I wanted to share some photos and notes on my bee experience yesterday and today.
I drove to Orange last night with a friend in a borrowed pickup truck to get the two hive boxes from David, who said he couldn't keep them anymore. He fired up his smoker, and I was sure he was going to ignite them! But they did calm down and survived all that smoke. I taped the screen borrowed from Kirk on top of the box. After some prying loose, we were able to carry it out to the pickup bed.
He also had a new swarm that had just appeared the day before. This being my first hands on experience, I wasn't planning on taking the swarm and told him that might be better left to a pro.... but there it was, this sweet heart shaped mass at the top of the jungle gym, vibrating like the whole thing was one breathing organism, which in some ways is true.
So we lifted a cardboard box up to it and swept them (albeit clumsily) into the box and taped it shut. It was then loaded into the truck and I covered it all with a sheet. I put the box cover in, which had a cluster of bees on it. Four of them actually survived the long drive home!
This morning Kirk came over to help me do a proper setup. Unloading in the dark last night was not very precise and I wasn't prepared for 2 hives! He showed me how to set the starter strips in the frames and load the box.
We then added a new box to the very crowded and angry original hive, and set up the swarm w/their starter box and a bag of sugar water and a yummy looking pollen patty for dessert. I am so thankful that Kirk was able to come over on Easter sunday and help my start out right! And I'm really looking forward to this new ongoing experience with the bees!
Bee well and thrive...