Monday, April 20, 2009

1 day down

We went back to the hive today to see how the bees were doing after one day in their new home. We didn't see many outside, just an occasional one or two going in the hole. But it was very very windy out. Taking the lid off though here is what we could see. Lots of bees on top of the frames and especially over at the feeding frame on the far left. We assume this is a good thing!

The bees were very calm when we took a look. I'm guessing the wind made them just want to hunker down in their home and eat that yummy sugar water. We didn't pull any frames out to see if comb had been drawn out at all. Perhaps next time we will take a look. I'm really curious about how fast they will get that going.

We did perform one tiny bit of maintenance to the hive. The picture on the right is from yesterday when we installed the hive. On the lower left side of the hive box if you look closely you can see a very small opening for them to go in and out of the box. Normally the opening runs the whole length of the hive body and is about 3/4 of an inch tall. We put on what is called an Entrance Reducer to limit the opening on the first day. This was done for two reasons. First, it's still a little cold out and these "ladies" just came from California. Reducing the opening helps keep the cold air out. But the main reason is to help keep them in the hive as they acclimate. That small opening is only big enough for one bee at a time to enter or exit. Preventing them from leaving in mass seems like a good idea when trying to introduce them to a new home.

So back to the maintenance... we didn't remove the entrance reducer completely yet, but did turn it so that the opening is about 2 or 3 inches wide. Or about 5-6 times as big as we had it to begin with. They seem to be happy with their home and it is going to get warmer in the next few days. In another few days we'll probably remove the reducer completely but at that point need to put some wire up to keep other pests out. Stay tuned for that adventure.

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