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Beekeeping for Beginners—Adding Bees

April 25, 2013 - GrowOrganic
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Are you a beekeeping beginner? Follow our timeline and tips to keep the colony in your new beehive happy, safe, and productive. The first 10 days with your new honey bees are crucial for the colony’s success. In our latest video, Tricia shows you how to welcome the honey bees to their hive and she checks on the beehive after 8 days, to evaluate. Don’t have your beehive in place yet? We’ve got a ">video that shows you how to set one up. Here’s a refresher article about the…
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Just who is in a beehive? Three kinds of bees live in a hive: One female Queen bee Many female Worker bees A few male Drones God Save the Queen bee The term “Queen bee” is widely used to describe powerful women. Good pick, since the insect Queen bee is one impressive female. Her pheromone signals regulate the hive. In addition, as you can see in the photo above, she is much bigger than the Worker bees. The Queen is the life of the hive. Not in a “life of the party” way, but…
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Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia, an organic gardener. I grow organically for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Today we're going to be installing a three-pound package of bees with the queen into the new hive, but first i need to make the syrup, get my smoker going and get suited up. When your introducing a relatively small new colony into a new hive they'll need to put all their resources into drawing out new comb so that the queen bee can lay eggs to grow the population of worker bees. The comb is also used for storing pollen to help the bees draw the comb as quickly as possible your going to need to provide them with some syrup at this critical time, simply mix one part your organic cane sugar with one part hot water and then shake to dissolve and let it cool before giving it to bees. I filled up this clean spray bottle with water, spraying the bees will calm them down but more importantly weigh them down so their easier to install into the hives. Another way to subdue the bees and make them more docile is to give them a few puffs of cold smoke. Each time you head out to check on your hives you'll light up a smoker, fill it full of fuel, light a match, close the lid and use this bellow to encourage burning. Well it's time to get suited up, I'm gonna put on a full suit with a veil and gloves. The elastic and zippers make the suit both easy to get on and off as well as secure, bees generally sting dark colors so it's important to wear white as much as possible. Bees are particularly attracted to hair or anything that loosely resembles a bear so most people where a veil at a minimum. These gloves provide extra protection and ventilation for warm days. Always have your bee brush and you're hive tool. I've already set up my hive stand, the solid bottom board, the feeder and the first brood box. I'm just gonna insert my sugar syrup now. Remove the three innermost frames to create a space to pour in the new bees. Using a clean bottled water mist the bees lightly to prepare them for being transferred into their hives. Generally package bees will come with a can of syrup that the bees have been feeding from. Gently lift it out of the box and set it aside, pull out your queen cage, brush off any bees that are on the cage so that you can see the queen make sure that she is alive and set her aside. Now your going to pour your bees into the hive you may need to give the box a hearty shake to get the bees to fall into the hive there'll be some bees left in the box, set it down on the ground facing the hive entrance the remaining bees should find their way into the hive after a few minutes. The bees should be on the foundation and out of the bottom of this hive once this is the case gently place each frame back into the hive. We're gonna remove the tack at the end of the queen cage slide a finger over the end and don't let the queen escape. Insert the queen candy halfway into the hole the screen of the queen cage should face down into the hive the bees will eat away at the sugar candy for two to three days to release the queen, bend this piece of metal to hook it over the top of a frame place your inner cover on your hive and then your outer cover you'll leave the bees alone for eight days. The worst beginner mistake is opening the hive too often and too early this can result in a slowing down the bees progress and worse accidentally rolling or killing your queen. On day eight you can take the covers off the hive gently lift that outermost frame out of the hive and then slide the center framed towards the edge this will allow you to lift out the center frames without crushing any bees especially your queen. When you hold a central frame up to the sun you should see eggs there little white dots a smidge smaller than a grain of rice when you see this you know you're queen is laying and your off to a good start. Gently set the central frames back inside the hive slide the frames inwards and place the eighth empty frame back in on the edge. Once the bees have filled up most of the frames in the first brood box add the second one after both of the brood chambers are nearly full of comb you'll be ready for your queen excluder and honey supers one-by-one, now your a honey bee keeper, grow organic for life.

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Categories: Beekeeping, Beekeeping

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