Sunday, June 16, 2013

South 40 Community Garden Gets Their Bees

We just had our first beginners beekeeping class at Long Beach Organic's South 40 Community Garden.  The turn out was great with 20 people coming for the two hour class that ran three hours!  See below for the class information.  I brought the swarm from California Heights and they sat on the table while we discussed beekeeping.  Luis discussed the what makes a bee friendly environment and life cycle.



There were a lot of questions and comments, of course, when we got to city codes and misconceptions.  But the real fun started when everyone put on their Honeylove beesuits for the transfer of the swarm to the new hive.



The bees were so sweet, I hadn't even taped up the box.  When we opened the nuc there were two small groups of bees and then I turned the box over to "dump" the bees into the hive.



The interesting part was that they were still in two groups.  We discussed that the bees would be surrounding the queen and we could see some fanning.  It was great was someone in the class (she wasn't really a beginner and already had her own suit) saw the queen in one of the clumps of bees and then we saw a second queen in the other clump!


Can you find the queen?

It made sense and there were definitely two different queens, one a little darker than the other.  We nudged them both between the frames and eventually the rest followed.



It will be very interesting when we do the inspection in a couple of weeks at the second session of our beginners beekeeping class.  I sure hope both queens stay and if not all of them, at least one queen and some workers.

We'll also be setting up monthly mentoring classes so please stay tuned for those dates.  And if you are interested in becoming a member of LongBeach Organic, and want your own plot, check out the website for more information.  There are still plots available and one is near the bees.

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