Installing bees

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Stephen went and picked up a 3-pound package of bees today. From what we’ve read, a three pound package contains between 10,000 and 12,000 bees. It was absolutely fascinating to watch him install the bees into the hive.

This first video is of the bees in the box. It was really windy, so you really can’t hear their buzzing as well as I would’ve liked. They were so neat to watch though! You could even touch the screen with your bare fingers and not get stung.

The little white piece in front is the queen cage. There’s a piece of candy stuck in one end – the workers will eat away the candy to release the queen inside the hive.

A closer look at the queen’s cage

The queen’s cage, attached to a frame of built comb

Doublechecking his bee suit

Removing the wood strips that hold the screen on the box

A closer look

Opening the screen

Dumping the bees into the hive

Stephen tapping the box to get the last of the bees out. What looks like static is actually bees flying around. At this point, there were bees absolutely everywhere.

Checking to see how many bees are left in the box

One of these days, I’d like to get closer to get some macro shots. Right now though, we only have one bee suit, and I’m too chicken to get too close without one. I’ve already had the bee-up-the-skirt experience once, and it isn’t pleasant, lol. I’d like to avoid that again, if possible.

The whole process was really fascinating. I never thought I’d get this interested in beekeeping!

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4 thoughts on “Installing bees”

  1. There are a lot of places where you can buy them. At this time of year though, many are sold out already. Stephen had to drive 2 hours to go pick up a package (1 hive’s worth) because the only place we could get them was pickup only.

    A good place to look for general information would be the forums.

    Stephen sent me this link for bee suppliers. He says the best thing is to look locally for a supplier. Around here though, everyone was pretty much out.

    Hope that helps some!

  2. Great pictures. Where do you buy bees? I would love to keep some bees. My grandfather did but I never paid much attention. While we were in California this winter, I learned that beekeepers from the East come out and place their hives in the almond orchards of the San Joaquin valley. I would like to be in the bee business and travel with my hives.

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