Monday, April 14, 2014

Hive Move and Little Beekeeper

Saturday looked like it might some work when Shannon emailed me to let me know that hives I had left a couple of years ago needed to be moved.  She had already moved them when the wound up empty after bees had left.  But when she went to move them again she found "a lot of bees".  In my mind it was a hive move that could take a while.  I got my dolly, gaffers tape, extra tops to close up hives as these were 5 deep hives.  Luckily Shannon said there were only bees in just one of these hives.

I got there and they showed me the hive and I couldn't see a single bee!  I watched and figure that they had left but after a couple of minutes a little bees hovered back into the hive.  It was later in the day so maybe most of them had returned but it was looking better than I hope.  

The other luck was that J was there, a family friend who had some bee experience and wanted to help out.  And Sophia, Shannon's 6 year old daughter wanted to help too.  So now it was a small hive with 2 helpers.  Could be easier.  At first I thought I thought I needed to take the bees home but in the end Shannon and her family decided to keep them and give them a place to live.  We found a new spot right by a window on the side of the house that they could observe them from.  What could be better?!?!

Sophia was a natural and got geared up and dove right in.  She was part of every step.  We pulled the frames out as a group so that the small swarm could stay together.  There were just a few bees but we spotted eggs so the swarm had a chance of making it.  But it would be at least a couple of weeks before there were any new bees.  Sophia quickly claimed the hive as hers, and rightly so.  She even carried a medium box full of frames and placed it onto the hive even though it was a little tricky because it was a little high.  She's going to be the beekeeper for her family!  What a beekeeping super star.  

March Beekeeping Class

Our March class was later in the month due to rain but the rain was very welcome.  We had Reggie there for his first time in a hive.

After watching us open the hive and taking out a couple of frames he did the rest.  What a natural.  We found the bottom box full and the second box empty so we pulled up 2 frames of brood and a couple of honey to make some space.   In the process we saw a decent laying pattern and we even spotted the queen.  Great first day for a new bee.

Just a reminder, these are foundation less frames.  We just push the comb around a little bit to get it straight when it's first being made and they wind up pretty straight.  No starter strips either.