Installing Five New Hives

Installing The Bees

Installing The Bees

Today was beautiful. It has been the nicest day of the year so far without question and a reminder of why we live in the Northwest, the beauty. The sunny weather came at a perfect time as well, the day I picked up five new packages of Italian Bees!

Once received, the bees must be “installed” into their new homes. You are able to choose different package weights based upon how many worker bees you want. I have only gotten 3 lb. packages of bees (it’s the weight of about 3,000 worker bees plus a queen). These Italian bees finished up their pollination of the Almond trees in California and then they ship them all over to beekeepers for the summer. The Queen is reared separately and then placed with a number of worker bees so they pick up on her pheromones and start a colony together. The power of scent!

Luckily, I don’t have to travel far to obtain my bees as I have a Supplier just down the road in Snohomish, The  Beez Neez Apiary Supply.

 

Packaged Bees En Route

Packaged Bees En Route

As you could imagine, I drove EXTRA carefully. It probably would have ruined my whole day if anyone rear-ended me.

LET ME OUT!

LET ME OUT!

I had to set up everything before I could open up the packages. I needed a Bottom Board, a “Deep” or “Brooding box”, an Inner Cover, a Top Cover, Frames, and some kind of Feeder (I use top feeders as they have worked and are easy to manage). None of these things are expensive by themselves, but they all add up very quickly.

Leveling

Leveling

Believe it or not, but I actually didn’t even plan to have the interchangeable colored boxes…

 

Ready to Install

Ready to Install

Each Package has a can of sugar water and a small box where the queen is kept. The bees have been confined to this space for several days to once again bond to their queen.

Opening the package to remove the Queen

Opening the package to remove the Queen

I cover the expose Hole so the worker bees don’t leave. The Queen in the box is removed, the cork is removed and a marshmallow is placed in the hole to keep the queen within the hive for a couple of days. Once the bees eat through the marshmallow, the Queen can start laying eggs and ruling over her colony.

The Queen's Quarters.

The Queen’s Quarters.

The Queen and Her Attendant Bees

The Queen and Her Attendant Bees

 

Marshmallow inserted

Marshmallow inserted

Sandwiching the Queen box.

Sandwiching the Queen box.

In about three days I will open the hive up to inspect and make sure the queen has been released, and also to remove the “Queen’s Quarters”.

The build up frames with wax came from a failed beehive last year.

The build up frames with wax came from a failed beehive last year.

And now a few frames are removed, and the bees are literally dumped into the hive.

And now a few frames are removed, and the bees are literally dumped into the hive.

Dumping

Dumping

Frames

Notice the Bee "B-Lining It" at my face.

Notice the Bee “B-Lining It” to my face.

Placing the Inner Cover on!

Placing the Inner Cover on!

The Top Feeder and then the Top Cover.

The Top Feeder and then the Top Cover.

It got a little Hot...

It got a little Hot…

I didn’t even get stung!  Sandra, who was photographing, unfortunately got hit about four times. I saw her literally rolling on the ground, but really couldn’t help because One must remain calm when handling bees. Poor gal, it didn’t help she was wearing a bright Yellow tank-top.

Last Hive, Almost finished.

Last Hive, Almost finished.

Installing the Bees

Installing the Bees

After it is all completed, I placed their package by their new hive. They will find their Queen's Hive by the end of the night.

After it is all completed, I placed their package by their new hive. They will find their Queen’s Hive by the end of the night.

The Hives

The Hives

 

Italian Bees have a beautiful Orange Hue!

Italian Bees have a beautiful Orange Hue!

Installing The Bees

Installing The Bees

A huge thank you to Sandra! For putting up with me and my painful interests! You got some great shots!

I think everyone should keep bees… They’re all the Buzz…

 

jdm

3 responses to “Installing Five New Hives

  1. I loved all the pictures. This is pretty complex stuff, and really fascinating. Sure hope these bees fare better than your last bunch.

  2. Hi josh love your bees! Partial to Italians! I giggled at the end thou my best to Sandra she was a trooper! She took great pics!

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