Expanding the hives!

  The girls are bringing home the pollen!

  They’ve really drawn out a lot of honeycomb in just two days!  Some cells are filled with nectar.

  Oblio checking out the bees while Julia relocates the feeder to the new box.

  Dawn and Julia both moving frames of writhing bees!

  Julia rearranging bee frames.

 Day’s work completed!

Today Julia and completed our first tasks since bringing the bees home:  checking to make sure Queen Jaime was out of her box, and preparing Queen Shura to be freed into her box.  To free the queens, we removed the cork at the end of her box and quickly replaced it with a marshmallow.  Then the boxed queen goes back into the hive, and within a day or so, she and the workers will eat through the marshmallow and the queen will be free in the hive.  You can’t just release them when you first bring them home, as the queens were from different hives, so the bees  need time to get to know them first.  We also added one more box to each hive, making more room for the bees to draw comb on.
The bees have definitely been out working today.  I watched them bringing home pollen all day long, and they’ve clearly been busy drawing comb.  It’s so cool to watch them build out their new home!

Now we leave them alone until next week, when we will check to make sure the new queens are still alive in the hives and laying eggs.

3 thoughts on “Expanding the hives!

  1. Lots of beekeepers say you’re less likely to hurt bees (and thus get stung) if you don’t wear gloves. I definitely felt more nimble and careful in the hive without them. Currently the number in the hives is pretty small (the colonies will hopefully be four times this size soon); maybe when the boxes are more full I’ll be intimidated into gloves. We’ll see. I haven’t been stung yet so I could change my tune.

    Julia got stung today, through her glove, so go figure.
    (I kind of feel like she got initiated, and I missed out…I’m sure my turn will come though.)

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  2. Lots of beekeepers feel they get stung less when they don’t wear gloves, as you’re more likey to hurt a bee (and thus get stung) if you can’t feel what you’re doing and your fingers are clunky. I felt more nimble in there without them, and I didn’t get stung. Julia was wearing gloves and she actually got stung through them (we figure it was an initiation; I’m waiting for my turn!)

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