Friday, June 5, 2009

Bees Arrivals

Spring is the time for BEEKEEPING. I love bees. They are very industrious, bring pleasure to their watchers, pollination to gardens near our home and if we are lucky honey next spring. I had bees last year but they did not survive this past winter. They made it all the way through to early spring but succumbed to a dampness issue. Since then I have taken a Beekeeping class at the extension and feel more prepared to provide my bees with a safe and comfortable hive to over winter in. Just before the bees were to arrive we made a trip to Swan's Honey in Albion, Maine to pick up the deep supers, frames, wax foundation tops, bottom boards, bucket feeders, etc....... When we got home I had this.

I had put together frames and hives last year so this was not a daunting task. It is actually pleasurable to assemble the equipment.

The frames fit perfectly and they looked square. The books always say this is a task for January. Ok, I do have a tendency to procrastinate a bit. It was the end of May.

Then we took the equipment out in the sun to give a good coat of paint for protection.

The bee yard is about an acre away and I didn't want to drag all the equipment in several trips. This wagon is perfect. All loaded and ready to go.

I took everything out the night before and assembled it in place. We went to pick up the bees early Saturday morning. It was cool and they were quiet. I set the nucs on top of the hives and opened the entrance so the bees could fly during the day. I made a mixture of 1 1/2 part sugar to 1 part water and poured it into the bucket feeders after it cooled. Late that afternoon I suited up and lit my smoker and took off to visit the bees. They are Carnolian bees, mild and non aggressive girls.

I transferred the 5 frames from the nucleus colony into the center of the super (bottom box) in the same orientation that they were in when I brought them home. I then placed 3 frames on one side and 2 frames on the other in effect sandwiching the nuc frames. They were very active, checking out the new digs. I had to make some corrections to the hive with shims to help level the front of the hive slightly down to allow moisture to travel out the front rather than seep to the back to become a problem.

The next day was bright and sunny. The girls were out and about busy with their building and collecting.

Welcome to the new arrivals. They made themselves right at home. Now the flowers are complete.

This is Izzy our no tailed cat. The Vet said that she was born that way and has a sort of spina bifida syndrome. She has a problem with renal crystals necessitating a switch to urinary tract formula for all of our cats. Now she is healthy and happy. She is a foundling that was dropped off at a neighbors house. She has become part of our family. She loves to wander the fields with me taking pictures. Here she is in her jungle cat pose. This Sunday is the last class in beekeeping. We will meet in Bucksport Maine in a bee yard to take a hands on view of bees. Hopefully I will be able to locate a queen. I have yet been able to find her on my frames. Wish me luck. Have a wonderful day, much love and best wishes from Mainely Ewes Farm. Oh, we have a big, huge surprise coming Monday.
Kelly

2 comments:

Lisa T. said...

I've been following your blog for a while and when I started reading today's post I thought how nice that you have bees. THEN I kept reading and realized that we were at the same class at the extension this spring! What a small world. I sat down front (I get easily distracted). I'm not able to go to the field day, but hope you have a lovely day and learn lots!

Smiles,
Lisa

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Congrats on the bees! We had 6 hives - but lost them about 1 1/2 years ago. We plan to start again. They are wonderful little things and I just loved mine to pieces. I'm happy you've gotten started with them.

BEE HAPPY ;-)
Penny