After last years terrible ending, I decided to order a package of bees to start my season off. This is the first time I have bought bees…I’ve always caught swarms to add to the apiary. With the terrible losses last year throughout the state, I was nervous the swarm scene might not be as magnificent as it was in 2017. I received my package yesterday–it was a balmy 42 degrees out. I was hoping for much warmer weather, but this coming week looks to be delightfully in the low to mid 60’s.
The post office called me at 6:30am to let me know that the bees have arrived in town. It was 32 degrees. When I got there to pick them up, the Postmaster told me he was a little worried because they were all very quiet first thing, but as the temp began to rise, so did the bee activity. It was 42 degrees when I decided to hive them.
I’ll admit I had to watch a YouTube video before trying this. (you can learn anything from YouTube!) I found that getting the sugar water out of the package was a bit difficult, but what I really failed at was the Queen herself.
As I flicked the staple out to release her cage I did so without holding on to her! Down she fell! Retrieving her was not that difficult actually, but I was worried that I would squash a few reaching for her.
In the end, the rest of the installation went smooth as can be. The cool weather might have helped a little, but I was surprised to see so many bees flying around the apiary. They seemed calm, just taking a look around. I closed up the hive, and I’ll check on them on Monday to verify the Queen has been released from her cage.