Sunday, April 19, 2015

We have ten thousand new pets (the fuzzy, buzzing kind)!

To bee or not to bee—that has been the question on our homestead for years.  Both Steve and I were always fascinated by honeybees.  We know how important bees are for humanity, since without them there would be no pollinators, and thus no food.  No bees, no food, no humans.

This week, we jumped in and got bees!  We added ten thousand pets to our collection of goats, pigs, ducks, chickens, cat and dog!  The man who looks like Santa Claus is Jerry, our neighbor and very helpful Bee Guru.



We are so fortunate to have neighbors who are addicted to bee-keeping and very eager to share their skills with us newbies.  We stopped by their place to watch how they transferred the bees they had bought into their hive.  They didn't wear bee suits or any kind of protection because if handled calmly, these bees are very docile.  One landed in my son Kai's hair, and he stayed calm and thought it was sooooo cool that the bee wanted to hang out with him.  





Steve built a Russian hive, which is different than the common Langstroth box.  I won't go into details here because, frankly, I don't know very much about bee-keeping yet, but mostly we like the Russian style because the bees build their own honeycomb.  There also seems to be less disease in these top bar hives.



Here are some pictures of the transfer of the bees at our neighbors' place.  They are further along than us: their bees have a palace, with a roof over their little heads.



That's the Queen in her little cage







The next day, our neighbors came over to help us transfer the box of bees we bought.  I felt pretty emotional introducing our new pets to their home.  While the bees buzzed on the outside, I buzzed on the inside.  I find it a little nerve-wracking to have these insects fly around me.  My first-ever memory is being stung by a bee.  Hopefully our bee-keeping adventure will cure me of this traumatic memory!









6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Oww, how cool is that!! Top bar hives.... I really want to know how that works out in your climate!

    Enjoy the work with your girls. I know I will someday.

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  3. Ron, it will be a learning curve, I'm sure!

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  4. OK you guys are really inspiring me. Since we have a big commercial bee keeping around here utilizing the star thistle for food source I'm sure it would be "easy" for us to start. I am going to look into this for sure.

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    Replies
    1. Look into Top Bar Hives. They don't give you as much honey but are better for the bees and can be controlled totally naturally!

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