News, Commentary and Features about Swansboro, N.C.
The Bees Are Settling In
The 24,000 honey bees that I picked up and put in the two hives Saturday seemed to have settled into their new homes on this Easter Sunday.
Now, it’s a battle to survive the next month.
Twenty-four thousand bees may seem like a lot — the buzzing they made in the back of the car was a bit unsettling. But a strong colony has twice that many bees. And mine are young and struggling at the moment.
The bees I picked up were probably about a week old. They had been taken from established hives and put in boxes with queens whose scents were unfamiliar. They were then trucked several hundred miles. Their tightly ordered, social lives are in disarray as they attempt to start anew.
Plus, there are no honey stores from last year to draw on and no nectar or pollen yet to make new honey.
It will take several days for the queens, assuming they’re accepted by the colonies, to start laying eggs and then three weeks for those eggs to hatch and new bees to replace my original bees, who will then be approaching the end of their lives.
They’re racing against time now, and I’ll do all I can to see them through it.