Sunday, March 25, 2012

First weekend

So Wednesday I installed my packages (there is a video I may post later) and I definitely feel that it could have gone better. At the same time however, I also felt it could have gone a lot worse and I would have almost certainly made a lot of the same mistakes if I had gone to a class. When/if I post the video I will edit it to be more of a blooper reel to show what NOT to do while installing a package. Here are some pictures I took that first day.

I know a lot of people do not recommend boardman feeders since they can cause robbing, but I don't plan to feed except during package installation (plan to leave the bees plenty of reserves so that I wont need to except in emergencies). I feel that the boardman feeder is a cheap and easy way for a beginner beekeeper to keep track of the amount of sugar syrup their bees are taking in. Additionally, it is a lot easier to refill and causes far less problems than opening the lid to add more feed. I will probably have to refill each hives jar tomorrow for the second time so they are really gulping it down.

Yesterday I also went ahead and took the queen cages out of the hives and pushed the frames together. I tried not to disturb them too much and it was hardly a full inspection but  both hives had released their queen already. Oh by the way, I found out pretty quickly that you absolutely need to use a smoker once they have made the hive their home - even moving one of the frames a little bit got me lit up. Was not fun (although my camera woman was laughing pretty hard). 

Well I hope that next weeks more full inspection goes well. There are a lot of things that I am worried about (such as them killing the queen because I messed with them too much). I still have a lot of frames and hive bodies to assemble and I am kind of holding off until I make sure that they are ok using the foundationless frames and that they are going to make it. I just hope I can wait another full week to inspect them again - I have to say that it feels like a kid knowing where his parents keep his christmas presents. 

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