Sunday, May 16, 2010

INSTALLING TWO NEW COLONIES IN TOP BAR HIVES


 I designed and built two modified top bar hives.  Meanwhile, two colonies arrived via the mail.  


Too bad some things went awry.  First, when the bee supplier called to say they were behind on shipping, I said "fine," not knowing they already had the bees packed, but they just sat there in the Georgia warehouse.  When the bees arrived, their was no more food, the bees were badly stressed, and I am not sure one of the queens survived.  


Then, despite request the post office call me when the bees came in, I arrived home to discover the bees had been waiting all day without food.


So we rushed the hives out to the yard and installed the bees.  Same as last year's installation of a new colony...first move the queen's chamber to the new hive, then shake the livin daylights out of the bees in the inverted shipping box.  Oddly, I still did not get stung this year even though I shook and banged on their shipping box.


Let's hope these ladies thrive in their new forest home.


Lee's Bee's at www.Leez.Bz

BEE CLOSE UPS

Honey bees get a bad rap.  Most barefoot and front-porch stings are from those mean and nasty wasps.  Honey bees are fuzzy-cuddly folks.  They go out of their way to avoid conflicts.  


Honey bees are also beautiful, delicate, interesting, and extremely well-engineered.  See the long, flexible tongue-like proboscus on one lady, used for collecting nectar and pollen.  See the backward-facing toe claw on the front foot, and the opposing front-facing claw on the middle foot?  And there appears to be two claws on the real leg.  And those EYES!   All the better to find stuff with, I guess.  If you click on any of these photo's they show in much more detail.


Any how, enjoy the fuzzy little girls.  By the way, these models were from two colonies we installed just yesterday.  See the next post about that story.


Lee's Bee's at www.Leez.Bz

Sunday, May 9, 2010

OPEN HIVE MAY 9, 2010


Opened the hive today for spring inspection.  Here is what we saw.  Notice the lady laden with ample pollen.