Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Project Begins!

We visited Sturm Berry Farm on Saturday, April 25, 2009, to choose a location for our main bee shelter where we will introduce the O. aglaia that were collected last year. We were joined by Mike Carter (left in the photo) who has volunteered to help us set up a webcam to observe the bee shelter and bloom so that those of us who are not in Corbett can advise the Sturms about managing the bees, and others who are interested can also watch. Mike has a company appropriately called "Beeline Services", and he has experience with security cameras, IT systems, and photography, as well as an interest in bee keeping. It's the perfect combination of skills for our project. Mike is hoping to put together a system involving a solar-powered wireless net cam.

At Rosie Sturm's suggestion, we set up our bee shelter under one of the powerlines that runs through the middle of the farm. The shelter faces south, and Mike plans to attach the netcam to a post just south of the shelter, looking north.
In the photo left you can see the white roof of the Sturm's barn about 400 ft away to the northeast. The Sturms have a computer and router in an office in the barn. Mike plans to install a "rubber duck" on the top of an electric pole just outside the barn which will pick up wireless signals from the webcam.

We left 4 large Binderboard nests inside the shelter, ready for introduction of Osmia aglaia.
The bees are warming up in the Sturm's home, where they will experience higher night temperatures than in the field. This should speed their emergence. If the raspberry is in bloom when the bees are ready to emerge, Rosie will move them to the bee shelter. If the bees start to emerge before bloom, she will put the cocoons back in the refrigerator to delay emergence for a few days .

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