The bees patiently awaited their move to a new home.
Here's a closeup of the Queen cage (sorry it is blurry). Her attendants are there at the top, making sure she is fed and doing well. You can see where we stuffed a piece of marshmallow in the end, replacing the wooden cork the queen cave arrived with. The bees will eat through the marshmallow candy and release the queen.
After pulling the cork and replacing it with marshmallow, we secured the queen box to one of the top bars. We were, at this point, also supposed to check to see if the queen is alive, but there were bees crawling all over the queen cage and I chickened out, securing the queen cage in a hurry and hoping that her attendants leave my fingers alone just a few seconds longer. I guess we'll have to figure out later of the queen is alive.
I tipped over the box- and attempted to shake the bees out. I shook gently, timidly, not wanting to hurt them. The bees clung stubbornly to the sides of the package box, not tumbling out the way they did for the guy on the youtube video I watched in preparation.
I shook a bit harder, then stopped to readjust my grip on the box. The exploded into busy bomb scene of angry bees- total bee mayhem. Disoriented bees flew through the air, trying to figure out where their queen has gone and buzzing angrily at me. I realized I hadn't attached my veil to my helmet correctly when I saw three bees crawling up the veil, on the inside. I stopped, stepped away, gingerly peeled my helmet and veil off, and asked for some help from Chad and Venessa to brush off the handful of bees finding their way up into my veil. Note to self- beekeeping is an activity best done in groups of two or more. Miracously, I had no stings, save for one little renegade bee on my thigh who decided that I was a predator and that my presence merited sacrificing her life to attack me. I watched her back up and start to stick her stinger through my jeans, but I brushed her off quickly, feeling just a tiny poke. No stinger left behind.... maybe that little fierce bee lived to fly another day?
video of it all coming together.