As you may recall, last Saturday we installed our honey bees into their new hives (click to see the previous blog article). We are new beekeepers and so this was the first time we had ever attempted to do such a thing. We had quite an experience with bees buzzing around our heads. The video of the bee install has been uploaded to our YouTube channel, and so it's time to share it with you all.
The video is unedited. That means you get to see exactly how it went for a complete hive install with nothing cut out. Despite a bit of fumbling and a few swear words (sorry about that), we managed to keep our cool. There were numerous moments when we had to improvise. All three of us wore hooded bee jackets and the two of us working with the bees also wore gloves. It was misty out which is why the umbrella shows up in the footage a couple times. We're grateful to our daughter for being brave and filming for us! The video ends before we get to the second hive. The second hive install went much smoother and quicker than the first.
Three days after the install, I went back into the hives and looked to see if the queens managed to get out of their little cages. They did! The miniature marshmallows that were stuffed into the holes of the queen cages were gone (the worker bees and the queens had chewed them away). I didn't see the queens (which is not unusual - I didn't expect to see them) but I did see lots of comb being built inside the hive and thousands of bees in there working. They had used up almost all of their sugar water and so I refilled their feeders. Below are a couple photos taken on Tuesday so you can see the progress the bees have made in their new homes:
In the photo above, you can see the feeder that has sugar water in it. This feeder is inside the hive. The feeder is on the far right side of the photo. It has two holes in it so that bees can go inside to access the sugar water. Inside the hole is a plastic "ladder" that the bees climb down so that they can continue to get to the sugar water as it's being depleted all the way down to the bottom of the feeder. In just three days, they had used up almost all of the sugar water. That's an entire gallon! Needless to say, we will be going through a huge quantity of sugar now that we have bees. I went to Costco yesterday to buy two 25-pound bags of sugar to tide us over for a while.