Today was the day! B drove to Waukesha to pick up two sets of bees totaling around 30,000!
They arrive in boxes that have a queen who is housed in a separate little box in the center so they can all get accustomed to her scent.
These are some bees attending to the queen. That little cork in the bottom gets pulled out and replaced with a mini marshmallow. Once the marshmallow is eaten through the queen is released into the hive. This process usually takes 4-5 days.
First, the queen is placed in the hive, and then you can introduce the bees one of two ways. Either do a dump straight through the top where you placed the queen, or set a platform for them to walk up. Due to the time of day and the coolness of the weather, we opted for the dump method.
It takes just a couple of minutes for the majority of the bees to tumble out.
Several hundred still remain in the box, but we gently set it next to the hives and the remaining bees will make their way into the hive when they pick up the queen's scent.
We then add a bag with a 50/50 sugar water solution to the area just below the quilt so they have some food to kick start their move in process.
Then place the top on the hive,
and repeat on the other one.
That leaves us with two complete Warre hives! We have had the closer one for a week or so and B put an aluminum roof on it. He will be duplicating that on the other hive next.