On Sunday after picking up the bees at our monthly meeting we headed home to install the package. I am happy to report that our second time at installation went smoothly and the bees successfully made it into the hive. You can find last year's installation here. We unfortunately did not have our friend, fellow beekeeper, and photographer, Michelle, with us this time to take great pictures of the event so we passed the camera back and forth as we shared the installation jobs. I think we still ended up with some good ones, here are some of the pictures:
Our package of bees!
Ready to install the bees.
Slam them down to expose the can and queen cage and quickly pull them out.
One lil' lady slipped out before the others. She was so hungry, she found a glop of honey that dripped from our upper box that is still completely full of honey that the other bees never got to before they died. She is covered in some sugar water which we sprayed on the bees to calm them down and keep them from flying out immediately. This is my favorite picture from the whole day. Go ahead and click on it to see it larger, it really is amazing.
Removing the cork from the candy side so the queen can be released in a few days once the bees have eaten away the sugar candy.
Meet our new queen, Queen Mary. This year we bought a marked bee hoping that we will be able to find her later.
This year we used the big kid method of dump and shake. Last year we opened the box, put in into an empty super and closed it up. Then a few days later retrieved the box out of the hive once all the bees had left. This year we were confident enough to just shake them into the hive. This method puts a bunch of bees in the air but is easier later on when you aren't fishing a box out of the hive. You can see our high tech method of duct taping the queen cage in between frames.
I thought this was adorable how all the bees surrounded another pool of dripped honey. They were all quite hungry and excited to eat real honey.
The bees are safely in the hive and were traveling in and out within minutes of installation.