After much research and preparation, it’s finally Bee Day! This morning, we headed over the WSU extension in Spokane for our the Inland Empire Bee Association tutorial. They showed us how to install our bee package using IEBA bees. This was the second of several in class and field day experiences through IEBA.
Next, we picked up our bee package at Tate’s Honey Farm. There were stacks and stacks of bee packages. And inevitably, some bees always escape. Unfortunately, the marauding bees took a real liking to my shampoo. At least I got the first sting out of the way. Ouch!
Once we were home, we started up the smoker.
Next, we opened the package and removed the queen. She hangs from the roof of the box in her own little cage. To create a slow release timer, we replace the cork that holds her in with a marshmallow. Then we hung her between the frames in the bee box. Once deposited, the rest of the bees will take a few days to free her. And hopefully by then, they will feel like our hive is home.
Once the queen was in, it was time to put in the rest of the bees. There are 3 pounds of honey bees in a package. That’s about 10,000 Carniolan honey bees!
We’ve set up the hive with a starter mixture of sugar water to help them get the infrastructure of their hive started. We’ll be checking the levels every few days. But mostly what we have to do now is just wait and hope that they approve of their new home.