Friday, May 1, 2015

A New Addition: Honeybees

Today, I became a beekeeper.  About 4 years ago, I started dreaming about wanting to be a beekeeper.  At first, most people thought I was crazy.  I guess I tend to be a little crazy and out-of-the box.  My desire to be a beekeeper was driven by wanting local honey.  The main reason was to help with my allergies.  Eating local honey can help with people who suffer with  allergies, which is a huge problem for me.  Plus, who doesn’t want fresh honey???
I picked up my honeybees this morning and I have to say, I was so excited and a bit nervous all at the same time. All I could think about is…
“This can either go two ways…really good or really bad.”
“Will the bees smell my fear?” Yes…it’s true, not just a line from Jerry Maguire.
“Will the bees attack me and will I die?”
The bees come in a small container that I brought home and were ready to be put into the hive.  I have 2 hives that I’m starting.
I set everything up and got to work.
This is an empty hive. I removed 4 of the frames to make room for the bees.IMG_1255
My little guy was very intrigued and not nervous at all!
I’m accessing the crate to retrieve the queen.  The queen is in a tiny little cage, that I have in my left hand.
I present you will her majesty, the Queen!IMG_1267
I’ve removed a small plug and I’m putting a mini-marshmallow in the hole to keep the queen in her cage.  It is the colonies job to eat through the marshmallow and that’s how they accept her as their queen.IMG_1268
Now its time to dump the bees in!!!
Once most of the bees are out of the cage, I added the last couple of frames to the hive and closed it up.  I left the cage on top of the hive for 30 minutes to allow the rest of the bees to fly into the hive, then I removed the cage.
And the bonus was…I was able to do it without one sting!!!  IMG_1317
I thought that I would get stung, especially being my first time!  Now the hard part comes in waiting.  I have to leave my hives alone for a week before I can go check on it again!  Really, this might be the hard part…waiting!!!

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