These bees and I have a love hate relationship going here. I love the wonderful honey we get from them, of course, and all the cool things a person can make from the bees wax, which will be a topic for another post, but I just hate my inadequacies when it comes to keeping them alive. I still consider myself a novice beekeeper and  after loosing my hive this past winter I’m now starting afresh with two hives. Hopefully I can keep at least one of them going.  So Friday morning after picking up my two “packages” of bees at Valhalla Bee Farm’s shop I hurried home to get them installed in their hives before lunch company arrived.

This is what approximately 20,000 bees looks like.

After taking the bee packages out near the hives we spray them with sugar syrup to impede their ability to fly while we get the box open and remove the queen.

A bee package is shipped with the queen suspended in a little box with the cluster of bees. Here Eliza checks out the queen before we put her in the hive. Actually I think she’s keeping a close eye on the bee sitting on her leg!

After setting the box of bees and the queen into the hive and giving them some sugar syrup, Eliza puts the lid back on. We’ll let them get acclimated for three days before we let the queen out of her little box. And for any of you wondering, no this is not child abuse to let our 8 year old handle bees without protection. Since the bees are new to this hive they don’t recognize it as their home yet so are very docile. This will be the only time that we handle them without a veil on.

Checking out the bee’s syrup!

And here is what the hive looks like after 3 days. They are definitely busy little bees!

And here is what the shipping box looked like when we removed it. It only took them 3 days to put all of this perfectly formed comb on the box…truly amazing!

Oh yes, and this was our lunch company…grand-baby  #3, Emma Jane!


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