Category: Beekeeping

Too cloudy for bees

by Jorge

For the record, seventy degrees is too warm to have a two pound package totally blocked up. The bees were more than ready to have some fresh air at those temperatures. I had partially unblocked the entrance before I opened the lids, otherwise a lot more bees would have wound up in the air. I sprayed them with syrup again to keep more of them down on the frames.

I also have the distinction of my first accidental queen murder. I rapped a queen cage on the top of bare frames to knock the bees off. Guess who walked underneath the cage as it struck wood? Goodbye queenie.

Speaking of questionable maneuvers, we got the flatbed unstuck yesterday afternoon. We hauled the Swinger over to pull it out, and one of the newish trailer tires went flat as soon as we arrived. Just a lucky streak? Now I must admit that I forgot to take the camera for a picture of the sunken truck, but I'll make up with a couple of package bee pictures.

Now it looks like a rainy day, so I'm off to organize some boxes for splitting when it turns dry again.

Package bee delight

by Jorge

At 6:00 Sunday morning six hundred packages from California arrived at our place. Half the garage was filled with cages. A couple of days later the bees are all at their respective homes and the garage sits empty. The neighbors stopped to ask why so much traffic flowed into our driveway :) They came back with a camera to capture the bee garage for posterity.

I spent yesterday shaking our fifty packages in heavy wind. I thought it might go a lot worse, but the bees went into the hive bodies instead of the air. This was our first experience with 4lb packages containing two queens. I used a garden sprayer to wet them with diluted syrup and did my best to get two pounds of bees into each hive. It seemed to go quicker with two packages of bees held in one box--fewer parts to handle in the course of shaking. I always fear that the packages won't like their new home and end up hanging in the trees, but I kept them out of the air with enough syrup to keep them from flying during installation. The only downside to my experience yesterday involved shaking until dusk, and that meant the occasional loose bee stopped flying and started crawling into all the openings in my clothing. Ouch. Today I'm going out to unblock the entrances and release the queens.

The other project for the day? Free the flatbed before the rains return to night. We shall see.

Six tires down

by Jorge

We are now in day 4 of the flatbed sinking into the mud twenty miles from home. Twenty-five yards from the line of hives the tires started to spin, so I backed around to face downhill. The plan was to go do my work and have an easy escape, but instead the hillside sucked the truck into the ground. Two-wheel drive truck no move. Now we shall see how many dry days we need to pull it out. In the meanwhile, everything gets transported in the less convenient half-ton hauler.... I'll try to remember to take a picture before we pull it out--it's a candidate for one of those things to laugh about later.

Jorge's truck is stuck!

by Alex

:no:Truck no move.....

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