We are excited. All four of us, and the 20,000 little friends we went to pick up… In fact, big sister said on the way home that all she wanted for her birthday was a bee suit. “nothing else, just that, so I can help you Daddy”. One guess on what she’s getting for her birthday.
We have kept bees off and on for about 9 years now. The last two years have been bee-less (with the birth of our second little farmer we decided to not overly complicate things). With all the hoopla about CCD (colony collapse disorder), home schooling big sister, and a bunch of equipment just sitting, it seemed like the thing to do. That or liquidate a bunch of bee gear.
So we forked over just under $100 each for a couple of packages (I felt old thinking that they used to cost half that). And had a nice little trip up to Burlington to pick the packages up. The weather wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t raining either… Since then, we have not been so lucky.
Here is the pile of gear yet to be sorted… In surprisingly good shape for 2 years of poor storage. Yes it all needs paint.
The folks at Belleville Honey had a little netting tent with a new hive and package in it to demonstrate. Cool for the little one’s to be so close…
One cute little girl looking at another… And packages. Quick math… Just under $6,000 in bees. And there are at least two more pallets…
Back Home. That’s a hive top feeder (unpainted) on the deep super. I like the hive top feeders as I can fill them at night, without opening the hive itself. Very nice.
Like I said. Everything is in need of a coat of paint.
On the left is the package on top of their new home. The metal can is full of sugar syrup. Bee food for the trip. That glob of bees on the top of the frame is covering the Queen. She is in a little cage all by herself. The workers feed her during the trip, and once I replace the cork with a plug of sugar candy, they eat that and she can get out into the hive (in a day or two). I didn’t get any photos of actually shaking the package into the hive but it’s just like it sounds. I spray the bees down with a little water from a mister bottle to keep them from being as flighty, and as they don’t have any brood or honey to guard, they are very docile.
I jam some grass into the entrance at the bottom so they don’t have such a big front door to guard until they get comfy in their new diggs. They are fed sugar syrup until a good nectar flow starts, and at about a quart to two a day they are thirsty… I’ll try to follow them through this season, which should be interesting as they are scheduled to run to Duvall for some Locust, and I am trying to find someone near a clear cut in Stanwood so I can get them close to some low land fireweed.