I ordered two 3# packages of bees because I have two hives. Each package contains approx. 12,000 adult worker bees and 1 mated queen. The club altogether ordered around 200 3# packages totally approximately 2,400,000 bees that traveled from Georgia to Illinois in the back of an F150. It was a sight to behold for this first timer!
It was a bit unsettling having 24,000 bees in the back seat of my truck coming home but I made it!
A neighbor and friend, Billie come over to help me install my packages. She had just gotten her bees this year as well so I am so thankful to have someone learn along with me. (In this photo it may appear as we are in a deep conversation about how this bee install is about to go down, but in reality we were talking about how it's nearly impossible to itch your nose with the bee hood on! It's serious stuff people! LOL!)
Thanks to another neighbor and amazing mentor to both Billie & I, we installed my package a bit differently than most. It's a bit more gentle as well. Instead of spraying them with sugar water and shaking them into the hive we removed enough frames to slide the bee packages into the hive box. After the queen cage is out and placed between frames we opened the top piece of the package and covered up the hive box to allow the bees to come out on their own.
I wish I would have gotten some more close up pictures, but I handed my camera over to Chase and asked him to stay a ways back because he doesn't have a suit to protect him. Once the feeders were filled with sugar water and everything was closed up, we left the bees to do their thing and hope the queen would make her way out within a few a days.
The following Tuesday our bee mentor stopped by for a quick inspection to make sure the queen was released. We found the queen in the east hive and they had been busy building foundation but no eggs yet. We didn't locate the queen in the west hive, but they were building foundation like crazy but again no eggs. At that point it had only been three days so I was told not to worry just yet. I worry every day that I'm going to go down to the hives and find no bees, but so far so good! Today, he is coming back to help me do a full inspection! I'm super excited!!!
The pasture they are located in has been full of beautiful clover and I'm hoping they love their new home.
Minus a few seeds that refused to come up; which I'll be replanting this week, the garden is growing fairly well.
Between ball games, weddings, photo sessions, and the end of the school year craziness; the kids have been fantastic help keeping it all going.
And the strawberries are overflowing!