April 21, 2016

Installation Day

Yesterday, I left work and drove north to get and install three new packages of bees. I ordered the packages a while ago, back when I thought I'd probably lose one or both of my existing hives. But since I didn't, these are additions.

I did a check on the two existing hives (Abigail and Caroline), and pulled any remaining winter sugar off. Both hives were bringing in bright yellow pollen (no wonder my allergies have been kicking up!) and their own nectar. I saw brood in the frames, too, which means the queens are laying. The sugar syrup I'd left for the before vacation was hardly touched, which was nice to see, too.

The next step was to set up for the new hives - flattening out the ground, putting down the weed guard and mulch. But once that was done (pretty poorly, admittedly), it was time to get to work on the installation before it started raining and/or got dark.

The first new hive (Daphne) went in easily. I put her in, dumped in the bees on top, closed it up, and went on my way. The second, unfortunately, had a dead queen, so I couldn't install it. The third (Francesca) went in just fine, so I put the bees from the second hive in with the third. I sent the bee place an email telling them the queen was dead, but in the meantime, knew the bees would die without a queen. So 6 pounds of bees and Francesca it is. (I'm sort of hoping they just refund my money so I don't have to go do this all over again.)

I'll have to visit again in a week or so to pull the queen cages out, install the 8th frame back where the queen cage is, check on the sugar, and add more mulch.

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