Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Family Beehive after one week - OUR FIRST STING!

It has now been one week since we installed our bees. We haven't been back to check on them for five days. It is cool today (50 ish) with some recent rain and wind.

Each time we go to the hive there is a slight paranoia that the bees will all be gone. When we first pull up no bees are visible. As we walk up to the hive we do finally see one or two enter the hive. I snapped one picture as we opened it up but then my batteries died. We did have the video camera though.

As we lift off the lid we see plenty of bees so the paranoia is quickly gone. The feeding frame is mostly empty of sugar water and in fact we see they have even started putting some comb between a few sticks. My wife (with only a hooded sweatshirt for protection) starts pulling out a few frames to take a look at how they are doing.

I am amazed at home much comb they have drawn out!!! We pull out three frames, all with substantial comb on them and even see some pollen being stored. Then, we even spot the queen bee at work.

My wife has been working for a couple of years with an observation hive at her work. In all that time she has NOT yet been stung. That changed today (watch the video below). When you watch make a note of the bees right after we highlight the queen. You can see several bees fly off the frame and at my wife. I'm not completely sure, but I don't think they were flying off to go sting her, but rather were fly off in response to another bee stinging her. From what I've read when a bee stings a pheromone is given off which stirs up the other bees to also attack. This is what I believe we are seeing; a response to the pheromone given off from the sting.

We made a mistake I think of not firing up the smoker. The sting wasn't bad or anything, but doing this with the family we should take better precautions. If one of the kids get stung the pain will of course go away, but the fear may be instilled and hard to overcome. I think we'll be getting those kid's bee suites ordered soon.

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