We installed three new hives of bees this morning. We ordered three sets of Italian bees from Apis Hives.
This is really Ethan's gig, but he is away at a job in Glenwood Springs, so I got to step in. I went down to get the bees with Aaron, Sherry and Katy Cure. The camera man from a local news channel seemed interested in Aaron and our large number of bees.
To help the bees feel calm and happy, we spray the boxes with a simple sugar solution (1/2 sugar & 1/2 water)so that the bees can lick it off.
We originally ordered an additional set of bees, but found that the hive that Ethan thought was dead actually had a colony of happy bees. Or at least it was about a week and a half ago. However, it looks like the recent wet snow storm did them in. They had plenty of honey left, but it appears that they froze. We found them huddled together in clumps on the comb. It was really pretty sad.
However, this honey will help the new bees get a faster start.
You begin by removing tapping the box on the ground to drop the bees to the bottom of the box. Then you remove the can of simply syrup that they have been living on since they were packed up and ready to travel.
Then you remove the special box that contains the queen. She has candy in the box with her to keep her fed.
Next you pour the bees into the box. That part is pretty cool. I like the sound they make.
Once the bees are poured into the box you gently replace the missing frames and you carefully place the queen, in her special box, in the center. Then we place the top on it and add the jars of food. We are using gallon jars that are filled with simple syrup to help feed the bees until the flowers begin to bloom. The lids on the jars have about 15-20 small holes drilled out. This allows the bees to lick out the food. I will go back in a day or two and let the queen out of her special box. She is in there for safe keeping while the other bees get their situation figured out.