Friday, April 5, 2013

The bees, they are abuzzing

What?? Two posts in one day? What do you know about that? (Although, in my defense, there have been times I have tried to post, but living on the backside of the boonies limits good internet access. The girls and I have done the Lion King thing with our phones many times trying to get a signal. You know, the Lion King thing, where you hold your phone way up in the air trying to catch a signal, like they did with Simba? You know you've done it too)

What was this post about? Oh yeah, bees. Pa had ordered a nuc of bees a while back. A nuc (short for nucleus) is a smaller version of a hive. Ours came with 5 frames of bees. He was scheduled to get them this morning, about an hour away, so we decided to ride with him. The plan, I THOUGHT, was to put the box of bees inside his toolbox, in the bed of the truck. I mistakenly thought this because apparently, when Pa said he was cleaning out the toolbox to put the bees in, what he really meant was, "how about you hold a box with 10,000  bees in it on your lap for an hour". No, I am not kidding.

I had a much tighter death grip on that box than what it looks like. Don't let the picture fool you.

Our youngest daughter, Henny Penny, has a huge phobia about bees. She and our 7 year old nephew were in the backseat. She's freaking out crying, convinced they will get out and sting her to death, and the nephew is asking to hold the box. "Don't worry, it's ok, and NOO you cannot hold the box." She soon realized it was all ok, and calmed down.

Once we got home, the fun began. Well, fun for Pa. Here's how you get 10,000 bees from a box into their hive, in case you were wondering. I had wondered too.

Believe it or not, he only got stung once, on the leg.

Smoker on standby, he takes the rubber band off the box. He's already taken out the yellow plug so they don't all swarm out the top when he takes the lid off. (at least, I assume that's why he did it.)

 Our first peek at them!

 The first frame coming out of the box

 Going into the new hive.

 This one tried to get a little frisky with him, but some smoke took care of that.

Another nice frame.
In reality this is how far away I was. Very happy for the zoom on my camera. A few bees came and checked me out, but I did good and didn't panic. I was begging Pa to come get them away from me (the 4 flying around me as hundreds are flying around him). But I didn't panic. Yes, I know I'm a big baby. 

Once they were all in, he put the top feeder on and gave them some sugar water.

 Look at the pollen on the back legs! These bees were loaded down with pollen. 

 They settled right into their new home.

 Little Rosie No-tail was not impressed. She kept her distance.

 Another closeup of a bee with pollen already loaded on board.

Burlap makes great smoke!

And one last picture to leave you with...
This one landed in my hair. Pa took his time in snapping the picture before finally shooing it away.

We have one more full hive ordered. It's about 3 hours away. Guess what I will NOT be doing?

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