This past Friday our package of bees arrived!
Despite a warmer then average spring, Friday here was not only cold but blustery. Not the kind of day we imagined dumping 10,000 or so bees into their new home (despite my extreme faith in Dave - who was in charge of the actual dumping of the bees). I pictured Dave tipping the bees out, a big gust of wind coming, and all the bees simply blowing away, or getting all upset and stinging us all. Luckily the bee dump went completely smoothly, with zero stings (Dave and Toba both got stung the next day - Toba is not a fan of the bees). These photos are roughly a progression of the process.
First a little smoke on hand - just in case we needed it - Dave did not use it.
The two brave little 3 year olds carried the bees outside.
Dave got all geared up, got his supplies ready, and gave himself a little pep talk.
Then he opened the top, pulled out the feeding can,
Took out the queen cage - totally covered in bees!
Next came a quick thump of the bee cage on the ground, followed by a dump in the hive. The bees were quite cold, so instead of flying around, most of the bees clumped together and simply fell into the hive down between the frames.
That's a lot of bees.
The bees all hovered around the queen trying to keep her warm. Within just a few minutes, the bees were happily buzzing in the hive, the sugar syrup was in place, and the hive was back together.
We were a wee bit concerned the next morning, when all we saw around the hive were a few dead bees and couldn't hear that happy buzz, but by the time the sun came out, the bees were happily popping out to see just where they were.
Now the bees are darting around the yard looking for pollen, scoping their new surroundings, and taking a cleansing flight (aka - pooping on my car). Every time we see one of our bees on a flower we rush to tell each other. Somehow the bees love of dandelions is making us feel better about the state of our yard!
For now, we are still learning about these little creatures