Beekeeping At SJU
Thanks to Chelsea Heck and Maurine McGeehan from the Lower Merion Conservancy, a honey bee hive has been installed on the roof of the Science Center this spring. The bees are Italian honey bees, purchased from a beekeeping supplier in Georgia. Below are some photos of the first few weeks of the hive.
Chelsea (on the left) and Maurine are moving the bees from the shipping box into their new home on the Science Center roof on April 14th, 2014.
Above the rest of the bees are transferred into the hive.
On May 15th, Chelsea (on th eleft) and Maurine check the bees' progress. Many of the frames have been "built out" by the bees and contain honeycomb filled with pollen, honey or brood (developing bees, mostly worker bees at this point).
Unfortunately the bees do not seem to like building on the plastic substrate that was used in a couple of the frames. This is one of the plastic substrates and the bees have built oddly-formed honey comb on it. The comb was removed and placed into the hive and the plastic frames were moved into the honey "super", an additional chamber above the brood chambers, where the bees are meant to store honey for food. Hopefully they will like it better for that.
On Monday, May 19th, Chelsea (on the left) and Maurine (holding the smoker used to "calm" the bees) added a second brood chamber (the white box on the deck in front of Chelsea) and a honey "super" (the unpainted box behind Chelsea) to the hive. We will keep checking on the bees' progress throughout the summer. There are many plants blooming on the vegetative roof and in the areas around the Science Center and it seems like the bees are finding plenty of pollen and nectar so so far, so good.