It is very exciting news that our club now has a hive. Mr. Hodgie received a swarm call and we reached out to the club to see if any members would be able to go and collect the swarm with him. Luckily, Lynn and Alexia were available on short notice and headed out with Mr. Hodgie.
They arrived at Parkdale Private School and Daycare to find a huge swarm high up in the tree. Mr. Hodgie brought his lift with him, but unfortunately, it was not operational when he tried to get it started for the collection. No worries, though! He was able to get his bucket attached to a pole and shake them into it. Once the queen once in the bucket, the rest of the bees followed her into the bucket. Mr. Hodgie said that the swarm was about 16,000 bees!
Mr. Hodgie was able to get the bees into the hive that the club built and club member Lily painted during their community service project done in partnership with The Bees Knees last year. Club member Angel’s family agreed to host the hive on their property. Angel’s dad, Mr. Phil, built a special hive stand with the capability of expanding for future hives (which is already in the works – more to come!). And Angel’s mom, Ms. Sasha, and Mr. Phil have been making sugar water and feeding the bees to make sure they build up a strong hive before winter comes.
Once in their new home, Mr. Hodgie and Mr. Phil went to task marking the queen. Since it is 2021, the current year color is White (see more about the Queen Bee color coding system here).
During the first hive inspection, club members Angel, Ashten, Lily, Mary, and Nina got to go inside and see how the new colony was doing. They were still only in one box, but were drawing out comb and definitely expanding. Mr. Hodgie said they would need a second box within the next two weeks. Then found the queen and she was doing good. Many of us commented how gentle and calm the bees were. The members got practice taking the frames out of the box using the frame grip and their fingers. We’ll see how they’re doing in two weeks!