Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hive Relocation--May 6th to Bells

After all of the crazy bee removals, as well as two purchased bee 'nucleus' hives we'd ended up with 6 hives in our small suburban yard... too many.

On May 7th hubby and I took a day off of corporate jobs and relocated four of the hives to his mom's farm in Bells.

Our day started really early, before sunrise, we plugged up the hive entrances with window screen and loaded our four 'removal' hives (Joshua, Mesquite, Aubrey, Garland BBQ hive) into the back of our truck and got ready to head to the farm... an hour and a half drive north. Due to other schedule requirements, we were not able to make the relocation at night which would have been ideal.

After being plugged, jostled and moved, the bees were pissed. Hubby got stung on the eyelid just as we were getting ready to leave. I pulled out the stinger and took a few photos just for fun.
ouch! This definitely proves he not all that allergic to bee stings, his eyelid got puffy, but never swelled shut. (I can't believe that it is me calling an eye sting minor!) I got stung on the hand--oh oh, poor me!

We got the bees up to the farm and realized quickly just how mad these girls had gotten during their drive. The few that had gotten out of the plugged hives were mad and going after anything that moved... much to the dismay of the horse and donkey who love to run along side the truck as we drive in the pasture.

Luckily, hubby had planned ahead and had all four hives set on a pallet in the back of the truck. It was a heavy lift, but we were able to get them all off in one move. We prepped the feed jars and as quick as we could pulled out the screen plugs, stuck in the feeders and ran back to the truck.

Hubby hopped in and drove and I rode in the back to get the gates quickly. I was surprised to hear bees still buzzing me after more than 100 yards, typically, they give up after just a few yards of chase. I can't say I blame these girls, we had been pretty mean to them in our relocation effort.

The other reason for making the drive up to north Texas on a weekday was to pick up our next order of bee boxes... 5 for us, 5 for our friends and 5 for my in-laws who are now officially beekeepers too after our relocation escapades.

Here's hubby at the end of the day, more often than not, he looks like a prize fighter due to some head sting he has received. I'm not sure what it is about his big bald mug that annoys the bees so much but he has been stung on both ears and now his eyelid too.

Prize fighter after his latest round with a lightweight girl.

Garland hive had confirmed queen and eggs on the day of relocation
Aubrey hive had un-opened queen cells visible
Joshua hive had confirmed queen and eggs
Mesquite hive had opened queen cells, but no queen was found during our inspection and no eggs. We are most worried about the strength of this hive. Worst case scenario would be that the queen had hatched and was away on her mating flight the day we did the relocation. Best case scenario is that she is there and we just missed her (and eggs) during hive inspection.

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