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Honey Bee Tales #6

"Holy Smokers!"

Bob returned May 20th to help install the nucs into our Langstroth hives. It was a warm, sunny afternoon, so the bees were very happy and calm. The afternoon hour was a plus too, since many of the worker bees were out foraging, thus reducing the number of bees among the hive frames.

We wanted to keep our work time short (so not to cause undo stress and chaos among the bees), but we did give each frame a quick look-over to check hive strength and health as we we transferred the frames between boxes. We were pleased to find thriving bees, brood of all stages, pollen, nectar and stores of old honey in both nucs. Bob did a fabulous job of pointing each of these items out, as we worked through the frames.

The first nuc had five full frames. We were unable to locate the queen bee, but we felt pretty sure she was hiding among the frames since we observed the various stages of brood and the bees were actively bringing in pollen.

The second frame had three full frames, with a fourth in process. We found its beautiful orange queen in the bottom corner of the nuc box after the last frame was removed. She had many bees crawling about in attempt to hide and protect her. Bob simply overturned the nuc box onto the hive and the queen and her court quickly joined the rest of the colony.

To give the bees a boost while setting up house, I had prepared wide-mouth quart jars with a mix of 1:1 sugar water and a teaspoon of 'Healthy B Healthy' (Blue Sky). I used the tip of a small nail to pierce the metal lids about 6 times each. I made sure to remove the burs from the punctured holes with fine sand paper, to prevent the bees' tongues from being torn. After completely filling each jar, I securely tightened the lid and quickly inverted the jar, waited for the initial dripping to cease, and then placed it overtop of the cut out hole of the inner cover. I then added a frameless deep box, placed the hive cover and weighted the cover down with a brick. (The above pic shows feeder jar on Day 3 ... the bees were guzzling the sugar mixture down!! I have to refill basically every 4 days).

Once both hives were finished, we simply stood back to watch the amazing little creatures settling into their new homes and enjoyed more bee talk!

We appreciated having Bob on hand during this process. He was very encouraging and lessened our stress with his humor and patience. Plus, we love that his words and actions radiate his passion for the World of Bees!

Until next time ... here is my favorite clip from a video taken that day with Bob the Bee Man exclaiming his "Holy Smokers!"

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