Sunday, April 14, 2013

My bees are here!!!

 Friday was a very long day. And it ended getting bees.

I went to my friends house at 6:30. He hooked up his enclosed trailer to his truck and we headed out. We had to go to Sale Creek, Tn, not too far away. We got there before dusk. Then more people came. Thank goodness we were first. We had to back the truck into this narrow space to those hives. Then Lynn, who is an engineer, had this elaborate system to get the 3 hives into the trailer. There was a dolly, lots of straps and metal bars across the tops. I had brought my full bee suit, but it was dark by the time we loaded them, so I just put on a long sleeve white shirt and Lynn's wife's hat.

There were a lot of people standing around. Lots of red lights all over. I helped get the straps on the hives. Held lights. I felt something going up the back of my right leg. Then felt a little sting. I tried all I could to get that bee out of my pants! It really didn't hurt bad. But the I heard one in my hair. And I have really thick curly hair. Finally got that one out and headed to Lynn's house. (That's my hive in the middle with the white box in the middle of the hive.)

When we got to Lynn's and to where he had his bee stands, it was about 9:30. And when I got out of the truck, I put my ear to the trailer. And I heard bees. Loud angry bees. And lots of them. So we went to the house, ate some cornbread soup, (it was SO good. I'll have to tell y'all how to make it later.) suited up, lit the smoker up. Headed back to the trailer. By then, they had settled down again. He smoked through the cracks and lifted the door up. My hive was in between his two. And the hive on the right was crazy mad. There were dead bees all over inside. I felt so bad for them.

We got up in the trailer and brought the bad hive out first. Got it up on the stand. Now Lynn, who I mentioned is an engineer and has a shop on his farm, had made the nicest bee stands for his hives. Out of stainless steel. On metal posts about a foot off the ground. In a nice little stand of trees. So those hive stands ain't going anywhere.

Got back in the truck and headed to my house. It was about 11:00 by then. Got my hive out onto my trusty yellow wagon and pulled it down the driveway to the sheep yard, where I was putting my hive, in the corner by the big maple tree. On a wooden pallet. With a little field fence yard for them to keep the sheep away. It was 12:00 when we were all finished. I was perty tired by then. A very long day. But I was very happy to have my bee hive in place at Outback Farm.

This is the front where you can see a few bees on the pallet. It had an entrance reducer for traveling purposes. I went out later last night and pried it off with my hive tool. I missed the little nail the first time and I heard the bees then. I got it the next time, dropped it on the ground and shut the fence and ran out! I need to pick it up and save it for winter.

They were really active yesterday. It was sunny and warm out. It took them awhile to get going though, since it was cold in the morning. But I watched them all during the day and they were busy little bees.

I had signed up for a bee workshop a few months ago and it was Saturday. So I went and learned SO much from Samantha, at Barefoot Farm. She and her husband have had bees for years and years. And I know now why it's called Barefoot Farm. They have a lot of kids and they were all barefoot. Even the husband. They were so knowledgeable. I learned that as long as I am BEHIND the hive, I will be ok. If I am in FRONT of the hive, in their flight path, I better watch out! I also got a great book called The Backyard beekeeper by Kim Flottum. Good book. Also got a pint of their honey. It is so good.) I so enjoyed that class and feel more confident. Although, I know that I will learn so much more as I go along on this journey. I also bought an extra box with frames that Samantha said I should put on the top later on this week. She said I should leave them alone for at least a week to settle in. Then put it on.

I have a hive tool, but not like this one with the hook on one end. She's had this one for years. And the tool on the left is a frame lifter tool. Very handy tool to have. We have a bee store in Lafayette that is all things bee. I'll go Wed. and get some more things I'll be needing. (Look at her. And 7 kids too.)

This is her observation hive. So interesting. We got to see drones, workers and finally found the queen. She isn't a very strong queen though. So she'll be watching her. If she doesn't do what she's supposed to do, lay eggs, she will have to be killed and a new queen brought in. Bees are so amazing.

