the girls have arrived

the_girlsTwo bee colonies arrived last night in “nuc” boxes. I hear it isn’t a good idea to move bees once they’ve made their way home inside the hive at night, so I removed the yellow entrance blocker from their boxes and left them to come and go as they please until the next day.

nuc_box

Today I installed them in their new home. The bee provider was kind enough to locate the queens and put them in a queen cage for transport so I could be sure I have a live queen for each hive.

Installation was easy. I put on my bee suit, lit my smoker, smoked around the nuc box a bit, and opened it. Slowly lifting the frames full of bees from the nuc box, I placed them in their new hive in the same order I removed them. Once the frames were all in place, I uncorked the queen cage and let her crawl into the hive. The bees were a little buzzy, which is to be expected, but none seemed really agitated. Most importantly for me, no stings.

yellow_wildflowerI added a top feeder, poured in the bee syrup I made, added the floaters on top of the syrup so the bees can sip without drowning, put on the inner and outer covers, and that’s it.

monkey_flowerAfter installation the girls were flying around the hives rapidly, kicking out their dead, and clustering on the wall behind their hives. Within a couple hours, things calmed down and the forager bees flew away from the hive to find pollen.

This evening I see the foragers returning home legs packed with bright orange and yellow pollen. I was a little concerned they wouldn’t have much to eat this early in the season, so I’m happy to see I have nothing to be worried about.

The bees also quickly found the soaker hoses in the garden for water. I’d provided shallow bowls of water with river rocks for them to land on and drink. It didn’t occur to me that the soaker hoses are a much better solution for fresh, cool water. I’m already smitten with these gals. Smart girls!

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