The honeybees have arrived! On May 23, honeybees arrived by USPS and were "installed" in a hive located in the wetland area adjacent to Blaine City Hall. This is a personal project of Building Official, Dan Hauck, in conjunction with the City, to help people learn about honeybees, help pollinate the city garden and wildlife area, and hopefully get a little honey along the way.
The package that came in the mail had around 6,000 worker bees and 1 queen. They are very "gentle" bees. Although, Dan was wearing a bee-jacket and hood, it isn't likely he would have have been stung.
Honeybees are typically installed in April in Minnesota so they have a chance to build up the colony prior to the nectar flow. A large workforce is important to the beekeeper who hopes to collect honey. It is also important that they store enough honey for Winter. Because of the late start for our colony, they really need to be busy bees! The goal is to let them store a couple of boxes full of honey for their Winter supply.
These honeybees were purchased from Gold Star Honeybees. They are supposed to be Winter hardy, raised on small-cell foundation, and treatment free. Dan will go into more detail in future postings. The next step after installing the bees is to check on them about 2 weeks later, to see if we have a good queen that is laying eggs. If we do, we will share some pictures from inside the hive.