Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bringing home the bees

Now that Chris had a new hive it was time to get the bees. The first class taught how to build the hive and the next class taught basic beekeeping - and they gave you a box of bees. It wasn't creepy at all driving  home with many thousands of bees in a box.
Step one was to put the box up by the hive.
A man, his dog, and his bees.
You don't want too much room in the hive at first so Chris removed the upper deep and the honey super.
Cooper is extremely interested
Next you remove the bung and let the bees do a bit of exploring.
Carefully letting them out
Not many come out at first since they're in a new place. And you just leave them up there for a couple hours to settle in a bit.
Just checking things out
After they've been up there a couple hours it's time to move the frames from the box to the hive. A bee suit seemed like a good idea for this job.
Not many bees are out of the box
Prepping the space
Letting Cooper get a final look
I didn't even have to call Cooper off - as soon as Chris went to lift that box lid she retreated to a safe distance. She's been stung before by "wild" bees.
The lid lifts (the suspense is killing me)
Oh my. That's a lot of bees.
You lift the frame out of the box, do your best not to smush any bees, and set them in the hive.
Clumsy gloves don't help
You also inspect each frame so you know what it looks like healthy.
Carefully inspecting the frame

Surprisingly calm
Inserting the frames
The queen is in there somewhere
Almost finished
There were a few stragglers in the box that Chris gently shook into the hive.
Then he set the box at the hive entrance and left them to find their way home.
They should relocate on their own
Then the lid goes on, the entrance reducer is put in place, and you leave them alone to settle in. When we looked at the hive the next day some bees were flying in and out and there was already pollen staining the entrance ledge. So far so good!


  1. Good luck! I tried my hands at bees last year, and putting them in the hive was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I have ever done! I used a package though, and my teachers were a little bit old school and just had us shake the whole thing into the hive at once. I like your quieter approach better....I probably would have gotten stung a few less times, lol

    1. I can't imagine shaking a box of bees! Oof! So far these are quite calm and peaceful. I haven't had any issues walking around the garden up there. Hope that keeps up.