May 14, 2009

New honey bees arrive at my farm

This past winter was especially long and very cold and the bees in my hives did not fare well. We decided to start fresh this spring with all new hives in a new location, giving the bees more unobstructed access to the hives from all directions. We enlisted Guy Hodges of Bee Guy Apiaries LLC in South Salem, New York. Most new beehives are started with a 3-pound package of live bees, which contains approximately 12,000 honeybees, including one queen! For my hives, Guy ordered three packages from Wilbanks Apiary in Claxton, Georgia.

Inside each ventilated package is a can of syrup to nourish the bees during their journey and the all-important queen cage. It's absolutely necessary to keep the queen separate from the bees inside the box, as they are from different hives. Until their respective odors mix and become one, the bees will kill the queen rather than protect her. The queen can safely be introduced into the hive after about a week. Please enjoy these photos of the buzz at the farm!

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