On Saturday, April 21 we got out bees. We got our bees from Spring Valley Honey Farms and Beekeeping Supplies in Perry, Iowa.
Here is Olivia, Bethany, and Abigail with the packages.
Look at all the hives at Spring Valley Honey! You could hear the bees buzzing and smell the honey in the air.
Here is Bethany with her package. On the way home we held them on our laps.
Olivia got to hold the pollen patties.
Here I am holding my bees.
Here is a close up picture of the bees in the package.
This is a video of the bees in there package. (click the picture to play the video and see the craziness that is our home.)
Here I am filling the feeder in the hive with one to one sugar syrup. We fed our bees because very little was in bloom and the bees had no food.
Bethany poured the sugar syrup into the feeder outside the hive. She made a lot less of a mess by doing this. Next time, we’ll use a funnel.
Here is a video of me spraying the frames. (click to play the video)
This is a video of me filling the feeder. I made a huge mess doing it. (click to play video)
I then put the queen cage between two of the middle frames. I made sure not to face the screen on the queen cage toward the frames so that the queen would have plenty of air and so that the bees could easily tend to her. We decided to not switch the cork out for a marshmallow because the queen had only been in the package with the bees for a day. We decided to come back a few days later and switch out the cork.
Here I am getting ready to pour my bees into my hive. I removed four of the middle frames so that the bees would fall to the bottom of the hive and not get squashed between frames.
Here I am pouring the bees into their hive.
Here is a video of the bees going down into the hive. (click to play video)
We tilted the packages at the entrance of the hive so that any bees that remained in the package could go into their hive.
Here is what our hives looked like after we finished installing them.
We were super happy to have installed our bees and were super excited to check on them in a few days.
We actually forgot to put the pollen patty on. We had to go get them and put them on even though we had already closed up the hive. We also forgot to put a brick or ratchet straps on top of the hive. We did this a few days later when we checked on the bees. Next time we install a package I would try to put the queen more in the middle of the hive. I made her hang off frame number two and I think it would have been better if she hung off frame three or four. We were a little concerned that some of the bees left in the package would not make it to the hive and would freeze overnight, but they ended up being fine even if they were left outside the hive for the night.
I am so excited to have our bees in their home and am even more excited to check on them all summer long.