Upstate Dispatch is now the proud owner of a nucleus (“nuc”) of bees developed for us by a Hudson Valley beekeeper and after picking them up, and driving them home, through the Catskills for over an hour, they were pretty agitated. Not for them the excitement of driving over the top of Kaaterskill Peak, past Kaaterskill Falls in enigmatic fog. We installed them in their new home, gave them sugar solution and fresh water, but they remained pissed off for several hours, buzzing around the hive frantically and attempting to sting us. When bees are pissed off, they fly angrily, darting around like little black bullets, all in perfect unison.
When you pick up your bees, you should do so at twilight, after they have come back to their nuc or hive to rest. Drive them under cover of dusk and install them in the hive after dark. We did none of this because the timing was all wrong. The nuc was suddenly ready, without ample warning and we weren’t able to plan very well, but this is the essence of farming. You do the best you can and Mother Nature does whatever she wants.
Overnight, they seemed to calm down and now we see them all over the farm. They have just missed the bonanza of last week’s blossom – lilac, dandelion, apple, pear, cherry blossoms, but we still have some honeysuckle, which they love and the lupine is coming up in addition to several wild flowers. We haven’t mown the lawn for a few weeks so they can take advantage of all the newest wild flowers, plus, our arugula has gone to seed and we have spuds blooming.
Good luck, girls.