This was our second winter for our little bee hive
that we inherited when we bought this property.
Remember our awesome honey harvest from last fall?
We were hopeful that our bees would survive another winter.
After all they survived the horrid cold of 2013.
I felt pretty confident when we came home from Michigan and there were dead bees outside of the hive.
That means they were keeping up housecleaning or hive cleaning,
kicking the dead bees out of the hive.
But as the temperatures began to warm and I saw no activity around the hive or heard no sounds in the hive I began
Sadly my fears were confirmed when I took the hive apart.
What was left of the hive had died.
I can tell condensation had occurred inside the hive do to the mold.
The empty cells suggest starvation.
Even though a few boards over were filled with honey.
It made me sad!
Thankfully we had ordered another queen and swarm late last fall.
Our intentions were to start another hive.
But now we would be replacing our old hive.
The new swarm arrived last Friday by UPS.
I always wonder what the drivers think when they deliver a package like this!
And it just so happened I was attending my first meeting of the
local bee keepers association that night.
I had so many question about how to add the bees to an old hive.
Can I use the same frames?
Do they need to be cleaned or will the new bees take care of it?
Where does the queen get released at?
I had watched a dozen or so u-tube videos on the process,
but there is nothing better then some experienced bee keepers
to pass along their knowledge.
On Saturday the pipeliner and put on our bee suits
to begin the introduction of the swarm to our hive.
The pipeliner dumped the bees into the hive while I took pictures.
The queen is in her own little cage that is inserted first in between the frames.
There is a piece of "candy" that separates her from the rest
of the bees.
The queen slowly releases a pheromone that makes the rest of the bees want to eat the candy to get to her.
When the candy is gone the queen is released down into the hive
to begin her work.
This takes about 3 or 4 days.
Today I am going to open the hive to make sure the queen has
I should have done this a couple of days ago,
but we have had some really windy days.
Not a good idea to mess with bees when its windy!
I still have SO much to learn about this whole bee keeping thing!
I am really glad I found the local bee keeping association in my area.
I would recommend anybody wanting to get started in raising bees
to find their local chapter and start attending meetings.
There is nothing better then advice from others!
Remember the bees are starting to become active and are on the
hunt for pollen.