Monday, April 16, 2012

installing the bees

Young Frank carrying one of the Arataki Tubes. Each tube was filled with 2.2 pounds of bees and one queen.

Storing the tubes in an upright position, until we can stall them later tonight.

The husband and I are prying/pulling the staples out  of the white plastic ventilated cup. I hated wearing the protective veil. It is attached to my jacket. I felt claustrophobic in it! Frank made sure he was duct taped around his gloves. He was paranoid of being stung. Yet young Frank was taking the pictures, and he had no protective gear, and he got right in there. He was helping me pulling staples, and he was even picking bees up with his bare fingers, to place them inside the hive, so they wouldn't freeze!

We discovered, before we went outside that one of those simple little office supplies, a staple puller (or whatever the proper name of it is) worked the best for removing the staples.

The queen is in her own separate wooden box, which is stapled to this green 'ribbon'. After we pulled the staples out from around the edge of the tube, and from the green ribbon, we tapped the tube hard against the wooden pallets, to knock the bees to the bottom. Frank gently worked the white 'cap' from the tube, so we could pull the ribbon out of the tube.

Here I was prying out the tiny little cork. That dark object is the queen. She isn't marked, so she might be fun to find in a few days amongst the bees. I was trying to find out from bee blogs and forums, and groups what I was suppose to replace the cork with. I end up using a piece of a tiny marshmallow.

Here is a better shot of the queen in her box, that is stapled to the ribbon.

After I 're-corked' the queen with a marshmallow, I set her on the bottom of the hive, with the screen side up. We then dumped the rest of the bees on top of the queen. 

I gently replaced the two frames on top of the bees. Before we even installed the bees, Frank and I filled all the frame feeders with a sugar syrup. I did 1:1 ratio. 1 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar.

I placed a pollen patty on top of the frames on every hive.

Replacing the inside cover.

All three hives done. 

We did one hive at a time. We only brought one tube outside at a time. We installed the bees at 8pm tonight. You may have noticed that the hives had been moved prior to the hiving of the bees. Over the weekend, we received over a foot of snow, and the temperatures dropped down to minus 13 Celsius. Frank thought the bees would be better protected up against the house. This is the East side, and it melts faster on this side. Once the overnight temperature gets closer to being around 0, we will move the hives out from the house.

Frank loosely put insulation around the hives to help keep them warm tonight. The weather guy was calling for overnight temperatures around -12 Celsius. We also blocked the entrance hole so the bees couldn't leave the hive.

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  1. I'm so excited for you and can't wait to read about your progress!

  2. That's pretty cool mom. I think it's hilarious that dad made sure he was well protected from the bees. I think Frank has no fear when it comes to them, I'll never forget that night at the old farm,when he got stung in the gut and dropped to the ground yelling " I've been hit "lol

  3. I forgot about that!!! He is such a character!!