I spent several days sitting and watching for the bees to bring in pollen, but never saw any. I got concerned about my Queen. Did she leave? Did she quit laying? Did she get injured when we moved the hive from the church tree to our place? It was a 12 mile ride and we do have rough and dirt roads. Or…did I injure her when I was checking the hive?
My neighbors were going to an Apiary to pick up a couple of hives full of bees and a couple of Queens. I did a check on my hive and couldn’t find her or any amount of capped brood….so took a chance and had them pick me up a Queen also.
I went to George’s and watched him put the Queens in his hives and then he and Craig came to my place and helped me put mine in.
The Queen comes in a small cage with a candy plug. You suspend the little cage between the frames and the worker bees will eat the candy and let her out. It might take a day or two but by then they are used to her scent and she is their Queen.
While installing her, George looked over my frames. He did see larva, but not a lot of brood nor did he find a Queen.
A day or two after putting her in, I sat in my chair watching. Bees were coming in with pollen!
I took these photos out of the video. They come in too fast for me to capture. You can see this one is still in flight aimed right for the entrance.
They aren’t hard to spot with those big yellow sacks on their legs.
Each bee has it’s own job. Some stay in the hives and take care of the brood. They are the nurse bees. Some clean house, some get nectar, some get water and some get pollen. And they do their job.
I had some bees on the boat one time. I thought they were looking for a place to live but they were after some water that had collected behind the teak. I tried to distract them with a plate of honey and they ignored it. I finally set out one of the water jars ( like in the video) and they started drinking and flying to their hive. That was when I first realized how focused they were on their own job. This was before I had bees. It really got me interested in them. I kept moving the water a few feet at a time until I got them to the bird bath.
So ..watch bees clean the front of the hive and bring in pollen. The others coming in probably have nectar.
You have to realize that I am a “newbee” at this. I will make a lot of mistakes but I keep track of what is being discussed on the Organic Beekeepers forum on Yahoo and these websites: http://bushfarms.com/bees.htm www.beesource.com just to mention a few. I am getting a “package” of small cell bees from www.wolfcreekbees.com for my Top Bar Hive. They should be here in a couple of weeks.
If any of you are interested in bees and beekeeping…be sure to read all you can on small cell bees and natural beekeeping before you get started. It might be the way you want to do it.
And check out the Top Bar Hives. I have no experience with them other than the small swarm that occupied it for a while, before I combined it with the “Church” hive, but it was so much fun to open the observation window and watch their progress building comb. There are many designs and people can be very creative. It could be a great addition to a flower or vegetable garden.