Thursday, September 17, 2009

Welcome Bees!

Hubby and a friend captured a swarm of bees in Collin County on September 4th. The swarm had settled into a play house and the owners put out a plea on Craig's list to help evict the bees. Our guys used a modified shop vac and two industrial trash cans to extract the bees. The bees had only been in place for a few days, but in that time they had started to build a small palm sized comb and the queen was laying eggs.

Hubby arrived home late that night grinning ear to ear, stinking like smoke, and holding a humming cardboard box... our bee adventure has begun.

Saturday morning we put together some bee hives parts borrowed from a bee-keeping friend. As hubby worked to reassemble the broken frames, the humming from the box in the garage got louder and louder.
Then a few bees started to escape and buzz around. Hubby finally got the box all put together and set up behind our garage.

He put on his borrowed bee hat and gloves and used a squirt bottle full of sugar water to spray down the bees in the box. He then tapped the box hard (to knock all the bees to the bottom of the box) then dumped the buzzing mass into the waiting hive. He plugged up the exit with a kitchen towel so they would not take off right away.

After about an hour, we pulled the kitchen towel and the bees seemed happy enough. They have not swarmed and left our hive, so I guess they are happy. In the first 3 days they sucked down the entire quart sized jar of sugar water from the feeder. Since then, they have barely touched the replacement sugar water. I'm not sure if I got the concentration wrong or if they just prefer to get 'real' food from the flowers in our neighborhood--this is our big hope

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