Chad's mom ordered him new bees for his impending birthday (it's the big 3-0. Don't tell him I told you.) They were delivered bright and early Saturday morning but it was too cold on Saturday preceding bad overnight storm so we waited until this morning.
We hope that these two new hives will stick around and be successful after we lost both of our hives this past year.
St. Elmo Sweetness lives on, fingers crossed.
When you order bees, this is how they come to you. The queen is inside that large clump in a little cage of her own.
Under that thin piece of wood at the top is a can of thick sugar syrup with two tiny holes punched it in. They eat this in transit and until you get them in their hive.
P.S. these bees are in my guest room at the time this photo was taken. Too cold overnight to leave them exposed so we brought them in the house. The cat was painfully curious so we had to keep the door closed, which she did NOT appreciate.
Here is Chad taking the can of syrup out of the top so he can get to the queen cage.
Putting the queen cage in the hive body - it has other bees on it.
The queen cage is plugged with a sugar paste of sorts. The bees will eat through the sugar and release her once they are all in the hive together.
This is the crazy part...you spray the bees down with water (when their wings are wet, they don't fly) and then literally shake/pour them into the hive. You can see the pile of bees spilling into the hive in that photo.
Here you can see that the transport container is much emptier - only a few bees left.
Putting the inner cover on...
Putting the outer cover/lid on...
Chad did get stung once on this round because a bee got stuck in his shirt near his armpit. Other than that, all went well.
For the second round, we had a friend come over and help who is interested in getting bees of his own. Chad was teaching/showing and then let M do his thing...
we had to wait 30+ minutes before putting these bees in their hive but we ended up waiting about an hour for M and his sweet wife, K, to get out of church. It was really perfect timing and worked out really well.
M dumping the bees into the hive while Chad keeps them sprayed. I am sure that 2 sets of hands would be optimal for this entire process but I am too much of a pansy to participate. Either way, it was nice to have M here to use his bravery and help Chad with the second hive.
Inner cover placement...
Bee discussions...brave dudes.
Two new hives!
Crossing our fingers that we get many years out of these girls.