If you ever thought the life of an Extension agent was dull – think again!  Wheeler Farm just inherited about 100,000 new mini-livestock!  The Salt Lake County Jail Horticulture Program has decided to discontinue honey production at their field site and was gracious enough to donate their beekeeping equipment to Wheeler Historic Farm to support our new Thriving Hive Beekeeping Series which will be offered Thursdays at Wheeler Historic Farm from May to October 2018.

Here is the class line-up:

April 12th – Bee Nutrition/Starting the Hive off Strong

May 10th – Bee Communication/Swarming and Splitting

June 14th – Pollinator Friendly Plantings and Native Bees

July 12th – Optional Hive Inspection

August 9th – Honey Harvesting

September 13th – Honeybee Pests and Disease

October 11th – Winterizing the Hive

For more information on the Thriving Hive series, including the registration link, click here.

Back to my recent adventure, we moved 3 live hives from the Salt Lake County Jail Horticulture Garden to Wheeler Farm.  It is important to move honeybee hives at night when all the workers are back in the hive.  We waited until dark, put a damp towel over the hive exit, taped and wrapped the hives, secured them for transport and moved them to their new home – whew what a thrill!  They spent approximately 24 hours trapped in the hive before we pulled the towel to release them to their new foraging grounds.  Hey, just another day in the office for me!  Here are some pictures of the big moving day!

Bees are back home and ready to move.

So many thanks to Roy, our devoted Master Gardener and beekeeper who helped us move the hives!

Damp towels were laid across the hive exit to secure the bees.

Hives are covered, secured and in the truck ready to transport.

It’s a good thing there were only 3 live hives, we had just enough space.  Now that’s efficient packing!

The first hive is placed at its new home at Wheeler!

Tethers are removed.

Three in a row, ready to roll!

Hive one is currently queen-less so the bees are exploring since they do not have to swarm their queen to keep her warm.  This picture was taken from under the hive looking up!