Thursday, April 21, 2016

Moving Bees

Moving the bees from Massachusetts was quite the undertaking, especially since we had only a single hive. First we needed the bees inspected from the Massachusetts Apiary Inspector. We got a good report - the bees were healthy and our equipment was good.

To get the bees ready for transport, we opened the hive and split it into two parts. While this isn't recommended, we just had too many bees to maneuver a hive with two honey supers. We duct taped all the joints, put screen over all the openings (with staples and duct tape), then strapped the entire thing both north/south and east/west.

Once we arrived at our new house, we unpacked the bees and set the hive back together. They were apart for about 12 hours.

We put some branches over the entrance to force the bees to do an orientation flight. This encouraged them to stop at the entrance, look around, recognize they were in a new location and start orienting.   First they circled the hive very closely then their circles got bigger and bigger spirally out from the hive. The funnel of bees got quit thick at one point, but the bees seemed quite focused and ignored us completely.

The girls settled in quite nicely!  Welcome~

The good things about FaceBook

My lovely friend Kristin Graffeo took this photo and it remains one of my very favorite pictures of me.

We had 11 Girl Scouts visiting the apiary that day (thank you again parents for that level of trust!) It was still fairly chilly so the bees weren't flying much and there was one single drone cell. There were probably a few hundred worker bees in cells, developing from a worm like larvae into adult bees, but the girls were worried about that one drone.


So when we got new bees in Brookline NH, we had to name one of the in honor of Girl Scouts some. This year the queens all have a white dot marking that they were born in a year ending in 6. So Daisy seemed like a great choice. Girl Scouts was founded by Juliet Gordon Low and her nick name was Daisy.

Snow's Hive
Joining Daisy will be Snow (since I picked them up in a snow storm!), and Carol, Queen of the Apocalypse.