Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Haven - the immigration

Today, I got a phone call from Jarrett. Funny how when you're waiting for something to happen (in this case, I was waiting on swarm calls.... swarm season hasn't really kicked off yet around here), when it does happen, it's sort of surreal. Jarrett told me that his bee contacts from the North Shore had collected a swarm and would I come help set up the install device at the museum? Of course I was happy to do so!

Packed up some gear and went off to the museum. We installed the ladder and a rope, mostly for my nerves. I did not want the box of precious bees to get dropped by accident! (see me holding the rope in the picture below). It was a cool and windy afternoon, so the pole swayed a bit in the wind.

The swarm, in a 5ga bucket. For a moment, I saw the queen walking on the netting. It's harder to tell when you only see bee bellies, but her size and way of walking gave her away.

Brian, the catcher of the swarm, did the honors of pouring them into the 'installer' and then climbed up to attach the installer to the hive.

The installer is a very cleverly designed piece of bee equipment - it has window screens for walls, so that the bees can't escape but at the same time can still breathe and spread pheromone to their sisters who may have flown off during the initial 'pour'. Further, the screen prevents the bees from liking this enclosure too much. Bees like a dark cavity for a permanent home, something Jarrett has emulated with his HAVEN hive design. The installer has small windows all over, and only one exit, giving the bees no other choice to leave than through what we all hope will be their future home.

My friend and bee mentor Kaat came as soon as she'd heard, too, some of the photos are hers. Here you see me checking for any 'moving in' but the bees were cold and just clustered in the corners of the installer.

Hopefully, that last ingredient listed on the plaque is now in place! It was fun to see quite a few of the museum staff poke their noses out of the buildings and car windows to catch a glimpse of the action. Bees have a way of connecting people! Tomorrow we will be back to see if the moving in has happened overnight or in the morning... stay tuned...

Back to the Basics


  1. What a cool experience! We have often toyed with having bee hives here but have yet to take any classes or learn all that much about them! Perhaps one day we'll make a go of it! xo

    1. Come visit these ones at the DeCordova :-)

  2. That is a truly awesome project!! And so very timely as bees become threatened in some parts of our country, this has great educational potential, too.....I love it!!

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and your support! Maybe a Haven hive will be installed near you one day :-)