Monthly Archives: April 2014

Meeting Her Majesty the Queen! (1st inspection)

Busy weekend, lots to talk about! Between running a 4 mile race, attending a friend’s baby shower (which had bee-themed favors btw 😉 ), a neighborhood picnic, and putting in more of the vegetable garden, we found time to do our first full hive inspections one week after the installation. Suffice to say that everything looked pretty ok, with the exception of a lot of unwanted “burr comb” in the now empty feeder. Those hungry bees went through almost a gallon

Bringing home pollen!

When I went out first thing this morning (ah, who am I kidding, it was 9:30), I was thrilled to see a lot of bees returning to Hive 1 loaded up with pollen! I take this to mean that they are satisfied with the home I’ve provided and are going to fill the pantry? I tried to take a short video…it’s hard to get a good close-up. This is the best I could do. You’ll notice a bee fly in

Getting used to the new digs

After spending the first night in their new home, there was plenty of action going on in the apiary the next day. At first I was a little concerned with it, were they still agitated from the hiving, were they robbing, or something else? Then I remembered reading about this. My guess is that they were doing their orientation flights! Makes sense, since they were shipped in a small box from god-knows-where, and unceremoniously dumped into a strange hive on

Home sweet home: hiving the bees!

Whew! Yesterday was an exciting one, welcoming home some 60,000 or so new pets! Now that the girls are settled in, here’s a recap of the hive installation: The weather was not ideal, a little cool and rainy but the nice folk at Bailey Bee Supply assured us that it would be fine, and in fact maybe help, in that the bees would hunker down in their new hives and not fly so much during the install. After picking out

The bees are arriving soon!

I opened my email yesterday afternoon to this: To say I’m excited would be an understatement!  As my co-workers can confirm, I’ve been talking about bees, bees, and more bees.  It’s interesting how I’m now noticing very detailed things about this spring season’s arrival.  Knowing that I’m soon going to have bees who need to have trees and flowers to forage from has made me even more attuned to what tree buds have recently popped and even the sight of

Where there’s smoke, there’s…

…fire? No, just me practicing lighting my bee smoker for the first time! Smoke is used by the beekeeper to mask the bee’s alarm pheromones (which are chemicals released and used for communication). When subjected to a disturbance (such as a newbie beekeeper trying to “invade” their hive), guard bees will release an alarm pheromone, which will basically rile up the entire hive into a defensive state.  Puffing cool smoke into the hive entrance and under the cover a few minutes before

Home is where the hive is

I’ve spent several weekend afternoons in the last month or so prepping for the arrival of the ladies. I ordered 2 8-frame “garden hives” from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, along with all the anticipated extras: medium hive bodies, frames, foundation, hive top feeders, screened bottom boards, bee brush, and an extra bee veil for Rob.  I already have a smokin’ hot smoker and my own bee veil thanks to a Christmas present from my sis! One of the first things

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