Bee Diary: Preparing for the Packages

Spring                                                  Bee Hiving Moon

Scraped out the old frames from last year, removing propolis and excess comb.  Picked a site in the orchard for our two colonies this year, next to apple and pear trees, dug up a spot and leveled the base, slapped on a bottom board, then a hive box, a cover and our nifty copper covered tops.  Now I’m ready for Saturday and the arrival of the 2012 crew.

I have to drive out to Stillwater to pick them up, two packages of two pounds, Minnesota Hygienics, some pro-sweet syrup and two feeder pails.  Then I’ll spray them down with sugar water and wait until late in the day to hive them.

The queen release for hiving is a quick release where the queen actually enters the hive while you watch.  This is possible because the queen has been with these bees since California and they have become accustomed to each other.  These are all California girls, it just occurred to me.

If the bees are not accustomed to the queen, you have to do a hard release with a piece of hard candy in the hole of her cage.  The time it takes her and the workers to chew through the candy allows them to become comfortable with each other.

Throw in a pollen patty, plop the feeder pail on and away we go.  The fourth season of Artemis Honey will be underway.

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