Meet Mr. White and Mr. Pink. These are nucleus hives, called “nucs“, and they are crowded with four frames each of bees, drones, and their queen. We brought the nucs home from Skowhegan on Wednesday night but the transfer has to be done on a sunny afternoon while the bees are flying and this is our first good day since then. Fortunately, I work for an organization willing to let me off on a weekday afternoon for a bee emergency.
I always wear full suit when I’m going to be deep in the hives, but I prefer to work bare-handed. I was stung on the pinkie in the first 30 seconds, so went and got my church gloves on. The frames were full and made the transfer nicely. One nuc had a few supercedure cells, which I knocked off with my hive tool. Now I just hope they settle in and we can avoid a swarm.
These photos don’t really show the cloud of bees in the air – which is something you really notice while you’re working with them. The sound of thousands of bees, the smell of wax and honey, the warmth they give off in the hive, the simple energy and industry of the hive; none of it translates well to media. On the bright side – neither does getting stung.