Honeychick Homestead

Homestead, Health, and Happiness

Zinnia is here!


My newest colony of bees arrived a few weeks ago and so far everything is going great! I had my handy, dandy assistant (husband), take some pictures of me installing this package and I’ll share them later in this post.

This year, I got my bee package from Mountain Feed because I’ve been very happy with the nuc I got from them last spring. This package of bees are the carnelion breed and I chose them because they are known for their disease resistance and gentleness. This breed is more likely to swarm if the run out of room but I’m not worried because I plan on giving them plenty of space to grow! You can read more about the different bee breeds and their qualities here.

The month of May has been unseasonable cool and it seems we’ve had more rain than in January…which honestly is great! Thankfully, the weekend I got these sweet bees, it was warm and not too windy.

This year, I picked put the package all by myself, which is kind of big deal because last year I was SO NERVOUS picking up my bees. I was very calm as I drove home with a box of 12,000 bees in my car!

Another thing I did alone was release the queen. I was still VERY nervous because I didn’t want her to fly away. Probably the most difficult thing was getting the bees surrounding her cage off so I could get her out. They were not happy that I was messing with their queen!  I had several bees buzzing angrily around my head as I focused on carefully getting her out!

Thankfully, I was more prepared with all the tools and things went really smooth. She jumped right into the hive box once I got her out of her cage. I didn’t get pictures of the process this year, but if you want to see me releasing “Lorde” the queen from Verbena hive, click here.

Now onto the cool part, pictures of me shaking 12,000 or so bees into their new home. Enjoy!!

Here I am, carrying them out to their new home

Carrying them to their new home


Slowly and carefully removing the tin can of food.


Ready with a book to cover the hole so they don’t fly away!


Great shot by my “photographer” of some bees that got out when I removed their food.

Here I'm removing the queen cage that was COVERED with bees!

I’m removing the queen cage that was COVERED with bees! Oh and by the way, that’s a good book 🙂


Another shot of the queen cage


I’m trying to gently brush the bees off so I can secure the cage to a frame with a rubber band.


I quickly realized these bees were not going to let me brush them away, so I decided to attempt to secure the rubber band with them there. I had to be very careful to not smash any bees!


Success! They all moved away just enough so I could secure the cage.


Now its time to gently shake the bees into the their new home


One shake but not one bee came out!


Another shake, still no bees!


Finally have six or so gentle shakes a bunch spilled out!

Finally after six or so gentle shakes a bunch spilled out!


I got a decent amount into the boxes but there were still lots of bees left in the package box.


One last shake and then I decided it would be better to let them make their way out on their own.


Another cool shot by my “photographer” 🙂


These were the bees I couldn’t get to come out because I  felt bad shaking them anymore. I put this box on the ground near the entrance and by evening they had all made their way into their new home.

All tucked in!

All finished! It’s a great feeling when things go smoothly!


Looks easy enough, right? I encourage you to consider beekeeping!

3 thoughts on “Zinnia is here!

  1. Good Job Jen….thanks for sharing!!!! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Zinnia is here! | Honeychick Homestead | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  3. Wow- you go girl! Very cool.

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