Our hive and bees arrived today. Adrian suited up and watched David Neel, the president of the Whidbey Island Beekeeper’s Association and owner of Island Apiaries put the three-pound “package” of New World Carniolan bees into our hive. New World Carniolans do better in our cooler, more humid weather than other strains of bees do. They’re winter hardy, build up very quickly in spring, and are good wax and honey producers.

David removed the teeny cage containing the queen from the package and brushed the worker bees off into the hive

David removed the teeny cage containing the queen from the package and brushed the worker bees off into the hive

Her highness, the queen, in her teeny cage

Her royal highness, the queen. She will lay about 2,000 eggs a day during her 2-year lifespan.

David removed the cork from the queen's cage using a dental pick

David removed the cork from the queen's cage using a dental pick

David used a dental pick to remove the cork from the queen's cage

Then he plugged the hole with a mini-marshmallow. This plug is called "candy." The worker bees will eat through the marshmallow in about three days and release the queen.

David poured the rest of the bees into the hive while Adrian watched

David poured the rest of the bees into the hive

Adrian looks on while David gingerly places frames over the bees in the hive. Ours is a second hand hive that we bartered for. The frames have wax and goo on them, but the bees will clean them spotless within the next three days or so.

Ours is a second hand hive that we bartered for. The frames have wax and goo on them, but the bees will clean them spotless within the next three days or so. Here, Adrian looks on while David gingerly places frames over the bees in the hive.

David placed an empty super full of frames over the one containing the bees

After hanging the queen's cage between two frames, David places an empty super full of frames over the one containing the bees

David pours the syrup that Adrian and I made into the top feeder. The bees will consume this and start building comb. How they turn sugar water into wax is as mysterious as cows turning grass into milk.

David pours the syrup that Adrian and I made into the top feeder. The bees will consume this and start building comb. How they turn sugar water into wax is as a mystery to me.

Adrian places the cover on the hive.

Adrian places the cover on the hive

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