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We’ve Expanded Again

The whole purpose of purchasing the extra equipment lately was to build up to adding another hive or two. I didn’t know if I’d be ready to do that first year. Well after a lot of contemplating and back-and-forth we decided to add another hive to the mix. We decided to stay local for our bees which I would have done originally if I had had any clue this was even a thing! We obtained a NUC (“Nucleus” or small hive) through a member of our local beekeeper association.

This presented a new challenge for us. The original three boxes came delivered to the door. This time we had to go get the box and bring it home. Had they been in a package like the first three it would have been no problem. But nope, they were in a 5 frame box busting at the seams! I tried to do some quick research on how best to get the bees home and knew we would figure it out. When we got to the location a gentleman secured a piece of wood in the entrance to keep the bees from coming out. We thought, “heck yeah, now we can secure them in the bed of the truck and not worry about all the external elements of being in the bed”. Hahahahaha….No. As soon as he screwed down the block the girls started busting out the back. As I sat there watching a ball of bees congregate on the rear of the box the panic set in. God bless the gentleman helping us because he had no gear on and was getting stung left and right as he helped hubs get the box in the bed of the truck and I couldn’t do anything but stare and continue to panic. He asked if we brought something to cover them. Of course not, why would I?! Thankfully he was able to get us a large enough trash bag that we secured over the top of the box and taped down (at least I brought the tape!). The already angry buzzing just continued to get louder. But they were snug in the truck and off we went.

When we arrived home hubs went to get some light on the situation and I went back to check on the girls. I stood there terrified. They were ANGRY. I could hear the difference in the buzz (yes, they sound different when they are angry). But we were quickly running out of light so we had to keep moving. We got them moved to the backyard and next to what would be their new home. Hubs and I had differing opinions on how this was going to play out. My thought was to let the girls settle their angry butts down over night and move them to the new box the next day. Hubs wanted to get them over ASAP so that they could get settled in. We both had concerns with them swarming due to lack of space and in the end I lost.

As I feared when we took the bag off the girls came out fighting mad! They were dive bombing both of us and just all around ANGRY. We got them moved to the new box, set the old box next to it so the remaining stragglers would hopefully move over and let them be for the night. We walked away with only two stings, one on the hubs neck and one by my underarm (yes we were wearing gear). We brought a couple bees in the house and played heck getting them out. It was a stressful, long process but they were at least in place and tucked in.

The next morning we came out to alive bees (yes, I was afraid that would not be the case) and all a bit calmer. We got the old box out of the way and all the remaining girls dumped into the new box. We moved the camera to their hive so I could monitor throughout the day and keep an eye on their activity until we can get in there and assess a little better.

With the panic and stress I didn’t get any pictures of this drama but this weekend we were able to get in and check on the girls. They are doing beautifully and settling in nicely.

So, without further ado…..welcome Hive 4 to SMZ Farms!

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