First bee post of 2009

box o' bees

box o' bees

Received today at 7:00 a.m., 3 pounds of bees and a Buckfast queen from R. Weaver Apiaries. There were very few casualties in the box, esp. considering they shipped Monday from Texas and hit a nation-wide frost day on Tuesday, followed by a heat wave yesterday. They were easy to hive; very friendly and more than ready to exchange their screened porch for a real hive. I emptied the box over the open frames, added the feeder and a gallon of spring-weight syrup, covered everything up and went inside to have a cup of tea and let them settle before I went to work. Twenty minutes later there were already guard bees checking me out when I walked in front of the hive. Tonight they seem active, but not panicked. I’ve seen them on the pear and cherry trees in the front yard – both in full blossom – and also zooming into the swamp where there is still plenty of nice, brackish water in sheltered nooks and crannies. The Brunswick Tea, peaches, flowering sedge and sambucus are all ready to flower – this is a good week to be a bee new to the neighborhood.

New colony on Pierco frames with drawn comb from last season.

New colony on Pierco frames with drawn comb from last season.

Pierco frames have been very easy to work with. They’re constructed in one piece of food grade plastic dipped in beeswax. So far, the bees like them just fine, and I like not having to worry about my wax sheets and wire coming loose after the harvest.

Both hives: "Two Bee" and "Not Two".

Both hives: "Two Bee" and "Not Two".

Looking up the hill from the Great Swamp. (I’m not kidding – that’s what it’s called on a map. You could look it up.) The discarded box is at the foot of “Two Bee”, waiting for the last stragglers to give it up and move on.

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