Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Visit to Rhode Island

As mentioned before, I am managing a couple of hives for a fellow in Sutton, MA. I've been trying to come up with a name for the hives so I can properly distinguish them when discussing them. He has an existing hive, and we are going to put in a new hive. So I've decided to call them Sutton Hive 1 (the existing hive) and Sutton Hive 2 (the new one). I know, not creative, but oh well (when growing up we had a cat who had kitten, and 3 of them were beige. We named them Beige 1, Beige 2, and Beige 3).

Since one of the Sutton hives was a dead-out from last year, we wanted to get a replacement. The quickest way is to get a package of bees. I found a guy in Rhode Island who had a spare package, so on Saturday Michael and I went on a road trip to Warwick, RI. We also took Flat Stanley (for a school project of a friend of ours). Here is a picture of the packages waiting for pickup:

At roughly 10,000 bees per package, he must have had about a million bees here. Mind-boggling!

Here's Michael (and Flat Stanley) with my one package back home:

Jacob also spent some time contemplating that box of buzzing:

You can see the buzzing bees in this video:

Installing the bees later in the afternoon went without a hitch. The owner was around when I did the hiving, and he was very fascinated. There is a part of the process where you shake out the 10,000 bees. Another beekeeper likened it to shaking out Coco-Puffs (I don't know why, but that gave me a chuckle):

We added some sugar syrup on top to feed the bees. After putting everything back together, here's what the bee yard looks like with the new Hive 2:

Hive 1 is doing strong as well:

I went through but didn't see any young eggs where I could tell if the queen is below or above the excluder. I'll check it later. I am terrible at finding the queen, unless she is marked!


  1. Wow, the gentleman that you got the starter package from surely has a boatload of them there. Wow.

    It must be so much fun to be able to have beehives of such magnitude. That is a dream of mine to run a large apiary one day.

    Cool, thanks for sharing about your son and yourself, enjoy this spring.


  2. Since we are so far away from the bee-producing apiaries of Georgia, the people who re-sell packages have to do a lot of them to make it worth their while. I know a seller who sells 500+ in a trip. 500 times 10,000 bees - you do the math :-)

    Thanks for viewing the blog - check back often!

  3. I thought I recognized you, that's why I dared to comment! My parents would love to have a hive if you want one out for the summer. They garden and have acres in Northboro! That's just if you needed a place for the summer.


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