Apiary #3: Happy Bees

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Blog entry by CueballRosendaul posted 06-13-2014 07:51 PM 3115 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Deciding to build my hives Part 3 of Apiary series Part 4: Second deep body built, help on the way »

The gentleman I was buying the bees from lives about an hour and a half away from here, and they were having severe thunderstorms the evening I was picking them up, so I thought I’d have to wait, but the storms were over quickly and I was able to pick them up. They were very agitated however and stung him several times while transferring the frames into my box. All the way home, they were buzzing with great irritation about the trip. One of the tips I read said you can tell how they’re feeling by the buzz. When you open the hive, a nice low hum is great, but if the volume and pitch picks up, you better back off.

I set them in place when I got home, but left the entrance closed off with a temporary cleat I cut and drilled for ventilation. I wanted them to relax before going anywhere. I set out a pan of sugar syrup and opened it up shortly after sunrise and they were happy from the start. They wasted no time in starting to build come and forage. Within a couple hours, there were workers coming back to the hive with their leg pouches full of pollen.

I installed the four additional frames with foundation (he gave me five full frames with the bees on them) after borrowing a smoker from my neighbor and protecting myself with a tyvek jump suit and leather gloves. I was surprised that they really didn’t seem to care about me at the time as they were busy doing their thing. I did have one of them bump of my face (covered with a mosquito net) but I think he was just trying to go somewhere, not being aggressive.

I ordered a fancy stainless steel smoker and a bee jacket online this morning and will check on them later in the week to make sure they’re building brood comb. I also made a new inner cover that has a hole for a mason jar feeder. Right now I’m feeding them with a pie pan of sugar syrup (1:1 water:sugar) with some rocks and wood chips in it to prevent them from drowning.

Here’s a short video of the first day they were open and active (6-12-2014).

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

4 comments so far

View HerbC's profile


1792 posts in 3095 days

#1 posted 06-13-2014 08:34 PM

Thought you’d like to see this photo…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3040 days

#2 posted 06-15-2014 12:32 AM


-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3210 days

#3 posted 06-15-2014 04:02 AM

I have sponsored a hive this summer in my yard. I don’t maintain it but get to watch and learn
Like to do what you are doing making the hive and doing it all
God I hope I don’t kill them!

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 06-15-2014 11:19 AM

I certainly hope I don’t kill mine too. This first year is a little tenuous. I met the wife of a keeper at the farmer’s market who said he didn’t lose any hives this winter and would be willing to help me out. I’ll be calling him soon to help me do an inspection and make sure we’re off to a good start.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

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