Yesterday was an amazing day. Picked up a package of “Italians” from Bee Kind in Sebastopol, CA. They came in a little box with screen and a can of syrup in the middle. The queen was held separated hanging in a little cage of her own. She was pretty light looking, will be hard to spot her in the crowd, because I forgot to request a little colored marker be added to her.
By the power of simply asking, my local bee club saved me from driving many hours again, because I forgot to buy a few things for my hive. I was so lucky to have found someone on my club phone list who had the same exact foundations I needed for my deep brood box frames (wooden). Thank you Philip! (Lesson learned: bee clubs should be distributed sources of beekeeping gear, especially since it’s mostly mail order. I feel so lucky. Now I need to get some extra gear to serve other new beekeepers…) I picked them up and prepared the hive. I torched the hive to kill any bateria or pathogens that might weaken the bees by passing a propane torch over all parts of the hive.
- Screened bottom board with white board (to spot mites). It actually has a matrix of quadrants printed on it to identify from where in the hive the mites are falling.
- Deep brood box with 8 frames and 2 follower boards. Plastic foundations in wooded frames… sort of bend them into the slots that keep them in place. 2 entrance reducers to help them keep out strangers while they clean house.
- Top feeder box, which is plastic tray with a slot cut in the middle and screen on which the bees climb and hang down to drink sugar syrup.
- Inner cover with screen in the center cutout circle for ventilation
- Wooden cover
My mentor, Steve, and I met up at Alemany Farm to “install” the bees. All went smoothly. I’m going to check later today to make sure the queen has been released as the bees and she eat away the marshmellow that was used to plug up the hole in her cell. I was surprised that they gave me a marshmellow to plug the whole. Wish I came up with something else, in reflection. Hopefully, they like it. If not, I’ll need to release her myself.
I’ll probably feed them for about a month, because there is tons of bloom right now in San Francisco and the farm gardens are looking spectacular. I think the bees will be anxious to get of sugar water pretty soon.
I’m also going to bring a bunch of cinnamon over to drop around the legs of the platform to keep ants from climbing. Another hive on a different platform next to the top bar hives has the same type of large tray feeder for sugar syrup. That poor hive is completely over run with little ants feasting on the feeder. They can probably smell it pretty easily. I wonder if the Light Brown Apple Moth can smell it…
I’ll be getting supers later on to build up the honey on my hive. Thanks Steve! And Happy Birthday to Phil and Mom!!