Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Bees for Our Hive

I am so excited! Today we received a new swarm of bees to replace the bees that died over the winter. My husband prepared some sugar water this morning as a welcome cocktail for the new bees. The bees will live on the sugar water until they get used to their new home and figure out where to find food. They arrived traveling in the back seet of a pick-up truck. Our friends John and Jane ordered them from a supplier in California. Today John and Jane installed five different swarms all over town - spreading the bee love. We where happy to receive our share of 10,000 new pets.

This time around the queen bee was marked with a blue dot of paint, so we can keep taps on mom at all times. Can you see it in the picture? The queen comes in a small cage. The cage has a hatch that is closed with a piece of cork. Once the bee folks arrive at their new home, the cork is replaced with a piece of marshmallow. The little cage hangs suspended from one of the top bars/slats of the top bar hive. The bee queen remains there until the worker bees chew through the marshmallow plug. After a day or two the bees usually get the job done. Once the queen bee is freed from her little cage, the worker bees will be ready to serve and attend to her majesty. Pretty cool!


I am looking forward to watching our new friends comings and goings. Only a few more weeks till they start collecting pollen - looking like clowns in their big orange yellow pants. =)

6 comments:

CurlyMonkey said...

This is so great! I am actually reading your post with my daughter!

FairiesNest said...

How exciting! We're hoping to get a hive next spring.

Beth said...

I want honeybees, too, some day! love, Beth

woolies said...

how cool! The whole queen bee thing is amazing.

cutelittlething said...

How fun! Who's job is it to count 10,000 bees??? Congrats on your new pets!

germandolls said...

How about names for the bees? 10,000 is quite the challenge! But since the queen bee is marked we will definitely name her. Any suggestions?
If you would like to know what a top bar hive looks like, please read my other posts on bee keeping!