The day has finally arrived. After months of preparation, it’s bee day!
We drove out to Bedillion Farm to pickup our first ever package of bees.
Thankfully, family was available to watch the kids, because there were some stragglers that hung around outside the package and were flying around the backseat on the way home.
Even after we removed the package from the car, the little guys stayed with the rest of the hive.
Want to know what a package of bees sounds like? Play the video below…
That’s a lot of wings flapping. The buzzing can be a bit intense when you first hear it, but after a while it’s almost calming.
Time to crack that thing open…
Once you remove the lid you’ll find a metal can that contains a sugar water mixture inside. The bees use this to sustain themselves while in the package. First step it to remove it.
After the can is removed, you can pull out the queen bee herself…
See that box? Yep, she’s in there. Not just her, but some attendant bees as well.
Sidebar: What?! Not only were the great people at Bedillion able to capture the queen, but they were also able to locate the “attendant bees” and get them in there as well? Seriously?! We’ve got a lot to learn.
This is also a good time for the disclaimer: This is our first time with honeybees, so please don’t take what we did as gospel. While we’ve taken classes, read books, and watched other people do it, that doesn’t mean that what we’re doing is 100% correct. We’re simply doing what we’ve been told and are hoping for the best.
Once we removed the cork from the queens cage and positioned it between some frames, it was time for the REAL fun to begin.
Susan quickly gave the bees a gentle spray of sugar water. This keeps them from flying around too much and makes them focus on cleaning themselves rather than attacking the beekeeper (or the camera man).
After that, just pour them on in…
That might be one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen in my 32 years on this earth.
Now it’s time to feed them. Since it’s still early spring, there aren’t many flowers that have blossomed enough to provide nectar and pollen for the bees to survive. Therefore, we need to feed them for a while using a sugar-water mixture in a pail. You just flip the pail upside down and the bees come and drink droplets off of the bottom.
After that, all that’s left was to put an empty super around the pail, put the lid on the hive, and call it a day.
After less than an hour, all of the bees that were flying around the hive had found there way in and were settling into their new home.
The entire process was surprisingly far more simple and less stressful than we originally thought (it was most likely more stressful for the bees than it was for us).
We’ll keep an eye on them for the next few days. Apparently they can go through the sugar water REALLY quickly, so we’ll need to keep that stocked.
Lots more coming. We’re in the process of building a shed that we can use to house the bee equipment, so we’ll likely share that process as well. And in a few months we’re supposed to get our SECOND hive, which will be a nucleus rather than a package. Not sure what the difference is? Hang around to find out!