My first adventure with the Bees!
I suited up, and jumped on the back of the 4 wheeler.
We had 6 hives to inspect. During the inspection, we are looking for a healthy queen. I spotted this lovely royal lady first. It’s easy to get lost in all the activity going on with the bees on that frame. She is unpainted, a wild queen if you will, that came with the swarm that Cousin Ross captured last week.
The bees were really very productive. The white comb at the top is capped honey. They were filling up the rest of the frame with brood. So our Lady is doing her job.
I really thought that I would be nervous of the sound, all that buzzing. What was fascinating to me….how calm and organized they were in this hive. They were not freaked out by us at all. They just took care of business like we weren’t there. Their buzzing was low, and very calming. It made you want to speak in hushed tones, like at church.
We moved down the highway to the next patch of land that Ross had put a wild swarm.
This swarm was in big trouble, no queen, very disorganized, and the buzz was angry, stressed, and at a higher volume. For such a large swarm, they were not productive in the least. This swarm had some serious guard bees. They stalked us all the way back to the truck, and would not leave alone. So we called some experienced bee folks and confirmed our suspicions that this hive probably didn’t have a queen, and what we could do with the groups we had to introduce a queen pronto, so that the hive would survive.
Ross decided to combine a small hive with a queen into this group. The smaller hive was much calmer. In order to accomplish this fete, we needed some supplies. We got some newspaper and made a ‘barrier’ between the two boxes that could be broken down over a few days. Ross poked some small holes so that the angry bees could get used to the new queen’s pheromones and not attack and kill her. Over the course of the next few days, they will break through the paper, and hopefully accept the new group. We’ll go back and check on them next week.
My adventures in learning about bees, bee keeping, and spotting queens. It was a remarkable day.
I’m so grateful to get to learn something new, be outside, and watch nature do her thing.