Tag Archives: package install

Bee-Day is the Best Day – Warre and KTBH Installs Complete! Also, Name the Queen!

9 May

On Tuesday, I zipped over to Stonewall Apiary in CT to pick up my newest lady-friends.  His set-up is super enviable…chickens, bees, little dogs, clothes on the clothes line, land all around, cute little stone walls…Dreamtown, USA.

The girls were ready to go and seat-belted into the car in short order and we were off!  Back over state-lines to settle them in.

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^^^Bees in car! ^^^ Stewart said, “The seatbelt is probably not necessary….” but I believe in safety first.  Also, I’m not the most attentive driver.  It just seemed like it was in everyone’s best interest.

First stop was to Scratch Farm where my KTBH is.  It’s SO gorgeous out there, and I’m so excited for a weekly trip to visit the girls.  I haven’t really found any definitively good way to feed in a KTBH and I want to do some research before I commit to more woodenware…so I decided to try something out…I’m not sure if it was a good idea, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

I laid paper in the bottom of the hive, put a pollen patty on it…and then put down a layer of dry sugar…which I then sprayed with water…not a lot, but enough to make sort of a paste.  I’m feeling worried about that as an idea now, but the damage…if it was a bad idea is done.

I also tied a piece of comb from another hive onto a bar, just so it would be homey smelling…and put some LGO on another bar.

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Now that I’m writing about this, I’m feeling nervous.

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There she is all set up.  This queen is nameless-  for now I’m calling it Scratch Hive – which is where it is.  I’m willing to accept name suggestions for this lady.  Feel free to post comments…if no one steps up, I’ll let my students name her.  No one really wants that to happen.

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My other install went easy as pie, the warre I’m a little more used to.  And my beekeeping-apprentice (aka, the willing homeowner) got her first taste of what being a beekeeper is like.  Mostly, she just watched- which for day 1 at the hive, is a good thing to do!  She named the queen in her hive JuJu Bee- pun wildly intended – but in her defense, JuJu Bee is her favorite drag queen and was at her bachelorette party.  I think it’s a pretty fun name.

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Package Bee Install – Warre Hive

3 Apr

I got my bees today!  I went up to North East Bee Supply and picked up my girls from Rick.

Safety first!

I think they were pooping out the bars all over my car seat…weird.  They also got REALLY angry sounding and loud in the tunnel – I’ll bet the pressure threw them off- they calmed down again when we got beyond it.  I brought them home, took them out on the roof, grabbed my tools and then…

I installed them into the hive!  I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be – in fact it was pretty exciting, and I’d love to do it again – unless it meant my bees were dead, then I wouldn’t like it.  I made a video with the help of my neighbor, Ashley.  It gets a little silly and motion-sick-y toward the end, but it’s 9 minutes of good, clean bee install.

I made one major mistake – I took the cork out of the wrong end of the queen cage – which either means she is dead right now or it’s fine.  They seemed to be really interested in her and had even started building comb on the outside of the queen cage near her – which to me means they’re strong and active and into it (I can’t find any reference online to bees building comb in the package anywhere!) – but I’m a newbie, so I could be wrong.  I emailed the guy I got them from (Rick) and my teacher (Mel) to see if they had any thoughts or advice – I’ll go out there tomorrow and see what I can see through the windows.

Also, another friend who was over today informed me that her mother wants us to call it Sweet Honey in the Rox (our neighborhood : Roxbury).  Popular opinion on this is yes…so maybe that’s what our jars will eventually say…and maybe I’ll change my blog title.

When I told everyone that we probably wouldn’t have honey until next Spring they were pretty dismayed and are all doing mondo nectar flow dances.  I told them if we had 4 full boxes, I’d take one off – meaning honey in September – but we’ll see.

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