One day Joe said, “It would be great to get some honey bees” or something similar. As usual that was my cue to take it and run. Or was it take over? Sorry sweetie!
We decided to start with two hives. Thanks to our friend Trent for all the education and direction in getting started not to mention the use of some of his equipment. He has been a great resource. Back in February, we ordered the hive parts, tools and 2 packages of Italian honey bees with marked queens.
Soon after we had the hives built and painted, I got a call from the local post office asking me to come pick up my bees…soon…before they even opened their doors! So I did.
The bees arrived in nothing more than wooden framed screened boxes. I had been waiting for this day for months and was so excited! I took them home, placed them in the barn and sprayed them with sugar water throughout the day as I waited anxiously for the boys to get out of school. They wanted to be there when we introduced the bees to their new home. My sweet hubby was out of town and had to miss out on the big day.
So at 4:00 that afternoon, with our boys, mom & dad, and friends Jim & Michele we set out to establish our colonies. I had watched a few YouTube videos of bee package installations and it seemed pretty simple. I opened the first box, hung the queen cage, and dumped the 10,000-12,000 honeybees into the hive. It went so well we decided our boys could do the second package. I opened the box, hung the queen cage and they took turns tapping and shaking the box to get all the bees out. I was so proud of them!
I went to check a week later and found one hive absconded! There were only a few bees inside. The queen left and took the entire colony with her. Bummer! We have since installed another package of bees into this hive and I will say they are vigorous bees! More so than the others so I am excited to see what they will do.
The other hive was busy drawing comb, packing pollen and the queen is laying eggs. All excellent! Hopefully we will harvest some honey later this summer.
Bee checking back to see when we will have honey available for you!