- Kathryn Allard
Bee Adventures - Part 7 ¼
Aug 1, 2020
Richard picked up my order in Sherbrooke and assembled the frames as well as the medium and replacement brrod boxes. With carpenter's glue and nails, the boxes with stay square, tight and prevent water and other insects to enter the hive. I also stained the outside a light honey color (go figure), instead of the standard plain white we usually see. Some people really go all out in painting their hives and decorate them extensively with alot of color and patterns. THe purpose is more to please the human eye than for the bees. The inner GPS system of a bee doesn't really care what color it is, as long as it's home.
In fact, a hive can only be move a foot from it's original location every two to three weeks. If moved more than that, the bees will return to their "old" spot, be disoriented, (probably sad too) and try to build a new nest. The saying goes "Three feet or three miles". So when commercial beekeepers rent their hives to pollinate crops, they move them far way. Bees "wake" up (yes, they do get some sleep) probably confused about their new location. They will scout for food and go about what they naturally do, but it will take a few days for them to adapt.
After lunch, the sun was nice and hot, so we gathered the equipment so I could transfer the bees to the new solid brood box and add the top medium super. It's called a medium because it's only ¾ of the depth than a large box. When full of honey, it's not as heavy to remove. When stacked 3 or 4 high, the bees and frames can be quite heavy to manipulate. Wouldn't want to lose my balance with a box full of bees...
Placed a table to the left of the hive, Smoker, tools, new boxes and frames.
I opened the roof and put it on the ground face down this time so bees won't go in it. A pain to get them off when you wnat to put the roof back on. If they stay in there, they're trapped, and die.
The ventilated top wasn't stuck with burr comb like last time, and I set that one facing up so the bees could fly away from it. LOTS of bees !! I pried the bottom of the hive from it'S base, lifted and set it asie on the table to the left. Placed the new box on the base, took out the ...
Holy Shit ! MY VEIL FELL OFF MY HAT !!!! (slight panic)
... frames and started tranferring them one by one, in the same order they were in, to the new box. The frames are not stuck together with comb, which is good.
The last frame did not fit, the space was too small. The others needed some pushing tightly together. Goes to show how "loose" the other box was.
MY VEIL FELL OFF AGAIN !!! Not a good feeling to have your face and eyes uncovered while handling 40,000 bees. Geez.
The corners of the old box were gaped open. I could see outside. I can imagine the bees with a draft... They'll be cozier now, less air flow, ants, flies and earwigs to fight off. The 10 or so guard bees with be able to watch the front entrance.
I put on the queen excluder, added the honey super, ventilated top (shoooed away bees with my spiffy new bee brush), then the roof. Job done.
A few bees were crushed in the process, and I felt terrible. But in all, the transfer went well.
No time for a thourough inspection though, will have to do it in a week or so. Ok. À tantôt! xx least now they have additional space, and a draft-free home.
Note: Some bees seem stuck together on the bottom of the frames... More to come on the subject next time.