Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The bees are here

The bees are here.  Finally.  And I am here again, writing.  Finally.  Didn't want to tell the burglar types, but I've been away from home for three weeks.  During that time the bees arrived at New Hampshire Bee and had to spend a week in their son's tree house--away from a marauding bear--until my return.  But they are picked up and all installed in their home now.  Here are the photos of the big bee day.  Thanks to my fearless husband, photographer who stood by me and took all these photos.

My nuc, full of hot bees from a drive in the back of the truck.
They chilled in the woodshed until I had back up to release them.

Learning to light the smoker.  Fill with paper, then twigs, then twine
and pine needles.  Puff puff
Seems to be smoking now.  The goal is "cool" smoke--don't
want to toast them, just mask all the smells that say "attack!!!!"

Smoker smoking, bee suit and gloves ready

No worries, just wearing the hottest jacket on earth,
bulky gloves, winter boots and it's 85 degrees out, carrying
a box with 20,000? (who's counting?) angry bees down
the steep hill to their hive 150 feet away

Pulling off duct tape put on by the apiary folks to keep
the bees in during my drive.  No turning back once
the lid comes off.  Oh, the noise!  A puff of smoke.  And a
spray bottle full of sugar syrup.
Pulling my first frame ever.  Trying not to squish any bee.
One frame moved--4 to go.  A puff.
2 frames in--sugar syrup to keep them happy
Third frame--sweating bullets by now.
So cool--look at all the bees
That's #4.  The bees didn't seem too upset by all the moving
Last full frame.  Now I just need to put in 3 empty frames and get the
spaces even--that "bee-space" is all important

into the white wooden box
added 3 more white plastic-Pierco frames to fill out
the 8 frame arrangement, keeping the 5 original frames together
in their original order in the center of the box for now.

tuperware full of syrup--pinholes in lid allow bees to sip
just a supplemental thing, as there is plenty of nectar around
right now.  Covered this with an extra hive body then the
proper lid and then. . . .

...the roof.  A bit of over the top design by
my resident architect--slate roof with lots
of detail --and then the Deerfield Door

I'm working on a little fence, (pickets I removed from another part of the yard)
 to keep out the skunks and small
grandchildren.  I can hear the bears just laughing behind my back.

Sitting on a big stump.  And you can't see
it, but between the stump and the white
stand is a nice piece of galvanized to
keep moisture from coming up.

The bees fly in heavily laden and kind of crash into this sloped landing

The garden--waiting for some plants to flower and need bees

Home Sweet Connecticut River Valley Home

I came back after a few days and took
out the tupperware feeder.  So for now
there is one hive body.  Before they
completely expand onto all 8 frames, I will add
the next hive body full of frames.

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