Monday, April 23, 2012

Oh, Honeybees…

What have you done now?


Spring hit about a month early here in the Midwest.

The bees received the memo on that.

We did not.

Saturday afternoon I went over to feed the bees. I spied something unusual in a tree overhead the hive. Yup, it was that SOMEthing you see in the picture above.


It appears our good bees in the original hive had decided to make a split. And, without the assistance of their beekeepers. The nerve…! (go ahead and say it… ‘you snooze.. you lose’!)

A split is formed from the hive when things get a little overcrowded. A portion of the colony splits off, and begins to swarm. Certain other conditions figure in also. Normally, swarming doesn’t begin quite so early in the year. And there are things a beekeeper can do to prevent such things (including observation within the hive, and attempting to do the split themselves), but…

That’s okay. Mr. W and I needed a plan for a fun Saturday evening date. Why not capture some honeybees?!?!  I’m just thankful I happened over to the bee yard before they departed the scene. Forever!

Here’s a video of our adventures to save the bees. If you reallllly love bees and are interested in this, you may want to watch the entire 10 minutes. Otherwise, maybe just snippets. Also I have to note that it’s a bit of a challenge to video while donning a bee veil. Therefore, I am sorry for some video hiccups and ground footage!

Hopefully, the Queen was saved, and this new hive will thrive!

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, we went as scheduled to pick up our package bees from Walk-about Acres the following day.

I loved their directive signs :)bee sign

One of these buzzing packages was ours!pallet o bees

It was chilly, in the 50’s.. but as soon as we returned home, we proceeded to install the Minnesota Hygienic bees and the Queen (in cage) in a new box. I’ll keep you posted on how they do.



In a day or so, the Queen should eat her way out of her cage. The candy cork was removed and a mini-marshmallow was stuffed in. This was a trick we learned at the Beekeeping Workshop earlier this year. This delay will prevent the other bees from killing her (if she releases too soon).

Did I mention Mr. W built several brood boxes and supers late in the Winter? Thank Goodness.. looks like we’ll be using them all up at this rate! He did a GREAT job, by the way. They even have the recessed hand holds. I have to brag on him!

Now we officially have three hives. Exciting!

The bees have some nice pastoral scenery surrounding them. This is the pond that serves as a backdrop to the Bee Yard. pond

Did I also mention this is our 200th blog post? Wow, as slow as I’ve become at blogging, I thought I’d never make it to this point. Never say never! In honor of the 200th post we’re preparing for maybe a little somethin’ special in the near future.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!!

Linking up @ Homestead Revival’s 59th Barn Hop!

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