We had a few emails and blog comments come in from some of our new bee school students who did their first hive installations this passed Saturday. I'd like to share a few...
A QUEEN CAGE MISHAP...
A great big thank you to Tom for his long hual bee trucking to GA! Hope he gets a good nights sleep tonight! My installation was certainly not textbook, but a step or two above the 3 Stooges! I am banking on what Ken said about bees being very resilient! Did anyone else push the cork into the queen cage besides me?!? I am hoping the worker bees can get her out and/or that I have not damaged her....if she appears OK tomorrow I think I am going to have to manually release her from the cage..wish me luck!
ALL WENT WELL FOR LAURA...
Hello Fellow Beekeepers,
Big thank you to Tom for journeying down to Georgia and bringing back all those packages of bees for those us who ordered bees from him! Great job!
It was a very exciting day - now that I've successfully installed my first package of bees into my first hive, I feel like I'm now an Official Beekeeper.
Everything went pretty smoothly, despite my nervousness. The knowledge that there were 10,000 bees in that box (Tom had told me this when I picked up my bees from him), was at the forefront of my mind the whole time.
I too had a little trouble getting the cork out of the Queens's cage and I ended up (very, very carefully!) using a small nail to "scoop" out pieces of the cork until all that was left was the candy plug. Into this candy plug I (once again, very carefully!) put a hole through to the Queen's side of the cage. Then I hung the cage between two frames, just like I'd seen in the last 10 or more YouTube videos that I've been watching for the past few days.
The "Big Moment", that moment when things get REAL and there you are; a box full of 10,000 bees, open and buzzing like mad, arrived and I smoked them once more, took a deep breath and dumped them into the hive! What an exhilarating experience! I couldn't believe I'd actually done it!
There were some stragglers left in the bee-box so, after I fed my bees and put the tops back on, I placed the almost-empty bee-box near the opening of the hive in the hope that they'd find their way into the hive on their own, perhaps being drawn in by the scent of syrup or of the Queen inside.
My daughter videotaped the whole thing. I wanted to have something to remember this special day.
On the way home, we spotted a large black bear roaming around the neighborhood - how funny to have just installed bees and then right after see a bear not 1 mile away. This reminded me that I now have to get going on figuring out how to install a solar-powered electric fence around my hive.
Hope everyone who installed bees for the first time today had a good experience too!
A SPILL AND NO STINGS...
Many, many thanks to Tom for making the trip. I hope you all had successful installations!
I had trouble getting one of the queen cage plugs out (I had two packages and this was the first one). I went back to the house twice in search of a tool to assist with the challenge. In the end, a seam ripper worked the best. The seam ripper (standard tool in most sewing boxes) just plucked the second one out in an instant. My other surprise is that the queens were no where near the size I had imagined they would bee. Also, despite knocking over one of my hive top feeders, including all the 1-1 syrup that was in it, I somehow managed to not even get stung once!
Again, great thanks and appreciation to Tom for the transportation and thanks to the the club for all the guidance. This has been a very exciting day!!
I'd like to thank our newest beekeepers for sharing their experiences here. Does anyone else have an install story to share? Please feel free to share it in the comments section below, or email it to me, and I'll be happy to post it here on our blog. Does anyone have photos to share? Email them in!