After 2 weeks of delays, the bees are here. 110 packages of bees arrived around 7 and Saturday. While I was eager to get them started, I really didn’t mind the delay due to all the bad weather, and even snow we had the previous weeks. By 8 the first beekeeper had already picked up his packages and most of the rest of the beekeepers picked theirs up on Saturday.
Most were in very good shape with only a couple with a lot of dead bees in the bottom of the cage, and only one queen was reported dead in the cage (a replacement was sent out this monday). Timing couldn’t have been any better as the weather was beautiful, if not even a bit warm for the package bees. We kept the last ones to be picked up on the cool concrete floor of the garage, and it was none too soon as Sunday got into the 80′s and the bees in the remaining packages were starting to get stressed running around the cages.
Those I had purchased myself to help make up for losses were installed on Friday and Saturday without incident. They were relatively calm for being transported so far and being shaken out of a cage. A few queens were released on Sunday, and the rest will be released today, weather permitting. I watched the first queen released on the comb was very calm, and laid her first egg after only 5 minutes. I’m hoping that’s a good sign of queens well taken care of (I’ve seen queens banked for awhile before shipping take a week or more to start layng)