It took them a full seven days to arrive, which was somewhat worrisome, but the worker bees arrived in great shape.
It was really odd; they came in a wooden box, open on two sides with metal mesh! You could totally see the bees! I can only wonder what my mail deliverer thought of this delivery!
We installed the bees into the hive without any trouble. The bees were flying all around us, but neither of us were frightened at all. It was fun! And they were very nice bees…we didn’t get a single sting. I was too busy to take video, but here’s a video from someone else, showing you the process.
It all went very smoothly – except for one thing. When I took the queen box out of the package, she was dead.
This is not a good thing, but it’s not a complete tragedy. I called Charlie, my bee seller, and he is going to ship me out a replacement queen ASAP. He said the bees will be fine without a queen for a short time; they will get to work building comb and honey. And he says when I put the new queen in, I’ll get to experience something a lot of people never get to see: how happy the bees are to meet their new queen. He said they make a special noise and dance, and it’s really quite something! So I’ll keep you updated on that. In the meantime, here’s hoping the worker bees are happy in their new hive and settle in and start making honey!