Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bee Graduation

We just observed what we thought was the oddest thing, but is apparently normal.  About 4pm, Kelly looked out at the bees and said:  "come look at this, something is up with the bees."

We stood at the back door and gawked--the area in front of one of the hives was boiling with bees.  They were crawling out of the opening, climbing around and hovering around facing the hive.  We had never seen anything like it and wondered if something (a mouse, maybe?) had gotten into the hive.

A 10 minute search on the internet yielded the answer.


The bees that hatched out a few weeks ago have spent a few weeks doing house chores, but have just graduated to the rank of forager, so we are told.  They leave en mass and do this crazy thing all together--a graduation.  20 minutes later, the hive was back to its regular activity level.
Anyway, the info we found says they do this the same time of day.  We're never home to see it, but it is sooooo cool, I'm going to take off work early on Monday to see if I can catch it again.

Until then, here's a youtube video we found that will show you just what we saw, except for the guy who kept putting his hand in the way.  In our yard, it was me.  :)

Disclaimer:  This is video was just lifted from youtube, it's not mine.  The one I post tomorrow will be.  :) 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Were in Bees-in-ess Again

So, we last had bees in 2009-2010.  When our hive failed (died, really it died), we planned to get another hive right away.  Well, five years later . . . we got us some bees.

I took the bee class offered by the Northeast Oklahoma Beekeeper Association (NEOBA)--again, and learned all I could.  We bought 2 nucs--sort of mini hives which we will build up (actually the bees will do the work) in hopes of having one hive survive until next year.

On May 14, 2015, after receiving the e-mail that our nucs were ready, we drove to the super-secret bee pick-up place in Jenks and bought our new friends from the very helpful Greg and Shelly Hannaford.

Anyway, we loaded up the girls in the back of the Subie Outback. . .

when we got home, we (and by we, I mean Kelly) placed them on the specialized bee moving cart and set them on their new thrones in the back yard.  

Not soon after we removed the tape from the hive opening, there was a riot of bees in the air.  They all settled down by dark and since it's cloudy and threatening rain, they seem to be sleeping in, with only a few early bees getting out to look around. 

I made some 1:1 simple syrup last night and this morning I placed a quart on each of the hives in boardman (sp?) feeders.  We are told to feed the bees thus until the comb is drawn out on all of the frames, but not more than a gallon a week. 

I've been out three times in my night gown this morning to check on the gals and only stepped in dog poop twice.