Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not Easter Bunnies...Easter Bees

Confederate Violets and Bees for Easter time

Finally, I got to pick up my bees! Heartland Honey called and gave me the heads up for a Saturday bee delivery. They come from Northern California, driven by truck to Nebraska, then relayed to the Lawrence/Kansas City area. I left work early on Saturday to collect my new charges.Upon arrival to Heartland honey, I was third in line to gather my two "packages" of bees, really screen boxes with three pounds of live exciting. I kept my windows down during the 45 min. ride home, because there are "cling on bees" that hover over the bees in the boxes. After making a food syrup for the young colonies, of eight pounds of sugar to one gallon of water, I was ready to "install" the bees. First, I sprayed the screen boxes with sugar water to hydrate and calm the bees. knocking the box on my knee with a sharp rap, drops the bees to the bottom of the box, so I could remove their feed can and remove the Queen in her own little box. She is placed in the center of the hive, still in her wire mini cage. For four days, she remains there to saturate the new hive with her hormones and is accepted by the worker bees. After four days, I'll open her cage and let her begin to lay her eggs. When the queen has been placed in the hive, it's time to add the bees! Another rap to my knee knocks the bees down again, to make them more pourable, shaking them over the Queen's position in the hive. After the majority have been shaken in the hive, The hive top feeder is put in place, filled with syrup and carefully closed with the hive cover. The residual bees still in the screen boxes are angled toward the hive entrance to enter on their own. This was done with a full veil, long sleeved shirt and long pants. Did I get stung?? well, yes...but just twice..One bee went up my sleeve-zap..and another got me on the stomach, not bad for six thousand bees!! Something about Spring and Easter make the homecoming that much more special to me. Now, if the Sun would come out, we could be makin' some honey! Hoppy Easter !


  1. Wow! Well, I guess we know now that you aren't allergic to bee stings. Exciting! Buzz buzz.

  2. Hi Brian,
    Very interesting how this bee thing works... I've always been curious about the hives and honey making.

    Popped over from Blotanical. Wanted to say welcome and thanks for faving me over there - you are going to meet so many great gardeners there.

    Love your arrangement in your header, too.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel