On Saturday, we picked up bees for BIL and us that we purchased through South Carolina Midlands Beekeepers Association. I am still in awe over the fantastic organization and the cooperation of all of the members present. There were 450 packages of bees to be picked up, with most people picking up 1 – 3 packages. Everyone parked where directed and waited patiently for the bees to arrive. Once they were there, we were directed to move from the parking space to the front of the building. Right before we picked up our bees, the barcode on our receipt was scanned and our order called out. The volunteers loaded the boxes in the back of my car, and we were out of there in under 15 minutes. Now, we were about 2/3 of the way back in the queue, so the 15 minutes tells you how efficiently everything was handled. I wish the volunteers could handle parking at graduation!
It was almost dark when we got home and our bees were going to out yards, so we sprayed them down with sugar water and put them in the greenhouse overnight. Early Sunday morning, we headed out to our two out yards and shook bees into hives hubby had set up the day before. After the first hive, I felt like an expert! The practice was good, because the bees became more animated as the day warmed up and our spray bottles ended up being uncooperative for the last two hives, but we got them all installed. Our friend has been giving us frequent updates on the bees in his garden and I suspect the bee-bug has bitten him too. I’m glad there are so many others who find bees so fascintating.
Then it was back to the house to load the vehicles for a trip to BIL’s house. He let us shake his bees while he filmed the process with his phone. (I just realized that I never saw the film!) He wasn’t wearing gloves, but the worst thing that happened to him was when I stuck him with a thumb tack while I was trying to hand it to him. My gloves shrunk when I washed them, but there is still a good bit more glove than fits which gives me a good excuse for being clutzy.
His bees seem quite happy today, although I didn’t see any bringing pollen back to the hive yet. The bees in his established hives are finding plenty of pollen, but I guess the new guys haven’t figured out where the best stores are.
The next step is to go back to each hive and make sure that the queens have been able to get out of the queen cages and that they are happily cohabiting with their new servants. Hopefully we will be selling and not buying next year.