the bee suit in the high humidity.  I felt like I was gift wrapped in plastic.


Special thanks to Beaman's Fork for this great video on how to install a bee package.

Caucasian Bees from:

Queen Elizabeth 1 now in residence.

If you look closely, she is wearing an Elizabethan Ruff Collar (just kidding).
She is marked with a white dot to designate that she was born in 2016.

A member of Team Beatrice flying at the back of the Flow Hive.

Another Beatrice resting on the roof.  I talked and sang to them for about an hour until my daughter finished with her client. This was my attempt to do some bonding with them and get them used to my voice.  I wanted her to shoot photos of the process (Thanks Kaitlin).  Usually I'm the one shooting the photos, so we had a role reversal today.  :) We installed the bees around 7 PM.  They were calm and seemed happy to get out of the package.

I'll be opening the hive on Sunday, June 19 to see if Queen Elizabeth has been released from her cage. (The queen is caged to protect her and let the colony get used to her pheromones. There is a candy plug on one end of the cage.  The bees will eat through this and release the Queen and her attendants.)

I'll also be removing the shipping package and putting the remainder of the frames back in.  Rather than shake the bees out, we respected "bee manners" as one YouTuber calls it and just placed the package with the top cover removed inside the hive.

Around 8PM, we checked back around the hive area.  I had expected everyone to be tired from their journey and in bed, but there was lots of activity around the area.  They were exploring the various plantings that we had put in around the hive.  I imagine that they were also scouting for a water source.  In addition to the decorative bird bath that I placed in the one section of our old play center, there is also a natural creek and a recirculating fountain.  The fountain has proved to be VERY popular with the bird population!  It also makes a lovely sound.  :)

First Full Day ~ June 17, 2016

The front of the Flow Hive.

Close-up of the hive front.

View behind the Hive.

One of our bees going in the entrance reducer.
This will remain in place until the colony numbers are built up.
It helps out the guard bees so they only have to watch a small space.

Bees going in and out the Entrance Reducer.
Note the pollen on the back legs of the bee to the left.

The workers cleaned out dead bees from the colony.
The bee to the right was escorted out by two bee "bouncers".  
They then killed it.
Apparently, it was from another colony.

The ants carried away the dead bees.

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