Wednesday, April 02, 2008
The Bees Are In the Hive
Michael got home in time yesterday evening to put the bees in the new hive. According to him, there were not many that died. There was still a lot of sugar water left in their can so I guess they are capable of staying in the box longer than a week.
When a package of bees arrive, they are in a wooden box covered with screen. Within the box is a can full of sugar water. The Queen Bee is packaged separate in a small screened box within the larger box. She must remain with the hive, but separate until the other bees are use to her. When the bees are added to the hive, the queen remains in her box. Michael removes a cork that exposes a piece of hard candy. The worker bees will take a few days to eat the candy in order to release the Queen Bee. This gives everybody time to get use to the queen so that they will accept her and not kill her. In a few weeks, Michael will check the hive to make sure the queen is alive and well. If eggs have been laid, then you know the queen is doing her job. If there is no brood, then you may have a problem. A hive cannot survive without a queen. It pays to check on the queen. If she isn't there for whatever reason, a new queen can be purchased. Again she will come in a small screened container that is plugged with a piece of hard candy. The process begins anew. To learn more about bees and bee keeping, you can purchase a copy of The Hive and the Honey Bee. We call it the Bee Bible. It is a large book that answers just about every bee question known to man
With the addition of this new hive, we have a total of three hives. We know that one of our hives is strong and the other appears to be weak. I find it amazing that one of our hives is calm and the other hive is always looking for a fight. As spring continues to unfold, we will watch the hives to see if they are functioning properly. I pray that this year the weather will cooperate and we will get honey. We are down to our last 2 quarts of honey. I am ready for a fresh batch!
grace and peace,