Monthly Archives: May 2012

They were gentle…. honest!

Took one of my splits to a friend of mine yesterday in Killearn Lakes to get him started in Beekeeping. He had already ordered supplies and was just waiting for the bees to arrive. It started off well. The bees were in a Nuc and I did an inspection on Saturday without smoke (to check their temperament) with no problem. Very gentle! That is until they were transported. I had them sealed up but I forgot about the 100 or so hanging down underneath the screen bottom board (SBB). Since it was very hot yesterday, I had the nuc sitting on the front seat of my suburban with the AC blowing on them. The bees decided to let me know they were down underneath the SBB about halfway to my destination while I was driving along I-10. Didn’t get stung en-route but that changed once I arrived!

Should have let them settle down a bit before transferring the 4 frames to their permanent home, a one deep setup. Part of the issue I believe is that the 5th “frame” was one solid comb of honey where the 5th frame should have been. I don’t know why I didn’t put one in this nuc from the beginning but I failed to do so. Off comes the lid of the nuc and out comes the angry bees. I had to walk away and get my veil after being popped on my left arm about 6 times. Took one on the left cheek as well (the upper cheek!). As I was trying to rubber band the homey comb to a frame to place in the new hive body, several little critters decided to climb up my pants leg and get me in the knee.

We finally got them transferred and they seemed to settle down a bit before I left. I know they are going to be a gentle colony. I learned a few lessons this trip!

  • take your time before loading
  • check for bees underneath the SBB (if you have one)
  • let them settle down at the destination before you transfer them

  • don’t be in a rush when transferring them to the new box
  • you might want to were a veil even if you don’t normally do!
  • relax afterward and have a beer.
  • -Doug
    KD4MOJ