Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Waiting...Parts 2 and 3

The second delivery of bees finally arrived on Saturday June 13th. After a few last minute preparations, I loaded the car with everything and called my helper/documentarian David (see pic below). We went over to The Spring Gardens to get the bees set-up in their new home.

This is what the "nuc" (short for nucleus hive) looked like when it arrived.

Prying it open - you can see there are 5 frames inside - a few frames of honey and a few of brood.

Here they are all tucked in to the new hive...

After examining each frame twice and looking for the queen, we were unsuccessful in finding her. I just assumed she was in there and I couldn't find her, but...

Immediately after returning home, I see an email message from the bee supplier -

"John is not sure whether or not he put a queen in your nuc. So I have sent one to you priority mail this morning. You should have her Mon or Tues. Please let me know how the bees look upon arrival and if you have a queen. The one we sent is yours."


When I was looking for the queen, I assumed she was roaming free with the other bees. But, in order to protect her during shipment, they typically put her in one of the little queen cages (like they do for package bees) - and there definitely was not one in the nuc. So they did forget to pack her!

So now, more waiting - for the queen to arrive! The bees will be OK without a queen for a little while - but they will begin the process of making a new queen. This means that when the original queen does come, I will have to seek out and destroy any "queen cells" that the bees have made on the comb - otherwise, they will kill the original queen when I re-introduce her.

Anyway, the hive sits on top of an 8 foot high steel shipping container and it is surrounded by a grove of bamboo. A very cool setting and out of the way of the main garden. My only concern is that the spot will be too cool temperature-wise for the bees, we shall see.

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