A week ago, on a lovely spring day, we picked up our package of bees. Because the weather was so nice, we were able to install them immediately (unlike last year).
By evening, they were beginning to bring in pollen, and on warmer days this week, they’ve been quite active.
The girls came not from Michigan as expected, but Georgia with a Michigan-bred queen who was mated in Georgia.
Intitially we were concerned because in the US, when you buy southern bees, you run the risk of getting Africanized bees, notorious for being overly aggressive and dangerous. It soon became clear, however, that the bees we received were mild-tempered, interested only in adjusting to their new circumstances. And, on review of the package description, I discovered I had misread the details.
Also, the package seemed to me to have fewer bees than last year’s, an idea that may be only a figment of my imagination.
Below are two pictures from the 2020 Bee Bus, but since they’re from a different angle from this year’s photo, it’s hard to tell.
The 2020 package was the Saskatraz bees that grew into the hive that made it through the winter. We named them California Girls, but rechristened them OH Girls to celebrate their having survived an OH (Ohio) winter).
In a nod to their origin, the new hive is called GeeBees (Georgia Bees).
We had a bit of a scare during the week when I came home to find a frenzy of bees at the entrance of the new hive. I was sure they were being raided for the honey stocks we’d given them and blocked the entrance until things calmed down. When I reopened it, the girls came streaming out, so perhaps it was them all along.
Still, I’d rather be safe than sorry.
We plan to look in both hives tomorrow — a quick check to see if the queen has been released in GeeBees and a more lengthy look at OH Girls.
While picking up a few things at Queen Right Colonies, I found Honey B Healthy has a new product called Amino B Booster, which I’m looking forward to trying. If I’m reading the information correctly, it may be a better supplement than pollen patties, which tend to attract Hive Beetles.
I also picked up two frames and wax foundation so we can try to jar some comb honey this year.
In other unrelated news, I managed to get an appointment for my first vaccine next week. I’m nervous because I’ve read if you’ve had the virus, it can really knock you down.
Stay tuned for details and more bee progress updates!