Posts Tagged ‘Honeybees’

Bee mine

Our honeybees relocated to their new home last weekend. Four thousand hard working spinsters, two eggs-on-demand queens, and a couple dozen ne’er-do-well drones, all tidily packed into two screen and cardboard boxes.


Popping off the top, ready to transfer bees to vacant hive and empty combs


Good Neighbour Ian lives a few kilometres away where he cares for three hives of bees

Healthy government-approved bees are harder to come by than you might expect. ¬†Honeybees used to be imported from the US until the 1960s but American Foul Brood, the varroa mite and the fear of cross-breeding with the Africanized bee — also known as the ‘killer’ bee) slowed down importation until bees could no longer be legally transported across the border.

A solution of protein-boosted sugar water has kept the bees sated for their transworld journey


The queen gets her own chamber, only to assure the bee buyer that she has arrived alive; many bees do not survive the journey and up to 20 per cent expire within the first few weeks of arrival




So now Canadian bees share much in common with the lifties from Whistler — they’re all from New Zealand! (cheap shot joke) NZ bees are supposed to be good New Canadians on the wet west coast as our climate bears considerable resemblance to that of the kiwis’.

Were it a hot summer's day these gals would be in attack mode; the current chill is potentially lethal so they clump together


An unceremonial dump of the clump


And so last week, as if the Christchurch earthquake weren’t enough, these little gals, with a queen per box, were hustled onto a cargo plane with several zillion of their sisters, and carefully kept at about 90 degrees F — their optimal ambient temperature — at least until they arrived in our laundry room, where they huddled and buzzed, loyal subjects keeping their queen warm.


The queen, who for the last few minutes has been tucked in a warm jacket pocket, makes her triumphant arrival


And off she crawls to prepare for her life's duty -- when the warm weather arrives she will begin laying upwards of 2000 eggs per day

We’d confined them to the laundry room until the outdoor temps were above zero for a day and then with the assistance of a kind neighbour Ian, we welcomed the gals to their not so tropical isle.


No flowers in bloom right now therefore no pollen -- no food; we'll be feeding them 'pollen patties' for the next few weeks


Stragglers must find their way in before they're too cold to move


Can’t say they were thrilled but we’re hoping they’ll enjoy the view.




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