So the waiting was over, I got the call to come and fetch the nuc. I was so excited and nervous at the same time, will it be ok? can I do this? oh my goodness, so much emotion.
I set off to the university and met with my new charges. One queen and thousands of worker bees 🐝. I was handed a green corrugated plastic travel nuc with the words LIVE BEES in bold on top. It suddenly became real. The new family were positioned behind my passenger seat, windows open for extra air and off I set.
When we got home I donned my jungle hat and veil from The Moogle and set off to place the box next to the hive. The advice was to place the entrance to the box as close to the entrance to the hive as I could, so that is just what I did.
With a lot of nerves and even more excitement I removed the yellow stopper from the travel nuc and set the bees free!
I can tell you now that if I knew it was that easy to get the stopper out, and hundreds of bees to suddenly emerge into the air a little disgruntled, I would have been more than a little scared with them all in my truck 🐝.
Now to let them settle.
After about 5 hours when they seemed in pattern of flying around and in and out the time came to make the full transfer to their new home.
This time I donned the full suit and wellies to be ready for anything. I for one would be unhappy at being transported in a vibrating truck in the dark, then rudely thrust into new surroundings with so much of a check to see if I wanted to move.
So how many rookie mistakes would I make? Probably loads but a few good ones I remember. I didn’t make enough smoke, ie didn’t add enough fuels so just as I needed it it ran out (good to teach you not to rely on it), I opened the nuc and the hive and forgot my hive tool (no way was I getting frames out without that) and the best one I wafted my hand when being buzzed by a guard bee (silly reaction). Having said that all was well and I was very relaxed, slow but purposeful with the bees and we got along fine.
It took about 5 minutes to transfer the frames into the hive, add a couple of new frames for the bees to build up and place the super on top with some sugar water to set them up in their new home. The advice was to feed them for a week until they learnt where the local food sources were.
All done, now to let them get settled in.