Monday, May 14, 2012

NEW Lavender Loving Bee's

I LOVE to share pictures of the farm with you, our farm friends! As promised, I wanted to share pictures of the exciting receipt of our NEW hive of lavender loving bees. This is the second time we have picked up a package of bee's from the post office. Good thing our post office is rural and obviously very accustomed to receiving this type of package.

The top of the package had a sealed opening which is used to hold a syrup can to feed the bees before they are placed in their new hive. This is also the opening in which the bees can be shaken into the hive. The queen is also in this opening in a small cage of her own.  

The bees were fully contained in the open air package. Bees are typically sold by the pound and a package usually contains either two or three pounds of bees. There are approximately 3,500 bees in a pound. Our shipment contained two pounds, therefore we received approximately 7,000 bees total!

Unfortunately, all the bees within a typical package will be dead within about six weeks so it was very important that we got the hive started so that the queen could start laying eggs and the hive could start raising new bees as soon as possible. Because each and every day counted in getting bees started in our hive, we did not delay once the bees arrived. Our queen was marked so that we could easily identify her later when we checked on the progress of the hive. Sadly, it is normal for a number of bees to die each day and the longer the package is in transit, the more dead bees you will have in the bottom of your cage. 

To install the new bees, we pried open the wood cover to remove the syrup can from the top of the cage and the much smaller queen cage. We then attached the queen cage to one frame using a large rubber band and then replaced the frame into the hive. Then we dumped the rest of the bees into the hive. Finally, we reassembled the boxes including the hive feeder and stood back to admire our new friends.

Several days later, we carefully checked the hive and the queen cage to make sure she had been released by the other bees. After one week, we opened your hive and checked on the progress of our new bees. We happily found that they were building new comb and we saw many new eggs in the cells. This was our indication that everything is fine!

Make sure to check out our three hives at the Lavender Harvest Celebration on June 2nd and 3rd!  

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