Thursday, April 22, 2010

House Swarming

The big day..finally we get to take the new members of the
family home. You are probably wondering how the debate
went with Maggie and Mr. B. well he got her off the subject
by asking her advice about whether they should keep the
hive frames two high or go down to one and add the other
next spring. After about 30 minutes of pouring over the
information in their books it was unanimous that one high
is the way to go. Maggie felt pleased that he finally saw
something her way and made a mental note that next spring
the 'great pitch of the hive roof debate' will continue, until
then she will let him think he pulled one over on her (like
all wise women do).

Getting everything all lined up.

This is where we get the yummy honey from.

I had planned on having all the proper terminology for you
as we go along but I am doing this without Mr. B.
We had an EVENT in the middle of the bee transfer process
that made it too late to work on this post last night.
I hear you ask "What EVENT was that?" The eagle pass-
ing by us about a foot and a half off the ground to get our
chickens free ranging in the back (we thought it was late
enough to be safe, after 7:00 pm) What a sight it must of
been, me running through mucky, marshy (rained like a
monsoon yesterday) pasture screaming at the top of my
lungs "eagle, eagle, eagle..." to the dogs that I forgot were
inside of the house because of bees. Then remembering
and running through the front door, dogs on my heels
attempting to get ahead of me out of the back door just
in time to see the eagle trying to take off with one of the
girls, feathers flying, rooster crowing, dogs barking me
screaming...with all of this the eagle got flustered, lost
the grip and the hawk, hawk friends came and took over
and dive bombed and attacked until the eagle left and
went home. The chicken ran into the hedge and stayed
there until bed time....So that is why the lack of proper
terms. So on with the rest of the photos.

Here is the spray bottle with water to get the bees wings wet
so they don't fly off. Some hive tools and sugar water
I made for them of organic raw sugar and water 1 to 1.

The bees in the container that they come in, the queen is
also in there.

I think this is Maggies group for her hive she has adopted.

Almost time to get them out.

Give them a good spraying with water to wet their wings
so they can't take off.

Out comes the can with the sugar water they had on the
trip from California where they pollinated the almond trees.

Oh dear Mr. B., not a bee sting. Yes indeed but no time
for that as the queen needs to be tended to.

Here she is in her little box with the cork in the end. He
takes that out and puts the black plug with the white
center in. The bees will chew at it and get her out. He will
be checking that in 3 days to make sure. She needs to get
out and start laying eggs.

He is placing the queen in right now.
Somehow I lost the picture of the bees going in so that
will be the first one at the top of the in your mind
insert here.

Here are the ones that didn't want to go in with the others
but will find their way in shortly.

See all gone. They are safely inside with their queen.
* To be continued *


Maisey's Attic said...

Lovely to see the whole process, and how it works.
So glad you managed to see the eagle off - can't imagine what it must be like to see one flying overhead -
Look forward to reading more about the bees


Princess and the Pea said...

Oh how exciting! Somehow I missed this post! This is probably a silly question... but do bees who have pollinated almond trees make honey that tastes like almonds? Is that what happens when you get lavender honey?

By the way, I just saw your comment on my blog about textile art... I did textile design at uni. What kind of stuff do you do? x