Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Honey Bees Installed!!

Today I picked up my bee package and about 6:30 pm I put the bees in the hive. This is my first time doing this.   I attempted to uncork the queen box so the bees could get to the candy and release her. They put candy in as a time release for releasing the queen, this way the workers can get used to her, otherwise they might kill her if she gets out too soon. Anyway I pulled the cork and saw the bees inside the queen package, oops. Quickly I replaced the cork. Then I hung the queen box in the hive as your supposed to do, but still corked.


Now I'm starting to panic a little, unsure of what to do next. I drop in the box with the bee package into the hive and open it then covered the hive. Meg takes the syrup for the bees to feed on and fills up my feeder, I place the syrup feeder so the bees can feed.


I called the bee company, no response. So I check the beekeeping book, it clearly shows what the candy should look like. I tried the phone again and got the bee company and she tells me if the candy is upside down it could cause problems, I recalled this from beekeeping class. At this point I'm not sure if there is any candy in the queen box? So I'm told to open it back up and see.  I put on the gloves and veil and open up the hive. The queen box was covered with bees when I took it out with  8 inches with bees hanging under it.  After brushing away some bees I see the candy at the bottom, no good. My first bee sting, I watched as a bee stings my knee right through my jeans. The sting was very minor and when away in a minute. What to do now I ask myself? I run to my van and get some duct tape and set up the smoker.  The smoker might have helped a little as I cleared the bees off enough to fix some duct tape to the queen box.
The queen box with worker bees eating away at the candy in the uncorked hole. In the morning if it is not raining I'll pull out the bee package box and lean it against the hive. I'll also replace the 5 frames I took out to make room for the bee package. Right now it is pouring rain.

16 comments:

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I would be so scared to mess that up. I applaud you for getting it squared away and with only one bee sting. Wow, what an undertaking.

Kelly said...

Wow......exciting stuff! Had no idea it was so involved... Good luck.

ann said...

It will be interesting to watch your bees. You will certainly enjoy the honey. cheers. ann

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That's pretty exciting! I don't think I would have the nerve.
I'm not sure if you follow Clare from Curbstone Valley Farm (she's listed on my blogroll). She also just got 2 bee packages and showed her experience with it. I bet you would find it really interesting since you are a beekeeper to now.
Look forward to how things go!

greggo said...

interesting dilema.

Randy Emmitt said...

An update on the bees. Opened the bnox this mourning and maybe a thousand bees are still in the bee box they came in. It rained most of the night and it was 55 degrees when I opened it. Will wait until tonight to remove the box. Heard from the bee company that they installed a bee package with the candy upside down as well, corrected it of course.

Cameron said...

Wonderful that you are helping the bees!

We have a friend who is a beekeeper. If you go to the savethehives website, you can probably find an email address for Ronnie and ask him questions.

There are feral hives in our neighborhood that were not healthy last year. This year, our bees are back in big numbers! Their favorite bloom in my garden right now is cotoneaster glaucophyllus.

Karen said...

Now that's a big undertaking...I thought I was having issues with my new chicks. I have a friend who is a beekeeper and I've always been in awe of him. How wonderful to have a hive, though. Hope you keep us posted on the progress.

cindydyer said...

I had no idea the process was so involved. Thanks for sharing that. My husband would love to do beekeeping, but I told him "not in a townhouse backyard!" :-)

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Oh fun fun! I do wish Queen cages were consistent. Ours had no candy at all (hence our use of a mini-marshmallow to plug the exit). Truth is, you could have left it corked. It's more important that the mesh on the Queen cage isn't facing the foundation. The bees must be able to reach her to feed her. In that situation you can simply manually uncork the cage a few days later providing they seem to have accepted her. I'll cross my fingers that your rain stops, as it's really not good to have to open the hive in the rain. I'm sure in another day though the rest of the bees will leave the package, if not, I'd just give them a good shake into the hive body, and then just leave the package near the hive entrance (if it's not raining). Congrats on your bees!!!

Carol said...

Randy, It seems like you should have called Clare at Curbstone! I hope things get sorted out without anymore deathly stings. I admire your pluck. Good Luck!

PlantPostings said...

Good luck! You are very brave, but you'll have a great supply of honey. Very impressive!

tina said...

Very neat! I've contemplated keeping bees but have decided too much work and trouble. I do think they are most cool. We have a very active bee club here in my county and I've visited some of the hives. It is the coolest! Where you have one now perhaps you'll be expanding once you get the hang of it?

Don't hurry or worry about the seeds. I am swamped here and have not even been in the garden. I was just happy to send you a bit of my garden. Enjoy.

meemsnyc said...

Oh my, I think this would freak me out a little. Especially the stinging part. Hope everything gets resolved.

Skeeter said...

Seeing your bees brings back the memory of me being stung about 24 times last year when I watered a nest by accident. OUCH...

Poor goat, yes, some people (like our neighbors) do not need to have animals....

Kim and Victoria said...

Just reading your bee posts makes me nervous! Interested, but nervous. :-)