I'm a Beekeeper Again

By | May 11, 2011

So after many months that felt like years, the bees are starting to come.

The late March package finally showed up on May 4th.  The weather was terrible for a drive to Newport and back, and even worse for hiving a package.  I hived them the next day, Thursday May 5th, here at the house.

I was less than pleased with the weight of the package, only 2.25lbs of bees.  The point’s been made to me by another beek (who I greatly respect) that package weights can be less simply because the bees might be full of food when they’re weighed.  I can live with that, even though it feels like I’m buying a 2×4 at 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.

I opened the hive on Saturday and the queen was out.  She’s very long.  I saw a small patch of eggs.  I opened the hive again on Monday and it looked like one side of a frame was almost completely laid.  I plan to open them tomorrow as they may need another box.  I’m not feeding since I have drawn comb from last year.  I’ve given this package a couple frames of empty comb, a few frames of capped syrup from last year, and a couple completely undrawn frames for them to work.

The late April package from Keeney arrived today.  It was a very nice looking package.  The queen was a bit small, but a solid 3.2 lbs of bees.  They’ve been hived at the alfalfa, and while the installation went quickly, the bees were a bit crazy and flighty.  Saw no real fanning, which made me a bit nervous.  I buttoned them up as quickly as I could and left.  I went back a few hours later and the package was empty with bees coming and going at the entrance, so it seems they’ve moved in.  I hope the queen stays put when she’s released.  Having real comb in the hive during installation seems to be a big plus.

The other three packages, all from Rossman, were shipped today.  The Post Office Annex knows they’re coming and has agreed to call me.  When I called to let them know they didn’t act as if it was a big deal at all, very nice.  I plan to hive one of those packages at the house and two at the alfalfa.

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