After dropping Quincy off at preschool this morning, Gabe and I drove to Fishersville's Valley Bee Supply Store to pick up our pre-ordered bees. It was a zoo when we got there as they had at least 100 3# bee packages ready for pick up that day. They are all Italian honey bees bred in Georgia that had been driven up last night from Georgia.
I took a ton of videos today with the intention of editing them all together, but iMovie has crashed on me and to be honest...editing is hard! I promise to deliver at some point.
The install was pretty straightforward. I'm a total neophyte/newbie/amateur so if a proper beekeeper is reading this, please forgive me.
We are just starting with one hive this year so we can learn about the bees and the time commitment. We are using the "controversial" Flow Hive. If you want to see a lot of wasted energy explode, google "Flow Hive." Again, we are new but from our perspective it was worth the experiment. We are taking this seriously and will do our best to be good stewards/beekeepers.
After spraying the bees with sugar water and letting them settle for half an hour while we set up the hive in the desired location, I got in my getup and walked them through the future orchard field to their new home.
Then I smoked them to further soothe them and confuse the alarm pheromones they release when someone is messing with them.
I chose to put the package directly into the hive which meant taking out 4 of the frames so the package would fit inside. I then wedged the queen cage, candy cork side up, so the bees could get familiar with their Queen Bee over the next few days. The candy cork keeps the queen separate for an adjustment period so the bees don't reject her out of hand and swarm off.
I released the bees (the scary part) and put the feeder (already filled) on top as well as the Flow Hive A-Frame roof which I think is pretty cute.
Of course I wasn't really messing with the bees much today.
In a week I'll have my first real test. I'll go to remove the package the bees came in from the hive, replace the frames, refill the feeder, and to search for the queen to verify she was accepted.