And it was a beautiful day to welcome our new friends (20,000 of them) to their new home...
First, we place the box full of bees in the hive.
Then we slide the Queen's box out of the swarm. This is a bit nerve-wracking as the bees end up all over your hands while you are trying to work. The sound of all those bees buzzing doesn't help.
The bees that cover the Queen's box need to be brushed off. We use a small bunch of grass to do this as Bees are not defensive against plant matter.
Though we ordered two local Queens, one of them was an "Italian" Queen. She is absolutely beautiful with a red mark on her body; very easy to spot.
There's a little cork in the side of the Queen's box. You remove that cork and replace it with a tube of sugar that takes the other bees two days to chew through to release the Queen into the hive. Tuesday, I'll check to make sure she is out of the box so I can button things up.
We like to harvest our honey in September. It has a wonderful earthy flavor, but the yield is lower because the bees need more of their honey to survive the winter. We just don't take that much.
It's a very rewarding hobby that is extremely helpful for our environment. If you have a backyard, you can have bees. In fact, I was impressed at how many folks from the Berkeley area came to pick up their bees from BeeKind - two of which were rooftop bee-keepers.
They are very gentle animals. Do it.
No humans were stung during this procedure.