Yesterday, I finished up installing the last of 51 3-lb packages of honeybees I bought from Pendell Apiaries on behalf of my customers. http://www.pendellapiaries.com I love their bees they produce because they are gentle, incorporate the VSH trait (varroa sensitive hygiene) and the Pendell family are great to work with (Sheri, Frank and Joy). All of the installations went off without a hitch and I look forward to monitoring the colonies progress through the Spring and Summer.
Now for the disclaimer! Please don’t do this without a veil unless you know what you are doing and have experience installing packages. I was able to install these packages without a veil because I knew where the bees came from, I knew that they were gentle and I knew they wouldn’t be upset because they really had no home to defend. If you are a beginner installing packages or open up a hive mindlessly without a veil, expect to be stung! This slo-mo video was taken by a client while I was hiving their 3 colonies.
We just received some great press from Lamorinda Weekly’s Cathy Tyson. We of course are big fans of locally owned and independently operated businesses. Thanks guys!
CLICK HERE to read the article!
The Bees have arrived!
Our family has been waiting for this day for a couple of weeks and it did not disappoint. There was the nagging question that went through my mind several times, “What does a package of bees look like?”. The pics below answer my question.
An interesting little wire encased, cage-type box with a canned food-like lid is the answer. Supposedly there are roughly 6000-8000 honeybees in a package. This was the first package that Mike dropped off. The pic above shows his truck with the back full of 47 packages of bees! Lets do the math on that…
…282,000 – 376,000 honeybees, destined for good homes and the great honeybee habitat of various locales of the Bay Area! Many are headed to Alameda, while others have further to travel throughout the Bay Area.
For now, the package of our bees have been placed in the hive as you see in the picture below. The reason being, Mike will come back later this evening to “hive” the bees. Evenings tend to be a good time to “hive” bees as they are not prone to immediately leave the hive to forage and disrupt the colony’s new home.
If you are curious what they sound like packaged the way they are (I was), I describe it in this way, take a ice cold coke, pour it into a glass with ice and listen to it bubbling. Kinda sounds like that!
We’ll report back to you all on our new colony once they have been hived.
Brand Foreman gets a hive!
I’m excited to announce that I officially have a hive in my backyard. Hive #001 to be exact (by request). Mike (The Bee Rancher) and Ranch Hand Morgan came by last weekend to set it up. A true family affair.
Full disclosure. I’ve never owned a beehive before but have been around them from time to time at Mike’s house. It was great watching and documenting the whole affair. I’m excited to add this new facet to my backyard ecosystem/landscape. Now I should also mention that what I actually have is an empty beehive. The bees do not arrive until mid-April. Yeah, a little anti-climatic but in reality it is actually a good thing as it gives me time to acclimate to the location I have chosen for the hive.
The location of the hive (X marks the spot) is something Mike and I discussed in some detail. There are some key factors in choosing the right location. Ideally an area that gets a good amount of morning light. Certainly a location that is a fair distance from high traffic areas. And a location that is reasonably accessible as the hive will need to be tended to as Mike performs his care and maintenance.
I think we found a great location that fits all those parameters perfectly. My location highlights the hive in my backyard and may very well serve as a focal point. There certainly are other areas that would be suitable but less visible. As you’ve probably seen, these hives are beautiful, so I want to be looking at mine on a daily basis.
Plus Mike tells me there is nothing better than kicking back near the hive after work, cracking a beer and watching the honeybees wind down their day as well. Can’t wait. The beer is chilling in the fridge, now all I need are the Honeybees!
Some additional pictures of the hive installation below.