We have four thousand new buddies at our River Cottage today. That’s right, the bees have finally arrived, after being delayed a couple of weeks due to weather. These are Italian bees that were shipped from Georgia to Betterbee, where Chad picked them on Saturday morning. The box they came in was about the size of a toaster oven. Because it was cold outside, and they had been traveling for days, the honeybees were really mellow, all huddled together and softly buzzing. Needless to say, I’ve never seen so many bees in one place. And, I never thought I’d say this, but honey bees are damn cute! Nothing like those pesky yellow jackets or chunky bumblebees. Approximately four thousand bees were in that box, along with the queen in her own special container. To get the bees in the hive, you pull out the queen’s box, place it in the hive, and shake all the other bees in. They are dying to be near the queen — whose box has a door made out of candy that bees eat to free her — and follow her immediately. Amazing, huh? Chad got stung only once. Sadly, some bees did die in the transfer. We think the cold temp may have been too much for them. But the next day, the sun came out and we could see the busy workers coming and going from the hive’s entrance. We’ll check on them in a few days to make sure the queen has made her way successfully out of the box. Wanna see more? Click here to watch Chad’s the installation of the bees on YouTube — Angela M.