Saturday, May 5, 2012

Buzzzzzzzz...they're here.........

The post office called this morning to let me know our bees had arrived!   I grabbed my bottle of sugar water, a dry towel, a wet hand towel and a flashlight.  I am ready.

My instructions were to make sure there were no more than an inch of dead bees and to make sure the queen was alive in both cages.  If I had more than an inch of dead bees or if the queen was dead then I was not to leave the post office without filling out a form so they could be replaced.

Eddie, the post master helped me shake the bee's down so we could get a look at the cages the queens were in.  I'm glad I took the little flashlight as it was needed to see around those thick shadows of bees.  After determining that all was well (there were only a few dead bees...I was really expecting a large amount) , and answering a few questions from curious folks inside the PO I took the bees outside, set them on the tailgate of the truck and gave them a good spraying with the sugar water.  I was amazed how quickly they stopped buzzing and just mellowed out.  I put my dry towel down in the floorboard and set the bees on it for the trip home.  I knew I was going to be a sticky mess so my wet towel was for cleaning my hands. 

When I got home I brought the box inside to show the Marine.  I also needed to take another quick lesson on putting them in the hives.  I knew how excited I would be and just forget everything I have been studying.

Papa Bear and I both suited up to install the bees as I did not want my first experience with the bees to be a painful one. I hope I get comfortable enough to only wear a hood cause that suit was boiling hot at 9am.

I did not take any pictures of us placing the bees in the hives but it went rather well except the first hive.  I forgot to hold onto the tab of the queen cage and dropped her into the bottom of the hive and had to fetch her out.  It was no big deal.

I just went out a few minutes ago and they are still buzzing all around the hive.  I did not suit up...just wanted a picture.  I got within 5 or 6 feet and a few landed on me while I took my picture.  Not one sting today for this rookie....I am happy.  Now we wait 5 days to make sure the other bees have released their new queen into the hives.  We are starting with two hives but already know I want more!


  1. Wonderful news. Did you buy those hives or make em? And what company did the boardman feeders come from?

    I doubt you will need to wait a full five days. I only wait maybe 2 or 3 and if the candy cap is being eaten then I usually go ahead and release the queen myself. If the workers are not balling her cage and trying to sting through it you know they have accepted her.

  2. Hey PP...
    I ordered the two hives which was a package deal including shipping from I got the two complete hives that included 2 deep hive bodies and two honey supers feeders, equipment and bees per hive. I have since ordered some other things from Some things were less expensive here especially the shipping charges as I am closer to Georgia than Illinois. I have since ordered plans from ebay on building my own. I'll see which is cheaper both money and time wise. If I do build any it will be a winter time project as too much stuff is going on now to find any spare time.

    I hope you come back and read this as I have a question that I can't find the answer. I set up the hives a few days ago and when we went out to put the bees in I found 4 frames that dirt (mud) daubers had started building nest in. I took the frames out and replaced them with some of the fresh frames but I don't know how to clean the ones with the mud caked in them. I tried jetting the dirt out with water but they are still dirty. Is this going to matter to the bees when I get ready to put a new hive body on? Will the daubers leave the hives alone now that the bees are in there?

  3. Don't worry about the dirt. Knock as much off as you can and then when you put them in the bees will clean them off. They will clean every thing before building their comb. If something is too big to carry out they will chew it up and carry it out and if it can't be chewed they will cover it in propolis sealed air tight for all time.

    If a mud dauber tries to enter the hive then three or more of the guard bees will ball it up and kill it so no worries there either.

    Honey bees can defend the hive from just about anything except small hive beetles which have a thick shell that is immune to the stinger and those nasty Asian Hornets. If any other bug tries entering the hive they immediately attack and if one bee cannot remove the critter then more will join in.

    Just this morning I was watching a snail approach the entrance to a hive and wondering how the girls would deal with that. A couple of bees were looking at it and I think wondering the same thing. Eventually about four bees kept biting and stinging at it's head that the snail turned around and slithered away.

    1. Thanks for the info PP...I kind of thought the bees would clean it but wasn't 100% sure.

      I had to look up the Asian Hornet. Are they in the US? I haven't seen any here. I watched a youtube video of them destroying a hive. It only took 30 of those hornets 3 hours to kill an entire hive. That is really bad news.

      That was too cool on the snail. I wonder what a snail would have done had it actually made it inside?

  4. Thank you for the links. I am trying to learn before I get any bees. I was pleased to hear you didn't get stung. I believe that is my worst fear.

    1. Becky...I have been stung by wasp and yellow jackets but never a honeybee although I am sure it will happen sooner or later. I thought I would be real nervous putting the bees in the hives but I wasn't when I saw how all that spraying with the sugar water calmed them right down. I had several of them crawling on me but I just gently brushed them off.

      Papa Bear and I walked out to the hives just before dark and almost all the bees were in the hive. There were only a few crawling around the entrance to the hives. One of the cages had completely emptied out and I walked quietly up to the hive and removed it. The other cage still had a few bees crawling on it so I left that one until tomorrow. Both of the hives were humming. I hope they are happy in their new home.

  5. oh Mamma this is just soooo exciting - woohoo - you've got honeybees!!! it seems that you are off to a great start and i can't wait for more updates. and i am super glad that Pioneer Preppy is here to answer questions and whatnot - i am learning so much from the both of you. woohoo!

    your friend,

  6. Kymber...I am so thankful for Pioneer Preppy to help out with my million questions...LOL I am a bee rookie like you...we just have different species! I am looking forward to your updates on your mason bees. zzzzzzzzzzzz


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