Elephant Cove, Denmark, Western Australia.

Friday, November 4, 2011

BEEn Away.

*nucleus.  Small hive with a new queen bee to requeen some of the weaker hives.  These Apiarists breed their own queens. 

Hubby had to go down to the Hopetoun area to put some nucs (*nucleus) on so I sweet talked him into taking me along for the ride.   The plan was for him to do a few days work then we would have a day or 2 to ourselves for camping.

This work site is a good 7 hour drive from our home so we left the night before, hoping to get an early start and therefore getting more time for ourselves.

After getting to where the nucs were he needed to unload the water tank from the trailer.  Check that there is no water in it, unbolt it...then pull....
 Keep pulling....
 Gently does it....
  And it's off...

Now drive a long way away to where the nucs are and load the trailer with them.

  Get the smoker going as the nucs need to be smoked to calm the bees before they are lifted onto the trailer.

Then drive all around the bush to the different sites and unload 2 or 3, drive some more, unload some more, and so on until they have all been dropped off at the right site.  Some of the sites are only a few kilometres apart but because of the rough roads and the need to go so slow it can take nearly an hour or so to get to the next one.

The bees in the nucs need to settle down for awhile before they can be added to the main hive that needs them.   Usually this is done the next day but we had 2 sites a looong way out that would have added an extra half days work so we decided to wait and do them while we were there.  Because we had his car set up as  our camping vehicle it was just a matter of pulling out the small stove and the smoko box and we settled down to wait an hour or so.

They had marked the hives that needed requeening so it was just a matter of finding the old queen and getting rid of her and then putting the new one in.  OK, not as simple as that as sometimes it's hard to find the queen and they have to put in newspaper before adding the new frame...He did explain it all to me but I was too busy squealing and jumping around trying to get away from the bees that were flying everywhere so didn't really take it all in.   I then go off for a long walk while he gets to work without the SookyLaLa making a racket and upsetting the bees.

I wasn't completly useless though.  It was my job to check the water tanks.  If they were less then half full we/he would have had to put the water tank back on the trailer go into town then come back out and fill the troughs up. That would have been another days work so luckily we didn't need to do that.

Check out the little frog.  Birds and bugs and other things also use these water tanks.  The floating stuff and sticks are so the drinkers can land and be able to get out without drowning.  Apparently bees drink a lot of water and it was only because it had been raining in this area that these didn't need refilling.
This was all a good days work, after which we drove into Hopetoun where we were to stay the next few nights.  The next day he went out to put the remaing nucs on while I stayed in town and did some exploring.

Going with him when he does the bee work is always interesting.  There is so much involved in keeping the hives healthy and getting the honey.  It is very hard work and me being able to see how some of it is done makes me extra thankful for the yummy honey I get to have on toast for breaky.


  1. wow, great pictures, and fun info!

  2. Thanks. It was fun but not something I could do as a job.


  3. Wow, that's a lot of bee hives. Great pictures. I'm suprised you stayed still long enough to get one in focus!!!! LOL