Apiary Program

January 2010

Well, the girls were all snug in their bed, or I guess the hive for the winter.  We had medicated them, wrapped them with instillation, and they a warm wool pillow for moisture.  All we had to do is wait until Spring.  Cold winter is the norm for us in the high Senorian dessart, at 6300 feet, we put the mile high city to shame.  We  worried about the girls but figured we had done all we could for them confident in the fact that they had survived for million of years.  The three of us were busy with our astronomy equipment so time did pass well.

It was about this time that Lil' Bill surprised us both with the announcement that he had ordered some 12 additional hives, saying if two hives were good, an additional dozen was better.  Stunned silence in the classroom as Kurt and I started to digest this 'news'.  Our girls had kept us busy during the summer, and additional 12 hives was going to turn this into a business.  There are commercial bee keepers in the state of New Mexico that don't have this many hives!  

I tell you this because, January is not too early to start talking to those where you plan to get your supplies.  This is especially true if you are going to order your bees.  Start a conversation with your suppliers otherwise, you may find that they are sold out before you get a chance to order your hives and bees, if need be put down an advance on your order to keep them in play.

We received some new equipment, such as new bee suits that really were nice.  Bill assured us that they were ours but as the new Fall school year started, he took them back for the students - one becomes very possessive of ones white bee suit and I still have not gotten mine back!

The new hives come to the school not in little boxes, but in pallets!  Here are some of the pictures of Bill's students building them and painting them.

We made sure that each of the hives had its own supers and honey frames, we did this to insure one we had robbed the hive, we knew which frame went to the same hive after we spun the frame, this made sure that we did not introduce anything foreign to that hive.  Bill's classroom looked like Santa's workshop for about 3 weeks as the students kept busy.

Time to find the right places to put the hives out and prepare their foundation.  As you can see, we placed our hive under trees that we have behind the school.  Our winters are very cold, but our summers can be extremely hot so we wanted them to have some protection.  You will notice that the last photograph show our two original hives.  The one on our left is the super hive and also number 2 hive which continues to be a disappointment.  While it confounds me somewhat, it drives Bill and Kurt crazy.

Now it was time to again wait for the girls to arrive.  Did you ever wonder what approx 60,000 bees looked like.  Well, here it is, fresh from the post office here in Zuni.  As you can see, the girls shipped well as there are very few dead bees on the bottom.  They were alert and ready to go.  You will notice, that there are two sections on the shipping container.  What you cannot see is that there is a can in between the two halves that contain sugar water.  There is also a little box at the very top that contains the queen.

Now it was time to put the girls in the hives.
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