Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hiving a Package of Bees

Some of you all are awaiting your packages of bees and will be hiving them: this was a new experience for me too - but totally fascinating. Basically the bees are way smarter than we are in this process.

I watched an experienced beekeeper hive a package and the best part was after he poured the bees in, he dumped the ones that stuck in the package out on the ground in front of the hive, put up a little piece our wood as a sort of drawbridge, and (after getting themselves organized somehow), the bees walked up the bridge and into the hive. It took them maybe 10 minutes. Apparently they smell the wax and their queen inside and just figure it out. It was so cool.

Here is a video on hiving (note that he wears no protective gear - the bees generally do not sting during hiving because they are not defensive yet - they have no home to defend). Note also when he drops the queen cage in by accident... don't do that!