Bees in boxes

Co-worker Carl meets the BeeWeaver bees that were delivered to the office at noon today. The UPS driver was funny; “You want these inside the office? Really?”. It was pouring rain out there so yes, he brought them into the conference room for everyone to admire.

bee box

The bees did very well in transit considering the long haul from Texas in the rain. I sprayed them lightly with sugar syrup and HoneyBHealthy and loaded them into the car for the trip to the island.

There was an hour’s respite from pouring rain and dropping temperatures at around three this afternoon. (I work for a very understanding organization that’s all about flexible time off for agricultural crisis so I was home for a day.) I’ve been cleaning equipment and stockpiling sugar syrup for a few days now so was all ready to load up the smoker and hives some bees.

hives

Where I ran into my first problem: what to do when the boxes are fastened together for ease of shipping? I tried levering them apart, but there are 3 deeply sunk staples in each of those cross pieces. I finally just opened one box and a time and emptied them into the hive as I would normally. It worked out fine – I think the bees were happy to have a warm dark place to dive into to – but I don’t know as it was the most elegant solution. Are you supposed to use a saw?

Almost everyone was in their new home by four o’clock. Now it’s 39 degrees F with a possible low of 25 and wind chill to 16 so I’ve tacked a skirt of insulation around  the hives to cut down on the air circulation around the screened bottom board. I checked on them a few minutes ago and can still hear the cluster loud and clear inside the hive, with very few bees lingering outdoors. The top feeders are full of sugar syrup and they’re as protected as I can make them.

active hives

And there will be peach tree blossoms to find tomorrow.

red haven peach

 

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