Yesterday was a very exciting day, I introduced my bees to their new hive. I was a bit behind prepping, I thought they needed to hang out in their package for a week, before introducing them. When I picked them up I learned it should be done within 48 hours of picking them up. I was not ready for that! I spent most of Saturday working on another project, so Sunday was a mad dash to get everything ready. Thankfully, my very patient husband helped me put the comb into the frames, and we got it done within an hour. I was not able to paint the hive box, which helps it last longer. Oh well, the next box will get painted!
Overall, things went smooth. I didn’t get stung, and neither did my assistant and photographer (aka husband). I had lots of emotions while I got the queen out of the package, and shook the bees into the hive…nervousness, exhilaration, excitement, happiness, and scared, all at the same time!
While I was shaking them in, bees were flying all around me, and they were loud! After I got them in, I had to walk away for a minute, because I was starting to get nervous. I took a few deep breathes, and came back to finish up. Most of the night I had the buzzing sound in my head!
For the next 7 days, I can’t open the hive. I need to feed them a quart of sugar water a day, and let them build comb. It’s recommend I observe the bees, make sure they are active, and are finding their hive. After 7 days I’ll open the hive to check on the queen, and observe how they are acting towards her. If they are being aggressive, I can’t let her out of the cage yet because they might kill her. Once they are calm around her, then I need to remove her from the cage, and put her back in. She can begin to roam freely, and lay eggs.
Another thing I must do is provide them with water, every day. It needs to be set up so they don’t drown. Some creative ways to give them water are to fill a bucket, or garbage can, and float wine corks so the bees can land on the corks to drink. Use a bird bath, a large barrel with floating plants or a small kiddie pool.. Keep a outdoor faucet dripping onto a piece of wood. The goal is to make sure they have access to water in the general vicinity of the hive, so they don’t try to find it elsewhere, like a neighbors pool!
I hope this post inspires some of you to consider beekeeping. It can be done anywhere, apartments, condos, and small backyards, as long as your city allows it. Most cities have beekeeper guilds that train and support new keepers. And if you can’t keep bees, plant some bee friendly flowers. The bees really need our help, and we need them too, without them we can’t grow much food. I found this article that shows what grocery store would look like if there were no bees. It’s shocking! Here’s a bee poster my sister sent me. It’s a very true statement!
The rest of this post will be pictures of the process, from pick up to getting them in the hive. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
What do you think, am I crazy? Would you consider doing this yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts.