“The Bees have arrived” she called. The Postmistress had received a delivery of bees. She has me on speed dial due to my tendency to receive unusual mail. So off I went to collect them. I left the dogs home this one time.
Our new Russian Queen and her attendants circled in their little box sat inside a bigger box of lively buzzing Italians. She has been mated with Russian drones so all her progeny will be Russian. A Queen only flies with the drones once in her life, the mating will produce enough eggs for a lifetime. She is dark and a little smaller than the Italian worker bees that have come with her but very well marked with a big white dot on her back. And vigorous, they are all very vigorous.
I was going to take a photo of the installation for you but this time the bees all came heaving out of the box the moment I removed the lid. There was a tiny hole between their can of syrup and the Queen’s box and out they came, so I sped up the process a little.
This time, after I had opened up the box, instead of dumping the bees out all in a rush, I turned the box upside down and secured it into the hive so they could come out in a more stress free manner. You will remember that the last time I installed a package of bees they would not come out of the box at all, and took so long to get organised that a good number of them died that night in the cold. This time the bees are much more active.
Tomorrow I will take the travelling box out of the super (before they fill it with comb) and replace the frames I had to remove to fit the box in, then leave them for three or four days to settle in before I check to see if they have released their Russian Queen. It usually takes them a few days to get her out and hopefully by then they are all under her spell.
Other than that I worked on an outside pen for Red pig so he can be right next door to the other two plonkers when they go to live outside and of course I weeded the required three buckets of weeds for them to eat, after the rain the weeds are so easy to pull and look at this! You were right! There are shoots coming on the grapevines! Wonderful. There is a lot of dead wood to prune out but I shall give them time to recover first. I have men working out here for the next few days building pergolas for the next two plantings of grapes this autumn. Now that I have finally worked out how to make wine I am going to up the ante. And the grapes will shade both the east and south sides of the house, cooling those rooms down even more. No air conditioning used here.
Good morning. The bees came just in time because we have blossoms on the young apple trees! I feel very positive about this hive.
I hope you all have a lovely day.
Your friend on the farmy