Friday, April 15, 2011

48,000 Italian Honeybees

This is what 48,000 Italian honeybees look like.

The six two-pound packages spent the night in my dining room after a long trip up from Maryland yesterday and all the way from Georgia the day before!  We had low temperatures last night and they couldn't stay outside.  So they came into the warm house and had a little misting of water on the outside of the box for a cool drink.  

When the bees came, most of them are inside the boxes and can't get out.  However about 20 honeybees were hanging off the outside of the boxes and came into the house with the rest.  Now, with the sun coming up, the little buggers are getting active and I can hear them buzzing around the room as I type.  They're pretty much heading for the windows and looking for a way out so I'm not too concerned about getting stung.  Italian honeybees tend to be pretty docile and usually won't sting you unless they're provoked.  

Later today, when the temperatures get above 40-degrees, we are installing 4 boxes of the bees on the hill above downtown Coudersport.  Take a look up on the hill the next time you're driving past Jennigans Auto Body and you'll see four of our hives.  Rocky, the owner, has a lovely little fenced-in orchard up there.  We've added a secondary solar power electric fence around the hives to help keep the bears away.  The other two boxes of honeybees will go to the blueberry patch along Route 44.  We will be putting experimental Russian bees in our own backyard.  The Russians are more temperamental and we don't want them around lots of people.  

Once these Italian honeybees get working, they'll be pollinating all of downtown.  So if you see a honey bee, don't hurt it!  It might be one of mine.

The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.
                                                                                                                 ~Saint John Chrysotom

1 comment:

  1. My children would have protested and left home. Both of them very fearful of any type of bee or wasp. I think I would have been a little unnerved also. Looking forward to reading how the hive is going.