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Posts Tagged ‘errors’

Scenes from Day 1

Because handling bees requires two hands, it’s a bit tricky to take photos of the process.  Sondra set up a video camera, and hopefully we’ll get the vid online soon.  In the meantime, here are a few scenes from yesterday… from bees in a box in south Minneapolis and empty hive boxes in Isanti county… to an empty bee box that is almost a metaphor for how we felt after discovering that our queen bee was dead. As soon as we realized she was not alive, we weren’t really sure what to do.  So… mistakenly (Beekeeping Error number 1) we dropped her in the box with the other bees.  Then we phoned our hero, Doug, at Cannon Bee Supply, who was able to provide us with another queen this morning.  After driving in pounding rain, a round trip of about 80 miles to meet Doug in the parking lot of a Bait Shop, we were happy to see his yellow rain gear-covered self cruising up to the car on a 4-wheel ATV.  Unhindered by the rain, he handed Sondra a healthy queen, charged us $5 (usually $30, less our box deposit & his splitting the cost with us) and told us to call him if we had any other questions.  To anyone else in the parking lot, the transaction must have looked like a drug deal…swapping cash for a small package that went from one pocket quickly into another.  Needless to say, we’ll be continuing to do business with Cannon Bees.  We took turns keeping the queen warm in our pockets and returned to Isanti and to our stressed and queenless bees.  The rain and chill worked in our favor, as we lifted the lid, under cover of an umbrella, to find the bees in a cluster, generating heat.  We carefully added the queen in her tiny cage, plugged with a little bit of sugar candy and recovered the hive box.  Now we wait until tomorrow morning to see if she and her new colony have been able to eat through the candy and release her… and hopefully accept her.  I figured there would be a bit of drama with something called a queen, but I had no idea it would be a life or death situation.

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