Hey everyone! While I’ll been very busy on my short story collection and my next novel, plus the final book in the High Water series, I’ve also been raising bees. Why not have more hobbies than you can healthily manage?
Rather than rehashing everything I needed to know about bees before installation, I thought I’d write about what I learned during my package installation experience. That video does a great job of describing how it goes to give my comments some context.
Picture yourself in a box, clinging to other imprisoned humans. Your fearless leader is nearby, trapped in another, smaller box. Everyone, your closest friends, can’t get her out. Despair sets in. The muttering of your fellow incarcerated sisters grates.
The last thing on your mind is taking a dump. Where could any of you take a dump, anyway? You’re all locked in a box.
Then the light hits you. Freedom! You try to race for the exit, only to be sprayed down with more sugar. “What? What the hell?” you think.
In a cascade, you are dumped into a wooden box. You’re now nervous, agitated. “Where’s the queen? Where am I? Why am I covered in sugar?”
Let loose. Let loose your cares, my little buzzing friend.
Bee poop, especially after eating nothing but sugar syrup, is gross. It looks like something belonging in a baby’s diaper, just brown liquid streaks. Of course, the runs can be a sign of other diseases (the infernal disease Nosema), but I also get diarrhea when I’m nervous. Since I haven’t seen any more of it, I’m not worried yet.
Poor bees. Upon exit, they crapped everywhere. On their box. On their new hive. On each other. Cooped up in their box, they’d held it in, not wanting to soil their queen.
Of course, I was too concerned with not getting stung not clean up after them…
If your bees have drawn comb in the package box, watch out:
The package box is meant to be a temporary refuge for your bees in transit. They aren’t supposed to be in there for more than a few days.
The vendor kindly let me know that the bees would be used to each other, that they wouldn’t kill the queen if I l let her out. Great! A group of bees already happy with their queen means a quicker transition to a functioning hive. Regicide is known to happen when queens and workers don’t have time to get to know one another.
As soon as I reached into the box, I knew I had a problem. Angry buzzing. The thud of tiny bodies against my bee suit. Uh oh. The bees clung to the collapsed side of my veil and stung me in the neck. I grabbed the queen’s cage, got her into the hive. Howling, I dumped the rest of the bees into the hive, putting the wooden boxes together as fast as I could.
Bees are the chillest
Now that my queens are queenright, I’m enjoying watching the ladies explore the yard. Some of the local birds seemed a little too excited about my new purchase, so I hung old CD’s on string from nearby trees. It appears to have worked. Now the bees drag in the early crop of yellow alder.
It’s incredible to sit back, light a doobie, and watch my girls work. When a bee flies by my head, I know she’s one of mine. Absolutely fantastic.