A friend of mine keeps bees and invited me along to help her introduce a new queen to the hive. I held a small box which contained the new queen and her attendants as they munched away on sugar. A cork that my friend dislodged would create a way for the queen to eat her way out of the box to the new hive, but slowly, so the bees all had time to adjust to one another. We prepared a sugar syrup to spray the bees to help calm them down, and attired in beekeep veils and jumpsuit, my friend led the way to the hive. Using a smoker, she slowly pushed the bees away as she removed box after box of the bee hive or complex, inspecting the screens for cells. Bravely, she scraped off bee cells, while I stood several feet away, ready with the queen. We could hear the burbling sound the bees made and when I ventured close, I could see the way they clustered close, jam-packed like Ashtangis at a popular studio, only much, much more crowded. Finally, my friend asked me to bring over the queen, and she lowered her in. Then each box had to go back.
Finally finished, we toasted our work with wine spritzers as the bees set out to eventually, in their own time, make honey.
- Giant swarm of 60,000 honey bees found in Westfield home (nj.com)
- Huge 60,000-strong beehive moved from Westfleld attic to Roselle Park churchyard (nj.com)
- Beekeeping: Getting Started (georgiajimsbeesupply.wordpress.com)
- Bees, Bees, Bees (wallacefamilyapiary.wordpress.com)
- Visit to Brown’s Bee Farm, changing sugar syrup in a nightgown & other notes (beemusement.wordpress.com)