Friday, April 22, 2011

Bee Pictures

I promised lots of pictures of the installation of the bees, and here there are.  I do have one request and that is that you don't snicker or judge the outfits, it turns out that the only downfall of beekeeping I can find is that the outfits aren't worthy of the pages of Vogue.  While I did opt not to go for the I just landed on the moon bee suit look, the veil I have isn't tons better.  In order to tie the veil properly so that bees can't get up into it I have to criss cross it around my body so that it looks like I am wearing a boob harness. 

You also don't want to wear anything too baggy so bees don't get under your clothes.  Unfortunately the hunching and bending over with the tight clothes doesn't necessarily highlight the best features of one's figure.  I am not immune to the universal woman's opinion that she looks fat in every picture.  And honestly I was focused on not dropping the 3,000+ bees all over my yard over and nothing else.  So I am shelving my vanity in order to share our exciting experience of putting the bees into our very first hive!  I can however promise that I will be looking for a more flattering and useful bee outfit for the next photo shoot.

Many thanks to our friend Michelle who is another fellow beekeeper and came over to provide moral support, expertise, coaching and photographer.  All of these pictures are courtesy of her.  Michelle are you sure you aren't a professional photographer?  My camera could never take photos with this wonderful detail.

 Andy was a bit nervous at first, obviously.  But by the end he was picking the bees up and couldn't get enough of them.  Look at the brand new beekeeper's smoker billowing beautifully.

 Spraying the bees down with sugar water so that they can't fly off.

This picture beautifully shows the can of sugar water that feeds the bees in transportation with the queen cage next to it.  You have to slam the box down to get the bees to the bottom then pry out the can and queen cage before putting the bees in the hive. 

Introducing Queen Victoria, yes we named our queen.

Placing the queen cage in the hive, you can see the duct tape holding it next to a frame.  The queen is in a cage because she is not the original hive's queen.  She and the hive need time to take on each other's scent and then the worker bees will accept her.  During this time the bees will eat away at the candy and by the time they eat through it everyone should be loving on each other!  I will take the queen cage out sometime next week.

The typical method of installation entails lots of shaking the bees out of the box.  We opted for the less traumatic version of placing the bee box inside the hive and letting them come out on their own.  This does mean that within 24 hours I have to open the hive back up to fish out the box.

 Putting on the feeder and filling it with sugar water.  The bees need food until they are able to go forage on their own.

The happy couple and their hive filled with bees!

 Yep we are nerds, doting on our bees as if they were our own newborn child!


  1. You are beautiful! I think bees will be my next endeavor....if I can get my other half to agree. :)

  2. Thanks Katrina! It tooks months of talking before Andy was on board.

  3. Love these pictures, you really should frame some of them as keepsakes! I have a million questions but I will ask them all when we chat, sorry I couldn't get to my phone today, the rents are in town till Monday. But, I will start with, what does the smoker do?

  4. The smoker "calms" the bees down and makes them more docile so you can work the hive. It makes them calm because they think that there is a fire and that the hive is burning. So they end up filling themselves with honey in case they are going to have to flee. In the process they don't care that you are taking apart their hive and don't worry about what you are doing, they are just trying to save themselves.