Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bees are buzzing at Adventure Farm

The bees have arrived!  Karen, my good friend, came along for support, and Saturday morning we picked up the bees at around 7:30.  Boy, was I nervous. The bees were in what is called a nuc. A nuc, or nucleus, is a small hive of five frames that includes a colony of bees with their queen. 
As you can see there were stacks of nucs with bees flying everywhere. You can see in the foreground one of the helpers actually vacuuming the bees off the boxes. I’m not sure what happened to those bees. It appeared that the bees went into a box inside the vacuum. I wonder if you could start a hive from mixed up bees from all different nucs? 
Each of the boxes were a nuc

Luckily, I had thought to take the truck so we could secure them in the back. The trip home went well since most of the bees were riding in the bed of the truck. We did have one bee ride home on Karen’s jacket and two that managed to cling to the windshield of the truck.  I guess those hitchhikers were completely lost, as I seriously doubt they were from my hive. I feel a little bad for the bees that were trapped outside the nucs.

After arriving home I had to get this box of unsettled bees transfered to their new home.
The nuc next to the new home.  The goal was to get them transferred from one box to the other...Yikes!
I gathered everything I thought I would need:

  • Hammer to get the top off
  • Smoker to calm the bees
  • Protective gear for Karen and me
  • Sugar syrup that I made the night before for the feeder
Karen ready to release some bees

Once we were geared up, we started what turned out to be the hardest part, prying off the top.  There were only two nails, but between my nerves, not wanting to jostle the hive and having a hard time getting the hammer in a place to get some leverage, it took a little doing. I would suggest screws to make this a little easier.

Finally I got the lid off, puffed a little smoke on the bees with my brand new smoker and rather smoothly, I thought, transferred the frames full of bees to their new home. 

Adding the sugar syrup to the feeder to help the girls get a start without having to work too hard. 
Karen and I then left to do some scavenging for bargains at yard sales and let the bees get settled. They were still rather franticly buzzing about when I got back in the early afternoon, but by Sunday morning they seemed settled, and I even saw some coming in with bright yellow pollen on their legs.  It was hard to stay away form the hive and I found myself just squatting near the entrance to watch the comings and goings and not getting a lot done in the garden.

They sure are a nice addition to Adventure Farm.

Welcome Home Bees!


  1. Congrats on your new hive! I hope the girls are liking their new home. They should have plenty to eat nearby!

  2. It just needs to warm up a little. They are probably cold and miserable inside their new home right now, pretty rude homecoming. Wish I could bring them in to warm up, but Guy and Erin frowned on that idea.

  3. Wow Deanna I'm getting caught up on your blog and I didn't realize you had bees! How cool is that! I may "bug" you and ask to come over and watch you take care of them and maybe help you?

  4. I'd love you to come and help anytime. I'm crazy about them. Hopefully I can keep them alive over the first big bee challenge :)