Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Bees, Part 3

Last night Mom of all Trades went down and shook the remainder of the bees into their new hive, and stuffed the entrance with grass to slow any exodus.

Today around 1:30pm I went down to check on them. I called MoaT as I walked down so I could give her a blow by blow of the activity. At first there were about 2 dozen bees flying around the hive. As we talked and I looked around the hive I noticed there were more bees flying around. So I planted my bottom on a stump and watched the entrance of the hive.

I saw a chain, one by one, of bees coming out of one corner of the entrance, get its bearings, and then take flight. Then I noticed that the other corner had some bees doing the same thing. Well, that's okay, nothing to worry about, right?

It was then as I was describing to MoaT what was taking place that I thought I saw the queen outside, covered by a few bees. NOT A GOOD SIGN!! I gently moved the bees to get a better look. YUP, THE QUEEN!!

MoaT and I quickly hung up. She to find some screen to make a box/ cage for the queen, and me, to find a temporary container for the queen before she decided to fly off, taking the colony with her.

I found a partially empty orange juice container, you know, the individual sized one. I poured out the contents and hurried outside to the hive. WHEW!! She was still there, and not too hard to find. I scooped her and a few workers into the container and headed back to the house to put on my "bee suit."

MoaT arrived with screen, and 2 girls who, for some unknown reason, love to eat my apples!! There's nothing special about my apples, but for some reason that's what they want to eat when they come over.

Anyhoo, I found a little plastic container and cut out 2 sides, while MoaT cut screen to fit and taped it on. We were in business!! MoaT dumped the bees into the container and closed it shut, and attached some twine to secure it to one of the frames. I mentioned that they had no honey, and perhaps they were hungry. Maybe that was why the queen was out. No food and time to find another place to build a hive. So we found a container lid and poured honey into it.

We then skidaddled down to the hive and removed the top box with lid. We decided to clean out most of the comb we had gotten from the original hive and trash it, along with the brood combs. They had not been attended to, and were probably dead. We then secured the queen in the middle of the frames and placed the lid on top. MoaT slid the honey into the entrance of the hive.

WHAT A SIGHT!! They were all over themselves trying to get to the honey. It was gone in no time. While we watched them we decided it might be a good idea to feed them some more. We found ourselves headed back up to the house again in search for a couple more lids and a container to carry the honey in.

WE HAD A FEEDING FRENZY!! Not only did they climb into the lids, but into the container that held the honey. They ate so much that some could hardly fly. It was really interesting to watch. And watch we did for about 30 minutes. While there we observed 3 wasps, that we killed. The wasps would kill some of the bees and rob honey from them.

We'll check on them tonight. Maybe I'll get my container back. Certain my family would appreciate it since its the one used to serve syrup in when we have pancakes or waffles.

How fortunate we were that someone just happened to be there when the queen came out. And even more fortunate that we were able to capture her. We will probably need to mark her with some paint so she will be easily recognizable from the rest. But we'll do that when we're certain the bees are accepting the new hive as home and begin making comb.

Again, the bees were really docile. We even petted a few! Yes, petted.

Here's a picture of Her Magesty and our brilliant queen cage:


Can you tell which one she is?

Here is what we found when we brought her back down to the hive. From a few flying about to this in luck Taximom actually saw her walk out of the hive!


To be else am I going to post with regularity and consistency?

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