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August 4, 2014

The move north

by blakehiltunen

This week the colony that will occupy the observation hive was finally moved north.  The hive had been building strength and population in North Hampton, NH for the first two months of the summer and Monday night made the move to the shore of Sebago lake in Raymond, ME.

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It is best to move bees after nightfall as all foraging bees have gathered back at the hive for the night.  Though they are still active, they are more tranquil than during daylight hours.

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A trick I discovered during the move was to use an uncapped LED lantern.  The light attracts the bees that manage to escape while strapping the hive together and blocking the entrance with a strip of wood.  An LED bulb is cool enough for them to land on and the clear plastic lens contains them nicely.  These half dozen bees that had escaped stayed perched in the lantern for the duration of the two hour drive to the lake and were happily returned to the colony when we arrived.

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Seeming to be healthy and strong, this week was about making sure the bees were settling in comfortably.  Though this is the weakest of the three colonies, it seemed the best to move as it is the smallest as the colony still filling in the bottom hive body.  In fact, the colony is much busier in their new location than they were in New Hampshire even after re-queening.  They have been foraging, coming in with red, green and yellow pollen, as well as rearing new brood.

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During the hive inspections, it was clear to see the waggle dance they perform to communicate food sources.

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