The Bees Are Back in Town
This weekend we opened up the hive for the first time since the bees left last fall to get ready for our new package of bees:
As you can see, there’s still a bunch of chewed up wax (though Kirk vacuumed that up off the floor of the hive to give the bees a head start on housekeeping duties). You can also see some of the chewed spots on the comb we pulled out.
We put the comb with crystalized honey at the front of the hive (as recommended in Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health) and left a blank bar between already drawn comb near the back to help the bees build their new honeycomb nice and straight. We’re hoping that the honey and pollen left in the comb is enough food for the bees until they can settle in and start making new.
We picked up our bees from Crystal Bee Supply in Peabody on Saturday. They came in a fancy plastic cage this time around:
After we found the queen cage and put her in the hive, Kirk shook the rest of the package out into the hive:
You can see that there are a bunch of bees still out on the bars that Kirk is sweeping into the hive. It’s nice to hear them buzzing again, and it looks like they’re settling in. We’ll open up the hive to check in on the queen and see how things are going with the comb in three days.
In the meantime, I saw several nosing around the perennial border, so it seem like they’re figuring out the lay of the land.