Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Bee-Full Weekend

Wow! This has been a weekend full of bee activities! Lots of pictures in this blog post.

First, on Friday, I got a call from the person from whom I purchased 2 new packages of bees. They were delivered, and I planned on going out to Warwick, RI to pick them up the next day (Saturday morning). This was the same guy that provided the bee packages last year.

So Saturday morning I made a road trip and picked up 20,000 live honeybees!

I got them home and set them on the kitchen table, since they weren't going to be installed until the next evening. I gave them a good squirt of water with the sprayer every once in a while, to keep them hydrated.

Then it was off to the first outdoor meeting of the Worcester County Beekeepers Association. It was held at Norm Mercier's home, and he had a bunch of hives on his property. Each outdoor meeting has some time spent in the hives, usually done by Ken Warchol the bee inspector, and it is used as an educational opportunity for the new beekeepers (as well as the old timers - never too old to learn!). In this case, after Ken did his demonstration, the group split into three groups and 3 other old-timers took a group and did some more in-depth examinations, and there was a good Q&A time as well.

The weather started off very chilly, and the bees didn't like it. Ken got stung at least once, and he actually had to pull out his veil and use it for a while! Here are some photos of the event:

This is only about half of the group.

Some of the hives on the property

More hives

Ken doing some lecturing :-)

The bees weren't really coming out, since it was a little chilly.

Ken taking apart a hive

Showing off a frame

This is an example of a good spring build-up

Notice Ken's right eye - a little red and swollen. I wonder why?

One of the experienced beekeepers showing a frame

Pointing out a freshly born bee

Notice the drone comb (bullet-topped cells near his thumb)

All in all it was a good meeting. The weather got warmer later, and that just made the gnats come out! So I kept my bee veil on after the hive inspections - it may have looked funny, but it kept the gnats away!

The next blog post will talk about the hiving of the packages in Sutton.

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