With apple blossoms in bloom and days in the 60’s, we picked the right week to welcome 15 new colonies of bees to West Virginia. They travelled from Georgia, then for 4 hours in my parents’ truck from Virginia to meet their new homes at sunset last Monday.
This video shows me introducing them to the hive, a daunting but exhilarating process. It’s pretty simple actually, but not much in life prepares you for holding a buzzing, crawling glob of 10,000 bees between your hands and then opening the lid to their cage.
From start to finish, it took about 10 minutes, but the video is edited to about 6 minutes so you won’t see some of my indecisiveness, bumbling, and forgetfulness. You will see an enthralled audience, a bee hound, and a cameo appearance by the resident fiddler who played the soundtrack.
A more experienced beekeeper could have done it in less time with fewer bees flying around, but all in all, it was a successful moving day. Nearly a week later, the bees have drawn out comb and are all business—flying about with yellow baskets full of pollen and bellies full of apple blossom nectar.