Thursday, April 8, 2010

bees again - is the third time the charm?

Some of you long time readers may remember Bees 1.0 and its rather more devastating sibling, Bees 2.0. Well, I'm happy to report that this morning I installed Bees 3.0, and I think it just might work this time. I'm reluctant to get too excited, since previous experiences with this have been less than favorable (and it's only the first day) but they arrived alive and perky and I moved them into their new home without it resulting in utter catastrophe. I cannot claim that the endeavor went perfectly, and if you've never put bees into a new hive before, there are some things I'd like to share with you now.
  • Watch as many videos of this process as you can find. And then realize that it is not as easy as it looks in those videos.
  • Shipping crates for bees are sealed very tightly. This is comforting when they're in your car, but very frustrating when you actually need to get them out of it.
  • Beekeeping gloves impair your fine motor skills considerably.
  • The longer you fumble around trying to get the crate open and the can out, the more annoyed the bees get.
  • Bees naturally want to travel in an upward direction. Keep this in mind when considering whether to secure your pant cuffs. If you feel a bee inside your pant leg, you're screwed. Resolve to let it sting you before it travels further north.
  • Don't stir the bees up unnecessarily just to "make things more exciting".
  • Marshmallow sticks to absolutely everything it touches.
I'll be back in a couple of days with an update on how they're settling in. In the meantime, I only hope that others can benefit from my ineptitude.


  1. As I know you will be able to tell from this question, while I would love to eventually have bees (still trying to talk HB into this being his hobby as he eats honey EVERY day!), I know very little about them, so.....what's with the marshmallow comment?

  2. Well, here's to Bees 3.0! Cheers! Hopefully you'll report in "a couple of days" that there were few bee stings and that they've all settled in. Good luck.

  3. @Spring Lake - When you get a package of bees, the queen comes in a little box. There is a tiny hole in one end that is typically filled with a sugar plug. The other bees eat the sugar to let her out. This takes some time, which is good because they need to sort of "get to know her" first - if she were released with them right away, they might kill her. The one I got had a little cork in it, with a sugar plug behind that. When I removed the cork, the sugar came out with it (wound up in my corkscrew)so I stuffed a little wad of marshmallow in its place. OF COURSE I only had full sized marshmallows and not minis, so I had to pull off a little bit. Marshmallow insides are very, very sticky.

  4. Congrats, hopefully it will work out well! Did you ever figure out what happened to Bees 2.0? I'm amazed that many arrived dead.

  5. They spent the whole day in a hot UPS truck in Texas in May.