It’s morning. I am sitting at my keyboard with my cup of coffee thinking of how to share the wonderful experience and feelings of finally getting our first bees. The sun is just coming up, and the birds are slowly starting to sing; I can hear them through the kitchen window. So many varieties are out there, it makes for a delight to the ears listening to them!
So, back to the bees. Yesterday my good friend from Starrlight Farm in Mt. Olive brought me a swarm, a very large swarm! She and her son had caught it the day before and she called me up and said “Guess what I am doing right now?….. Watching bees, for you, march into a box!” Let me tell you, it was scarey and exciting at the same time to know I was really going to have my own hive to be responsible for. I know bees are “just insects”, but when you farm anything you have made a commitment to manage them with care. Bees are no different, and suddenly I am responsible for thousands of little lives. These creatures are so very important in our world that I want them to have the very best chance at surviving; and not just surviving, but to thrive!
So my friend (I will call her “R”) came out around lunch time with some very hungry bees that wanted to settle in. I had stuff ready on my end, a couple of cement blocks, a hive stand, cover, food, etc. The bees were a little active so we donned our bee suits as a precaution as we got ready to transfer the little girls. Now, here is where I really laughed to myself. We had on our bee suits, which for each of us consisted of hat, veil and coat. I was in shorts and flip-flops, but “R” at least had pants and shoes. I imagine it was a pretty funny sight to my husband and hers as they stood about 20-feet away watching. I was very careful how and where I stepped!
We successfully made the transfer, though a few girls got stuck to the duck tape that had held the cover on of paper on the bee box, but “R” got them off pretty easily, she really is the queen of bees! I swear she has a magic touch with them. We gave them food and put on an entrance reducer so it would be easier to defend their new hive, then we stood back to watch to see if the hive I had set up to attract a swarm would be a problem. “R” thought there might be some robbing, but it turned out the new bees were just making orientation flights. My husband enjoyed making bee-jokes over the afternoon, and we all enjoyed a good visit before our friends had to head back home. It felt so good to see the bee activity every time I was outside the rest of the day. I sure hope I don’t make too many major mistakes as I learn how to care for these creatures!
Now I just have to replace some of my friend’s equipment that we didn’t want to remove from around the bees. I am painting a hive body for her as she doesn’t have time but likes a bit of decoration as much as I do. I hope she likes it. I have 2 sides pretty much done. The third side I want to re-paint, I don’t like it as much, and the 4th. is plain still, but by days-end I should have it done. Here are a couple photos of what it is looking like;
Now it is time to go enjoy all today has to offer. I am really looking forward to it, and hope you are too!