After a disastrous winter of losing two bee hives, we are starting two new hives.
We had to buy a new queen and her workers, this picture is how they arrive. It's a tiny box with a cork in one end and a plug of icing sugar and irradiated honey at the other end. Eventually they eat their way through this 'lolly' to join the hive.
Eldest son took this picture for me. He took so long that I asked what he was doing. He said he was waiting for the queen to make an appearance! She obliged and she is the bee with the longest body, far left at the top.
We had to make up new foundation frames and get a new hive ready. We added two frames of brood and two frames of honey from our one surviving hive.
They got relocated over 5kms away, so the old bees wouldn't go back to their old home. It will take a few days for the bees to all smell the same, for the queen and workers to nibble out and the hive to nibble in. Theoretically they will be one big happy family and in 4 weeks we can add a 'super' or new box on top then 4 -8 weeks later get honey!!
That picture to the left shows the little box that the new queen arrived in, wedged in the new hive.
It appears the hive was not keen on the drive as they all clung to the lid. That's them in the picture to the right all over the lid.
The pic here is the hive ready to be left to its own devices. Fingers crossed all goes well and roll on honey!!