we picked up our package of italian bees last saturday from beez neez apiary in snohomish. We hived them on the same perfect northwest spring sunshiney day.
i had my 8 year old helper with me and it's a good thing i did. you can never have enough hands during hiving.
in this three pound package the bees are clustered all around their queen.
here are some hive parts in our field
jasper is spraying the bees with sugar water to keep them calm while we prepare to hive them. the jars full of sugar water will feed them when they are hived and until they are ready to forage on their own.
one more spray before we pull the queens cage out.
the sugar water can, inside the box, has to be taken out to slide the queen cage out.
here is the queen in her cage
here i am pulling out the tiny cork that holds her in so we can direct release her.
the feeding can had been replaced while we released the queen. so now i am prying it out again to dump the bees in their new home.
the bees are calm from the sugar syrup and they don't just all swarm out at once. you actually have to shake them out.
dumping the bees
the top box is just hiding the jars of sugar syrup the bees will be feeding on. soon the top box will be full of frames that have foundation wax for the bees to build their comb on and fill up with honey and brood.
happy bees coming and going on a lovely northwest afternoon.
all the shipments of bees and queens were delayed this year because of the bad weather in california, where they come from. so our carniolan bees wont be here for a couple more weeks.
i had enough equipment to start two hives this year. excited about that. maybe, finally, i'll get some honey to make my elderberry mead in the fall. yum!