Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Honey Bees on Pine Hill

We lost both our hives last year - so today we went and picked up a package of bees to start a new hive.
We're doing a step-by-step to share with Levi's class.  

We met the 'Bee Man' in Moultrie.
Here's the three pound package we're going to take home.
There are about 14 thousand bees in this box!
The box is made of wood & has screen on two sides so the bees can get plenty of fresh air - also in the box is a can of sugar water for the bees to eat until they get to their new home.

He's delivering lots of bees today - there are many more boxes of bees in the back of his truck.  Each box has thousands of worker bees & ONE queen.  The queen has her own special cage inside the box to keep her safe.

Levi putting finishing touches on the top for the hive.
We did some fun colors this year.
You paint the wood of the bee hive to protect it from the weather.

This is the base of the beehive.
The bottom is made of screen so debris & parasites drop out of the hive onto the ground.

On top of the base goes the 'hive body'.  This is where the bees will live.
There are frames inside the hive body.

Checking out the box of bees before they are put into the hive.

I use a screwdriver to pry off the lid.

Once the lid is off you can see the top of the can of sugar water.
It is blocking the entrance to the box.

Pulling the can up & out.
Once the can is out some of the bees will begin to fly out.

The can is out of the way now & here I'm pulling out the queen cage. 

The queen is inside this little cage - though it's hard to see her because other worker bees are clinging to the outside.  They are attracted to her special smell.  A candy plug keeps her from getting out.  Over a few days the workers will eat away at the candy & she will be free.

Here I'm putting the queen cage in the hive.

After a little work, I've got the queen cage secured inside the hive.
Now it's time to dump in the rest of the bees.

This is really the fun part - you turn the box upside down & shake out all those thousands of bees!

Putting all the frames back in the hive.

The hive has an inner lid & outer lid that goes on top.

The yellow cup on the front is a feeder for the bees - they will need sugar water until they can make their own honey.

I put the box in front of the hive so all the remaining bees in the box can crawl out & find their way into the hive with the rest of the bees.


Anonymous said...

This is a very informative set of instructions. I bet his class loves it. Keep up the good work.

Pilgrim said...

I found your blog while searching the Internet for a quote the other day, and have enjoyed watching your farm operation.
A question: years ago, when I was in the produce business in Tennessee, I bought beans, squash, and other summer vegetables from a company headed by Joe McNair and his son-in-law Charles Butler. Since you live near Cairo, where their firm was located, have you heard of them or know them. Just curious?

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Molly Joe Levi Indigo said...

Just found your comment - I haven't heard of these folks. I will ask Joe's grandfather - He's nearly 90 and has lived in Cairo all his life - he'll know!

Pilgrim said...

Their produce operation was actually in Calvary as I recoil. Thanks for checking and congratulations on the new arrival.