Spring New Moon (Flower)
The bees have come. Mark Nordeen drove over today with our first packet of bees. This is a picture of a bee package off the web. The circle at the top contains a can of nutrient syrup for the bees while in transit. The can comes out and the bees pour out of the opening into the hive, which has four middle frames removed.
Mark and I donned our bee suits (mine is borrowed from him), me for the first time. He pulled the can out. It had seepage on the bottom from three very tiny pricks in the bottom.
He then turned the box over the opening in the hive and shook the bees out of the box through the circle which held the can. The bees poured out, most landing on the floor, then climbing up the frame of already built combs. A few bees remained so he shook the box, spilling the rest out into the hive.
The queen comes in a smaller wooden box with a screen over one side. Mark uses the direct release method, meaning he opened the small wooden box on the bottom of the hive and let the queen walk out. Queen acceptance is the first critical move in the hive. That seems to have happened.
We replaced the four frames and then put a patty of pollen replacement on top of the frames. Pollen substitute comes as a soft material that looks much the inside of a fig newton bar. Over the frames themselves and the pollen patty substitute went the hive cover, a particle board piece as big as the top of the hive with an ovoid slot in the middle. Over this slot goes a plastic pail with sugar water. The pail’s lid has a small screen, smaller than a quarter in the center. The bees come up to this screen to feed until the plant world provides enough pollen for them to make their own food.
I was a little nervous before Mark came, excited, too. The most unexpected part of the process for me was the sound. The hum of the bees as they took up residence gave off a sense of vitality and unity.
Much more to learn, a years long course I believe.