It was 88 degrees already when it was in the low 50’s just a couple days ago. Anyway, went to Kelley Bee Company to get my bees and it’s a huge place… a veritable nirvana for beekeepers with all assorted paraphernalia that any apiarist could want. There was a demonstration and as a dutiful blogger, I took pictures of the pros starting a hive but… as I removed the camera from my pants pocket the dial rolled from the “outdoor” setting to a preset lighting profile that I was using to take pictures of pots. It was sunny and I couldn’t see the LCD screen anyway so every one of those pictures turned out to be just a white screen. I have to say that the demonstration was a great refresher on exactly how to set up your hive and it was informative and entertaining to boot. I thought to myself, I’m glad I stayed and watched it (and photographed it) because I’m getting ready to do the same thing when I arrive at home. Here’s a pic (before I switched the camera’s settings) of our arrival though… yippee!
After arriving home and getting ready to put the bees in the hive, I was searching around in the grass for my trusty beekeeping prybar tool (which I never found) and Sofia stuck her finger into the little bee carrying container (shown below) and was stung. All hell broke lose after that and it was about an hour and a half of fretting on my part and crying and screaming on her part before things returned to “normal”.
So onward and upward, I go and put the queen in the hive and dump the swarm in after that. When most of them were resting on the hive, I took these shots…
The best thing about the trip was I got to describe the demise of last year’s bees to the old timers there at Kelley Bees and decide from their solidarity on certain answers to my questions what is mostly likely what happened and maybe steps I can take to avoid it this year. The consensus was starvation and I at least have a plan that I can execute this fall to attempt to prevent it from happening again. In a couple days I will open the hive, see if the queen has been released from her little cell and is present and then stack the remaining hive and super on top of the one the bees already occupy.