Saturday, April 16, 2011

At last........WE HAVE BEES!

After a rainy, 6+ hour road trip to Fairmont, IL this morning, we arrived home with our first package of Honey Bees!

These little Italian Honey Bees are a very pretty Bee, and they are known for being a relatively docile bee to work, and for their productivity.  We managed to dodge the rain long enough to get them placed in the hive, and with the sunshine this afternoon, they are busy taking their orientation and cleansing flights.  Bees don't poop in their hive, hence the "cleansing" flights.  Honey Bees have a built-in GPS navigational system, and after being introduced into a new hive, they will spend some time taking these orientation flights.  This helps them locate the hive, so they know exactly where they need to go when they return home from their foraging flights.  It is interesting in that you can have several hives within a few feet of each other, and even though the hives look identical, the bees from each hive know which one is home, just by this GPS instinct.  They really are amazing little creatures!

Here is a photo of Angie dumping the package of bees onto the frames in the hive body:
Here is a close up shot of the bees falling from the package, and beginning their new life in the hive.  They are laying on top of the frames, which are plastic frames with wax coated foundation.  The wax coating helps the bees get a start with drawing the wax comb, which will be used by the Queen for laying eggs.  This brood will enable the colony to build up bee population, so there are plenty of bees to forage, and support the various tasks inside the hive.
Here is a closer shot of the bees on the frames, before they settle in:
An finally, a shot of the assembled hive, with the new bees safely inside:
There are always a few straggler bees left inside the package after you do all you can do to shake them into the hive.  The open package is left in front of the hive for a few hours, and any remaining bees that weren't shaken into the hive will smell the pheromone from the queen, and enter the hive.  After a couple of hours, all bees are inside and safely beginning their new life in our backyard! 

All in all, this was an amazing experience and we are very happy we decided to start keeping Honey Bees.  I look forward to sharing more on our Blog in the days ahead.  Thanks for stopping by for a look!

No comments:

Post a Comment