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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Installing the New Bees

Last night I left the two new nucs on the deck beside the two hives they were to occupy. Today at a middle-of-the-day break, I ran home and had an hour to install the hives. I never take a watch out on my beehive inspections, so I set my cell phone to alarm at 2 PM and put it in my pocket to assure that I would leave to get back to my office for a 2:30 appointment.

I smoked one of the nucs and left it while I opened Mellona - the repainted Destin. I put in the six frames with starter strips. Then I added the frames from the nuc, one at a time, in the same orientation in which they occupied the nuc.


















I saw the Queen in this nuc. She is a large woman and you can see her in the picture below. She looks much different than the rest of her retinue and has a yellow dot on the back of her head. You'll notice that the bees are facing her in a circle. If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can see eggs in the cells at the top of the picture - she's laying well.























Then I installed the nuc for Proteus - the new hive. I haven't even gotten cinder blocks for the hive to sit on yet, but it is on the new fancy screened bottom board which does have redwood feet, so the hive is lifted above the deck surface. I also found the Queen in Proteus. You can see her in the center of the picture below. She has a white dot on her head and isn't as large as Mellona's queen.
























When I finished installing the frames of bees and brood, I stood the nuc on its side in front of the hive to allow the remaining bees to find the queen inside the hive. The brown thing leaning against the nuc is the inboard feeder that came with the nuc. I set up both new hives with feeding bottles with 1:1 sugar syrup in them. Tonight when I got home after work, I went out with a flashlight and all of the Mellona bees had moved to the hive. There were still 10 or so bees in the Proteus nuc body. By morning they will probably also be in the hive.

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