Monday, April 27, 2009

Hiving the Bees

Vet2Be won a beehive, bees, and beekeeping equipment in the Bee a Beekeeper Essay Contest. He and Dad got the hive all ready to go. They picked up the bees on April 18th and installed them in their new hive the evening of the 19th. They have to stay in the shipping container for 24 hours to get a bit more used to their new queen.

Dad raised bees when he was younger and is having a great time with Vet2Be!

Here is Dad putting on the sugar water for the new bees.
You can see the box on top of the hive that has 3 lbs of bees in it.

Vet2Be is pulling a can out of the top of the box. The can is filled with sugar water to feed the bees while they are waiting for their new home. The same stuff that is in the jar at the bottom of the hive. The sugar water is 2 cups white sugar dissolved in 2 cups water. The jar is currently re-filled every day.

Here is the can that was pulled out of the box.
You can see the bees on the bottom still.
They stick their tongues in the holes to drink out the liquid.

Dad has taken out the center two frames to give the bees a
place to go when they shake them into their new home.

The queen bee comes in a small box.
There is 'bee candy' in one hole.
We were told to replace the bee candy with a marshmallow.
The bees will chew through the marshmallow and by the time they are done, they will have accepted the new queen.

BeeMaster said that taking the front of the box off is a much better way of installing the new bees. The other way to do it is to shake them out of the hole that was left by the sugar water can.

You can also take a look at BeeMaster's website, there is lots of great information there, too.

Taking off the front screen.

Pouring in the bees.

Checking them out! They look great!

Our beehive is not in an ideal location. Bees should be in a sunny or partly sunny location. We have it on the north side of the barn under the overhang. There are a few reasons for this:
1) We don't want the kid goats jumping all over the hive.
2) We want visitors to see the bees, but we want the bees behind a fence so visitors can't get too close to the hive, especially little children.

We may end up moving it if we can think of a better spot. Unfortunately they will have to be moved very slowly, 6 inches at a time, or the bees can't find their way home. The other way of moving the hive is to move it more than 1 mile away--then they come out and realize they need to reorient the hive location.

Our family is involved in Utah County Beekeepers Association. The people have been fantastic and very helpful. Even if you are located in another state, you may find helpful information on their site.

If you are interested in learning more about bees while playing a fun game, here is one that we made up during our unit study on bees.

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook to help you learn more about bees, too! You can find it here.

If you want to read a fun book about bees called, "The Bee People" you can find it at this link. It is a fun read if you want to learn about bees.

Backwoods Home Magazine has an article called Beekeeping Basics by Charles A. Sanders. If you want to learn the basics, this article is a great beginning.


Grandma Elsie said...

Thanks for the sites. My son's nephew in law is wanting to get into bee keeping so I saved this for him.
Glad VET2Be won them. Thanks for sharing
Elsie <><

Wilda said...

Great links! I followed them all! We just completed the honeybee lapbook from HomeschoolShare, so this was perfect timing for us. Thanks for sharing!

Marcismullings said...

Hello!! Thank you so much for the bee info - I was hoping you might be able to help me. I know very little about this - my husband is reading up on it and wanting to try this out - but I'd like to gift him the outfit and some sort of hive starter kit for Christmas - could you please send me some info on the best place to purchase these things? I've watched your blog so I know you're thrifty, and would probably know the best place to get this stuff - It would really help me out and I would so so appreciate it! Please email me at Or comment on my blog at Thanks so much in advance!