Saturday, August 4, 2012

Spontaneous Beekeeping

Due to an issue at the post office, Dee and Kwao went to Annotto Bay and I stayed home. I had done some chores and was taking a nap when they came back, and we immediately suited up to go get a beehive.

This is what we do. 

We learned from Kwao's friend at the hardware store that it had been in a tree that had been bulldozed. All the comb had fallen from the tree and there were a million crushed bees. :(
We made short work of the comb, which I tied into the frames. For this hive, we used a Langstroth hive, partly because it was available. Many of our hives are still "in progress" and not completely ready for bees.
Dee found the queen! It took quite a while to find her, since this hive was the first one we took out that had drones. Drones are huge, male bees that exist solely for the purpose of mating with a new queen. They don't fight or do anything productive really. Their existence in the hive suggests that the bees may have been planning to swarm.
We came back the same evening to move the hive to the yard because we were worried about other people stealing the hive since bee products are a little scarce in Jamaica. They didn't have honey, but it was still a concern.
During the car ride, I sat in the trunk with the hive. It was wrapped in three garbage bags, but the box definitely wasn't bee-tight, so I could feel a ton of bees under the plastic. When we released the bees, they were everywhere. Today we checked on them, and they seem content in their new home. Hopefully the presence of drones won't cause them to swarm.

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