Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Add to My MSN

The Beekeeper's Apprentice Steps Up

5/25/2011 10:38:14 AM

Tags: beekeeping, green roof growers, urban beekeeping, city farming, H2

When our beekeeper pal Noam called to say he was departing last night for Barcelona (Madrid v Barcelona, compelling reason indeed to travel), he said the timing should still work for him to introduce the new bee colony into Hive 2. Noam came over with apprentice Robyn, who's been taking classes and was eager for an up-close look at the hives. 


Backing up, Hive 2 didn't make it through the winter, sad, but nature has her reasons. Most important, there was no apparent disease. The bees seemed to have frozen, though they had honey stores not far away...but perhaps too far to leave the warmth of the colony to retrieve. Yesterday was pick-up day for our new bee family, but delivery was delayed. Noam walked Robyn through the steps just in case she needed to step up. And did she ever.


 Robyn rendezvoused last night with  Simpsons , kept the bees on her deck, and arrived here today with 10,000 Italians in a box. 

We suited up and calmed ourselves.



Step 1: slowly remove the feeder can from the carrier top. 

 Beekeeping 4 

Step 2: locate the queen in her tiny chamber and with excruciating gentleness lift her out. 

The queen goes in first, to be hung from a tab on her little screened box. What's this? Looks like a chicken leg, but it's hundreds of bees who need to move away from their queen so Robyn can hang her on a frame.  


Robyn gently runs the encrusted queen chamber against the frame to encourage the girls to release. It worked well. Note the other 9,500 emerging from the carrier box at rear. 


Carefully inserting a frame to hold the queen's cage in position. 


Slowly (but like she means it) shaking the bees out of their carrier into their new home. 


Lots of craziness at this point, bees swirling. Robyn has shaken most of the colony into the hive. She sets the carrier aside. 


And we step back for a minute while the girls get acclimated. 


Placing the remaining frames into position...slowly. 

 Brushing the edges clear. 


And topping the hive. 

Robyn's a natural. A beautiful first effort and elegantly done. Casa de Italians have settled in well. Here's a vid Robyn shot just after she completed the transfer. For more, come visit us on Facebook

And, Noam, we missed you...but salut! 


Related Content

Green Roofs Growing Quickly in U.S.

The square footage of green roofs--which absorb rainwater, regulate temperatures, save energy and re...

Are Metal Roofs Better Than Shingles?

Find out more about your best options for a greener roof.

Backyard Beekeeping for Beginners

Discover the basics of what you need to begin backyard beekeeping, from buying honeybees and constru...

Beekeeping Basics

The sweetest of all harvests goes to those folks who keep honeybees, but before you undertake such a...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.