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Saturday, April 14, 2012


Well, well.  The joke is on me.  Last Sunday I installed the bees, and this weekend they are gone.  The queen was released and they done r-u-n-n-o-f-t.  That's $175, down the tubes if you count the cost of the new hive, the DVD, and the expensive raw local honey I bought for feeding them, in addition to the ninety bucks for the bees themselves.

Does this deter me? Does this stop me? No! I'll call my bug guy and have him put me on the list for a swarm when he can get one.

Yeah, I'm disappointed.  But it happens.

This isn't my last bee post.


BCKRVUE said...

Hi paula, sorry to hear about your bees that flew the coop so to speak. i've always said that i'm not into the bee keeping for the money. but it is disappointing. i've always had luck with the langstroth hives. the nice thing is i can use the hand crank extractor and sell or barter the access honey. Good luck with your next package of bees... by the way i've been checking into the some solar projects for around the home sted.

Curbstone Homestead said...

I am installing bees this weekend for the first time... any hindsight you would like to share so I can try to avoid the same problem?

Hippo said...

Gosh. That must have been a tadge annoying. Still, you do seem to be taking it rather well and I am glad this little set back has not dampened your enthusiam!

Oxray Farm said...

The same thing happened to us 2 years ago. Installed the hive and they swarmed away! UGH! Don't give up, our next set worked out great!

Rae said...

Ugh, Paula, that SUCKS! We'll keep an eye open for a swarm too. There's a bee farm just around the corner from us, so we'll probably see one sooner or later.

Paula said...

Thanks, everyone. Rae- I will take you up on a swarm if you see one. Getting it captured is another story, though, isn't it?

Curbstone- that's a tough one. The video I used for installing worked last year, but didn't this year. The instructions that came with the bees was to leave th queen with her cork in the hive for a day, and then the second day in, remove the cork and replace it with the marshmallow. I replaced the marshmallow immediately because I was concerned she'd starve and that's how I did it last year, which worked. I've also read that water makes them stay; smoke makes them go away; this year I didn't use smoke. Maybe leaving the queen to hang out for a day gets the bees used to their home and gives them time to build bigger comb. The comb they left this time was roughly the same size as my hand. I think I should have taken my chances and left her a day before replacing the cork with the marshmallow.

All in all, I don't know what did it. But that's the thing; as much as we know about bees, they're still wild beasts!

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Ach! That's terrible! We just installed a new colony also, and I keep checking them anxiously.

Have you had an experienced beekeeper come check out your set-up? Sometimes a small thing can make bees reject a site. I would have given up on bees long ago if we didn't have help from some people who have been doing this a long time.

Good luck with the next colony.

click clack gorilla said...

Oh no! Sorry to hear that. Glad you're not giving up though. Someday I want to follow in your footsteps and learn from all the stuff that's gone down with your bees.