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#3: Installing the bees. | Speedkin

#3: Installing the bees.

FYI:  Since I was part of the installation, I gave Isaac a three-second lesson on my camera.  (1.  Here’s the display.  2.  Here’s the on/off button.  3.  Here’s the button to push to take a photo.  Oh, and 4.  Break my camera and you will die a horribly slow and painful death.)  He did an amazing job!

First step is taking the can of syrup out of the top of the package.  It’s what the bees feed on during their trip.  The Carniolan bees had about half of theirs left but the Italian’s can was empty.

The stuff of nightmares for those of us who grew up with “Killer Bees!” movies, eh?

The package was set aside for a moment while we removed and futzed with the queen box.

The queen is shipped in a little box within the bigger package.  Steve brushed off the other bees clinging to the outside, then we took her in the house to mark her in the queen muff.  (I’ll get to that in the next post.)

After spraying the bees with sugar water, I started dumping them in their new home.  It’s not terribly easy.  You shake the snot out of them to get them to fall out and you have to slap the sides to get the clingers to let go.

Bzzz!  I felt a burning so did the girl thing by making a face and stopping all progress to check my boo boo.  But I didn’t see a boo boo.  Must have been my rather active imagination.  It felt real!

Okay, back to dumping bees.

Steve got the last of them out and this is what remained in the box.  It was set beside the hive so the stragglers could join their group whenever they got around to it.

We had to temporarily leave the last couple of frames out because of the giant clump of bees sitting there.  One will stay out until the queen box is removed but we did manage to get the other one in Saturday.)

This was just the Carniolans.  Then the two Steves handled the Italians, with the kids’ help, of course.  Isaac started taking more random bee pics after that so not so much to post about the installation of the Italians.  No matter, it was the same thing, just with hairier arms doing the dumping.

A HUGE thanks to Steve, Sr for helping and being a part of this and to the beekeepers’ group for the incredible sharing of knowledge!  And, of course, to Charlie who got us all started on this adventure.  This is gonna be fun!


4 Responses to “#3: Installing the bees.”

  1. Chris May 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    My hats off to you on a great package install! It looks like no one in the pictures was wearing a suit or veil. You are braver than I am!

    Congrats and keep us posted on how they’re doing!


    Show Me The Honey

    • Diane May 2, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks, Chris! Nah, we didn’t wear suits for the install. They were pretty docile so we skipped protection that day. Filling the feeders and putting in the missing frames yesterday, though, we suited up. They were still pretty calm but we need to get into the habit of wearing the suits.

      I can’t wait for your updates, too! I’m subbed to your blog so I don’t miss anything. :-)


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  2. #1: Installing the 2012 Bees | Speedkin - April 8, 2012

    […] For reference, here’s the post from last year’s installation:  #3:  Installing the bees. […]

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