Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New bees

Yesterday (Sat) I drove up to Saratoga to pick up my nuc (four frames of bees and honey), about 240mi each way.  I brought my own five frame nuc which I made to aide in the later transfer of the bees.  While there, Mike of Johnston bee farm, showed me his operation and his queen production, very fascinating.  He was extremely busy so I left after a short time with bees in tow.  Actually, they were in the back of my pickup.
At one point I stopped to let my dogs run and I could hear the bees were not happy to be on a bumpy road.
We got home around six and I immediately set up to transfer the bees from the nuc to my octagon hive.  I was using an old method of turning the nuc upside down and setting my hives on top, then wait until they begin building comb and the queen moves up.  I will then place the queen excluder between the hives and wait for all to hatch out, then will put in an escape board so they cannot return into the old  nuc.  At that point I will remove the nuc and add another, super under the two others.  Hopefully they will build comb and harvest enough honey for the winter.

All went well with the transfer until I began pulling out the screened slider, oops, I forgot that the bees would be clinging to the screen.  About 100 got out but not one had any aggression so I kept up my work..  I slid open the hive top to let them back in, and removed the screen and shook out the bees and placed it back in place.  By evening they were all back in.

Today.Sun.  The bees are doing fine, in and out of my bee house.  My feeder leaks a little but they are keeping everything clean and tidy.  No aggression so far,  Mike said he has very gentle bees and I believe him.  They did bump me a couple times so I just moved out of their way.  By afternoon they were all out, many flying out on their sorties over the neighbor's yard.  There is a six foot fence so they are quite high by the time they get there.  Can't wait for them to start building comb, then I won't have to worry about swarming.

Bought more bee friendly plants today for the garden.  Let you know how things are progressing.

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