Monday, April 13, 2009

The Bees - They're Here!!

The Bees have arrived!

This afternoon I went up to New England Bees and picked up my "package." A package of bees consists of:
  • A queen bee in a wooden cage
  • A tin can of sugar syrup
  • About 10,000 worker bees
all in a wooden box with screened sides. The queen is in a cage so that the workers don't mob her and kill her (since they don't have a home yet, they haven't accepted her as 'their' queen). The sugar syrup is to feed the bees during transit. You can see in the picture above how the bees are packaged.

These particular bees made a trip up from Georgia in the back of a trailer. Rick from New England Bees says he brought up about 500 packages (at around $80/package, that's a good sum of money!). He'll make another trip in a couple of weeks to fill more orders he has for more packages. The packages get stapled together on furring strips to make them easy to transport, as shown in this picture (he was down to these 15 when I arrived to pick them up).

When I picked up the bees, there were about a dozen bees clinging to the outside of the package (during transit, some bees escape due to insecurely sealed packages). I was worried about the bees in the car during the 1 1/2 hour drive home, but aside from a couple of them flying against the window a little, they stayed with the package. It's funny - I heard a couple of them buzzing around in the cab of my truck. Before I got interested in beekeeping, that would have absolutely freaked me out (I don't like it when a fly is in my car, nonetheless something which can sting!). But I didn't mind it one bit. Here's a short video of what I had:

I know that honeybees are very docile when they don't have a hive or honey to protect, so I wasn't worried about getting stung. In fact, one of the bees followed me in the house. Tracy pointed it out on the floor, then bent down and let the bee crawl on her hand. She carried it out to the outside as it was crawling on her arm. I'm surprised she didn't freak out - she was very calm. All she said was, "It tickled."

My kids are enjoying seeing the bees close up. Jacob was very excited, running around and being, well, very excited.

Tomorrow afternoon I'll install them in the hive. The fun begins!!


  1. So I find you here too... My husband has been working with bees for a couple of years... They all died last summer, I think he's going to pick it up again this summer, but I'm not sure, I just like to watch him when he gets stung and jumps all over like a little girl! lol!

  2. Ciao Michela,
    Yes, I'm everywhere :-) It's fascinating how many people I know have some connection with keeping bees! They would say, "Oh yea, my father used to keep bees" or similar. We'll see how today goes!!


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