It’s been kinda quiet on the blog the last few days. We’re trying to adjust to Gabe being out of school for the summer, and finding interesting ways to entertain a 5 year old. Last Saturday we got some new creatures on the farm, actually several thousand new creatures; Jeremy finally got his first hive of bees.
A family in our hometown keeps bees, and they had a complete hive to sell. Jeremy hadn’t had much luck previously with acquiring bees. He ordered a hive (structure) only to learn the same company ran out of actual bees. We have had a sad, lonely hive sitting in our garage for the last few months. I actually prefer acquiring bees the way we did; We purchased the enter hive structure pre-loaded with bees. Jeremy didn’t have to do anything other than relocate it, set it up, and unscreen the hive. The bees were eager to get to work.
The first series of photos are from when Jeremy unscreened the hive. Our beekeeping mentor had showed us which bees will sting and how to identify them. Jeremy relocated and unscreened the hive without a sting and obviously (from the photos) in regular clothing.
Jeremy did install the sugar water feeder. This is a new swarm that was put in a new hive, so they have no food stored yet. They will get 4 quarts of sugar water total that will help them to establish their own food store (honey). In a few weeks our mentor is coming to show Jeremy how to install a “super” on top of the present hive. Don’t expect any honey for nearly a year. If you rob a hive too soon, you risk killing your bees. They need to establish their hive before you can retrieve any honey.
We hope that the bees will produce honey, but also help pollinate our orchard where they live. We’re waiting on a call for our second hive, and we hope to add four total.
It has been a fun experience so far, and I’m really looking forward to having our own honey.
I’ll be covering our initial experience in more detail next week with resources for beginner beekeepers and help locating a mentor in your area.
Anyone have any honey recipes they want to share?