On April 19, LCBA distributed 106 packages of bees to members - that's an estimated 1,280,000+ new bees for Lewis County apiaries!
Thanks to LCBA President & Vice President Norm Switzler & Dave Gaston for driving up to Lakewood to pick up the girls (& drones), to member Renzy Davenport & Treasurer Jon Wade for organizing the order, and to Membership Coordinator Tomme Trikosko, Secretary Susanne Weil, & the volunteers who helped with distribution.
Below, photos of members & their new bees. Happy Hiving to All!
For tips on how to hive your package bees, click here.
Above, members survey packages of bees stacked up at the Master Gardeners' demonstration garden in Fort Borst Park, Centralia. Each package contains about 10,000 bees - hard to bee-lieve from the size!
The queens - of either the Apis mellifera liguistica (Italian) or Apis mellifera carnica (Carniolan) races - are selected in the breeding yards & inserted into special queen cages; workers & drones are then swept into the packages along with them. In the photo above, workers & drones are clustered around the top of the box, where the queen cage is, suggesting that her pheromones have "claimed" them.
Below, LCBA President Norm Switzler pries off wooden strips holding packages in flats as members await their bees:
Below, LCBA Spring Apprentice Beekeeping class graduates Martin & Marcelle with their first bees - one package of Italians, one of Carniolans:
Above, LCBA Spring Apprentice class graduate Robin with her Italians & Carniolans; below, the Grega family get ready to take their new girls home to Chehalis:
Above, President Norm finds a drone for 2nd year beekeepers Linda & Michaela; below, Michaela & "Fuzzy" the drone
Above, Fall 2013 LCBA members Cody & Linnea with their new bees.
Above, Spring 2014 LCBA Apprentice Class graduates Dennis & Joanne with their first bees - a package of Italians, a package of Carniolans. Carnies are becoming increasingly popular in our cold wet Southwest Washington climate!
Above, LCBA Membership Coordinator Tomme Trikosko & member William Pittman help out with package bee distribution; below, members Sherri & Randy with their new bees - & a new queen in her royal traveling cage to re-queen one of last year's colonies.
Above, member Kevin Reichert with one Italian & two Carniolan queens; levity provided by member Steve Howard, partially pictured upper right ;)
Below, Tomme tucks blankets around the bees to help keep the wind from chilling them as they waited for their people to pick them up:
Above, new member Patricia & her new bees; below, 2nd year beekeepers Jen & Matt Taylor bringing home Carnies & Italians.