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Author Topic: Yet another install announcement  (Read 627 times)
TimLa
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Location: 20 miles east of Seattle, 1,000 feet up


« on: April 16, 2009, 01:16:50 PM »

Finally, the weather and timing cooperated (unlike last year).

Picked up the Italians, drove them home, where my neighbor and her two kids were working their pony (they don't have a big enough pen).  Her youngest, Xavier, was stung pretty bad by ground hornets last year and has been panicked by anything resembling a hornet - like bees. I asked the kids if they wanted to see the bees, Xavier just about puked at the thought of it, but his older sister conned him into it.  He settled down pretty quick, curiosity took over, and after ten minutes of talking about bees, he promised not to kill any more bees (he's maybe seven years old).  When I told him that sometimes we'll get honey, he was jumping up and down with glee!  It was cool to watch the transformation...  on with the install (they didn't watch, I didn't think he was quite ready for that)...

With the warmer weather shaping up, I had been seeing a few honey bees around, which had never happened in previous years.  I'm thinking last year's survivors from the bear incident actually found a place and survived.  Or someone nearby started a hive last year.

It took all of five minutes to install them.  No smoke, no sugar water, just opened the box, pulled the queen and put her cage in the hive, poured them in and called it good.  They were a bit more active than last year's install, probably due to the warmer temps.

They were clustered so tight around the queen cage that I never actually got a look at her.  I'll probably release her today, as they were trucked up from California on Sunday or Monday.

Off to make syrup - I won't repeat last year's near-fatal mistake.

-T
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TimLa
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2009, 05:59:38 PM »

Released the queen today, they were definitely trying to feed her.  Pulled the cork, put the cage between bars, and in five minutes the noise level dropped noticeably.

Temps are approaching 60, and these girls are really, really active - a lot of traffic coming and going.  A little evidence of pollen, but it's only been 22 hours since I hived them and they seem to be doing well already.  I had put the feeder can from the package above the inner cover, inside an empty medium, and they were consuming that, so I added a feeder outside about 20 feet away.

BTW, I had tried to cut the screen open with a utility knife - either a dull blade or I'm a wimp, so gave up and pulled the trim as in the Beemaster video.  The screen material is metal...
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buzzbee
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 06:41:46 PM »

Sounds like you had a great time,and great that you had the chance to mentor a young person a little bit! Smiley














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slaphead
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2009, 11:18:40 PM »

Congratulations TimLa.

Do you have snow at your altitude?

SH

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TimLa
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Location: 20 miles east of Seattle, 1,000 feet up


« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 12:08:26 AM »

We had an inch or two come down last week, nothing serious.  It's all gone now, hit 66 degrees today, and looks like after tomorrow's rain we'll be up in the low 70's by Monday.  Which makes tomorrow the perfect day to pull the queen cage out and run the wires for the Bear Behavior Modification System (tm).  Last year, we got a foot of snow on March 31, which was still on the ground (3-4 inches) on Bee Day.  Rough spring last year, and we're done with snow for now.  There was 4 feet of the stuff here in January.

After a few hours today, they found the outside feeder I had put 20 feet from the hive, but only a few bees on it.  Amazing amounts of orientation flights, plus some foragers coming and going.  Put the entrance reducer on as they're just getting started and the nighttime temps are still in the upper 30's.  They are on one medium of foundationless, with starter strips cut from plasticell.  I have an empty medium on top of the inner cover along with the syrup can from the package.  Tomorrow, I'll replace the upper medium with a deep, and add a one gallon feeder inside.

I'm really jazzed about doing this and avoiding last year's mistakes!

-T
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