I had been sad over the spring because the busy little beggars weren't diving all over the garden and I missed the glinting light off their bodies. Now, there are tons and tons.
Michelle introduced a new Queen into each nuclei hive and now we wait to see if the Queens are accepted or not. If they are, then terrific because the bees can get organized into finding pollen. If not, then the bees will kill the new Queen and start incubating eggs to produce a new Queen. That process takes about 5 weeks, then she has to do her reverse dive into the sky to become impregnated and hopefully make it back to the hive, when things will settle down into honey production again. It's like Coronation Street in there.
Below is a photo collection of the steps Michelle took to introduce the Queens. I hope you love it.
|In bee protection clothing, Michelle gets all the parts ready. The two boxes in the foreground contain the incoming bees, the yellow box in the background is last year's starter box.|
|Not a great photo, but the right box gives you a better view of a Queen.|
|Michelle smoking the hives and flying bees with smoke from dried pine needles and wet grass. It is a very soothing moment in the process and it often mellows me out as well.|
|There were many flying bees disrupted by the commotion of moving things around, so Steve thought a little music might help keep us all calm.|
|Dead centre in the lower portion of the brood cells you will see a black fuzzy blop. This is a drone bee hatching out. There is one on either side of him coming out as well.|
|Michelle inserted the Queen's transportation box into each hive, and as they all get used to each other, she will emerge and start queening about.|
|A feeder bucket with sweetened water. This ensures that the hive has food until they get used to the area and find supplies of pollen they prefer. It also keeps the hive calm, knowing there is a food source easily available.|
|All tidied up and ready to roll. At this point, there are many, many bees flying about, looking for food and wondering if that big white thing is a threat and if the lady in the straw hat is edible.|
and just as Michelle, the bees and I were all ready to collapse in our respective hives/homes, along comes Phoebe with her friend Randy and 30 lbs of lead to melt down.
|That woody thing on the ground between the BBQ and Phoebe's jacket is the wooden form they will pour into.|
|Trouble, trouble, boil and bubble.|