This was the day we’ve prepared for. We took the bee keeping course. We built the apiary. We ordered, built and painted the hive. We ordered the bees. We ordered the feeder and protective gear. We made the sugar water. We pick up the bees today! I made the 9:00 a.m. appointment at the Eclectic Bee Farm. Kathy Coleman (an Alabama Master Bee Keeper) and her father Dan Brooks were gracious hosts and were very helpful. They are committed to our success. Kathy gave me explicit instructions on how to install our bees.
With the bees safely home, it was time for installation. First, we relocated the temporary NUC box next to our new hive. At that point I lit the smoker and donned the bee suit. Bee suits are always a good idea, especially when working with bees that we don’t know.
After very slowly untaping the top of the NUC box, I gently removed the lid and gave the bees a generous smoke to make sure they were good and calm. I smoked the screens on the front and back of the hive before untaping the top. I smoked all the bees, the ones down in between the frames, the ones on top of the frames and the ones in the lid of the box. I leaned the top of the box against the side of the hive stand to allow the bees that were there to eventually find their way into the new hive.
With the box opened and the bees “well-smoked” it was then time to transfer each of the five frames into their new home. Taking special care to put each frame in the same positionin the new hive as it was in the NUC box, I gently removed the frames one by one and very slowly and deliberately transferred them into the new box taking special care to try and make sure not to crush any bees. As I took out each frame, we were able to see workers, capped brood, capped honey, eggs, larva, and we even saw the queen. Below, you will see pictures of frames as we took them out and the final resting place of each of the frames in the new hive.