Friday, April 27, 2012

A New (Old) Apiary

So I set those Conshy bees up in a new apiary, a location where I have kept bees in the past - The Spring Gardens Community Garden. Just in case you haven't read all of the posts on my blog (!), here are some stories from the good ol' days when I kept bees in the Spring Gardens way, way back in 2009: Bees in My Britches (a must read!) and The Waiting.

Those original Spring Garden bees didn't survive their first winter and I wasn't a hearty enough soul to continue climbing up on top of that shipping container to put more bees up there, so I focused on my other apiaries. Time passed and a few months ago I got wind that a new beekeeper and Garden member (Karen) was planning to keep bees in the garden this year. And then, knowing that I had kept bees there in the past, Karen contacted me to ask for my advice and help. So I gladly offered my input, not expecting to actually have any bees there myself. Karen had planned on keeping one hive at the garden but the beekeeping committee got the OK to place two hives there, so Karen asked if anyone else wanted to set up a hive. I jumped at the opportunity because I think its a great place for bees and I really enjoy being in there myself AND the bees would have a nice, new home in a cozy evergreen corner of the garden. Thanks Karen, for all of your work in getting this set up!   

Setting up the Conshy swarm in a new hive was a breeze thanks to the bee vac set-up I used for catching the swarm. Basically I just needed to plop the box with the bees (frames already in there) onto a bottom board and voila - instant hive! We had a few onlookers and helpers, which is always fun. I set the bees up around 5:00pm and by 1:00pm the next day, they were already bringing in beautiful yellow pollen. Thanks to Karen's hubby for taking pictures!

Getting Things Ready

Leveling the Bottom Board of the Hive

Placing Hive on Bottom Board and Removing Top of Bee Vac

Apprentice Beekeeper

Taking a Quick Look at the Bees

Feeding the Bees Some Crystallized Honey

View of Center City From Behind the Hive

The Bee Corral!

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