Thursday, April 4, 2013

Houston - We Have Bees!

Here they are. Handy Man picked them up after work and sprayed them with sugar water for the ride home.
Hmm, says the chickie girls, watcha got in there?  Can we eat them?

So first I had to pry off the top, then pull out the can of food.  Except for the fact that I couldn't get the can out, so the Handy Man had to do it. Those gloves are not the easiest to work with.
On the lid is a worker bee (small, female) and a drone (big, male).  Drones don't sting, but none of the bees were fussy as there was not yet a brood or store of food to protect.

This is the queen cage housing the Queen Mum.  They are just getting aquainted. They can see her and most important can smell her, but can't sting her to death.  I took the pink cap off the end.  There is a plug of candy in there.  By the time the worker bees eat through it to get her out, they'll have accepted her and bee business will get started.  I ran a wire through this and hung it up on one of the top bars.
Time to dump the bees in.  Thankfully a friend shared that they would be loud and fly up all around me.  When you take the can of food out it is surprisingly loud, and they do fly up in your face.  I'm really glad he shared that so I was expecting it.  I only had a half second where I considered dropping it and running, but it passed and shake, shake, shake.  Then Handy Man shook too. There were a lot of bees in the hive, but quite a bit that we couldn't seem to dislodge.
I was glad Ceece, Bean, Bugg, Uncle Tim and Swee-Tee made it in time to watch the process.  Bugg and Swee-Tee wanted nothing to do with it.  Ceece and Bean were cautious, but curious.

Next, time to fill the Langstroth hive.
They all fall to the bottom, but by the time I got the queen cage in and frames put back, 

they'd already covered an entire frame.

Next go the feeders, then the lid.

 Bean got braver and braver, and though I assured him this chubby boy was a drone and wouldn't sting,

he was more comfortable having a glove.

And he was smitten, claiming it to be the coolest experience ever,  and it made my heart sing.

Ceece took this picture through the window on the top bar hive.

Bean wanted to share his new love with Swee-Tee, but she wasn't having it.

 You sit the bees that refused to be shaken near the entrance and hope they find their way in.
Uncle Tim is checking out the finished job.
It was a very neat experience.  I'm just thrilled and hope they make a happy hives.


  1. It was very cool,but crazy to be standing in a swarm of bees and trying so hard to just freak out and swat! And I had no idea there weren't bees that literally couldn't sting. So neat.

  2. Dang my typing skills were off, *to NOT just freak out
    And *WERE

  3. How fun but I gotta agree I would be a tad freaked out and I would not trust that the little bee couldn't sting either! Also didn't know it so you are teaching all of us, too! I've got my fingers crossed for all of you!

  4. It's hard to grasp just how much there is to know about them. Simply fascinating!

  5. Man, I go for a few weeks without stopping by, and you are off on an entirely new adventure. Fascinating post! Best of luck with the bees.

  6. A lot of work is involved but this is really cool. I will enjoy from afar and go have my biscuits and honey. :-)