July 7, 2013

we got bees!

2013.07_we got bees
After giving up all hope of getting honeybees this season, we were able to get a colony from Five Fridges Farm. This colony had been removed from a (human) structure by a humane bee removal company. Because they had already been established and were forcibly removed, as opposed to a captured swarm, they are stressed and it is less likely that they will survive or stick around in our hive. We tried to make our hive as appealing as possible by sewing some old comb to one of the top bars and putting some lemongrass essential oil (mimics the queen pheromone) on the inside.

Doing the swarm pour:

Inspecting the hive the next morning:

For the first few days, there was a lot of activity outside the hive, with maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the colony clustering on the outside of the hive:
bees bearding on outside of hive

I was worried that this was a sign they were getting ready to swarm–possibly leaving with a second queen. After four days, the cluster on the outside was gone, and I was able to see some fresh comb through the observation window–a good sign that the bees have decided to stay!
new comb

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