And this is the back view of my hive. The entrance in facing East. I want to make a deck here under this maple tree. I was worried at first then when I found out we would be ok behind the hive, I'll go ahead with my plans now. I will love sitting here and watching my bees.

I am SO glad I went ahead and jumped into this adventure with bees. I have always wanted bees but kept waiting. When I heard that Eddie was selling all his bees to retire and move to Montana, I just jumped and told him I wanted a hive. I so wish I had gotten 2 now. But I hope to grow this one into a split and then add to it. I'd still like to have one out back.

But right now, I am just enjoying them and hoping they will be happy and healthy bees. And that they will pollinate everything and take all the pollen they want! And some honey would be a really nice reward.


Kristin said...

Congratuations and good luck!

Tami said...

I can tell you're excited and thrilled. Congrats! I'll be staying tuned to hear about your bee adventures.

Our 3 hollies are in bloom right now and just vibrating with bees.

You can hear the hum 10 feet away. They don't care at all about us, they're so busy collecting. It's fun to watch them. I won't keep hives myself as I'm in a subdivision but I agree, they're fascinating!

Linda said...

Congratulations! I am interested in Top Bar Hives... maybe some day.

Shine said...

Totally awesome. As much as I want sheep, my husband would love to keep bees. One day we will be able to do the things we want, but right now, it's fun and enlightening to watch all you guys!!

Kris said...

The guy I got my hive from just called. Apparently, I just got a single hive that he put 2 shallow boxes on the top of with new frames in them. So he is going to send me some money back. I didn't know this. He did say that mine was more for education, since this is my first ever hive. I guess that's ok. He did say to wait to put the other box with the frames in it on the top til around the first of May.

I have SO much to learn. The bees were very active today since it was sunny and really warm out. So they should be filling up the frames pretty fast. He said right now, I didn't need to give them any sugar water.

I wish everyone could have a bee hove of their own. They are so amazing. I put the little tiny bird bath in their yard with water in it and some little sticks for them to land on. But so far, they just land on the side and drink. There are also 2 ponds and another bird bath in the yard.

Linda, there is a guy here that sells top bar hives he makes pretty cheap. I'd like to wait awhile and get one as I learn more about the bees. Right now, I am having fun just with these.

Tami, years back, when I'd be picking beans next to the corn, it sounded like New York City. The bees were so loud, getting the corn tassels, their legs full of corn pollen. SO cool! But I can't grow corn too good lately so haven't seen many bees. This year, I'm going to plant a whole garden of heirloom corn just for the bees. It will be right in front of them.

An At Home Daughter said...

Have you seen the bee film Queen Of The Sun? I found it quite interesting.

Kris said...

I will check that out. Sounds good. And my daughter said the animated film called Bees is good too. My favorite bee movie that I've seen is the one with Queen Latifa. Darn, I sure wish I could remember names. Is it The Secret Life of Bees? I read the book first and couldn't put it down.

There was an ad in the peper yesterday for free bees. I called and he said someone was already there. They were in his house. Another man on Sand Mt. had bees in his house too. I don't think I'd attempt getting bees out of a house yet. Out of a tree, yes.

When did this word verification start? I hadn't noticed it. I hate these things.

Sandra said...

Sounds like an adventure!
Mike would love to get bees.
Maybe someday...
Look forward to hearing about your bee keeping!

Kris said...

I am loving it so far. The bees are housecleaning right now. I see them hauling out dead bees and disposing of them in the grass outside the hive. They are such clean bees. I asked Eddie about that and he said bees mostly die of old age. And when they die inside the hive, they are carried out because bees like their home clean.

An At Home Daughter said...

Queen Of The Sun is a documentary about bees. I saw the animated Bee movie and loved it. I was talking to my mom about it the other day, and she had never seen it. So it should be coming from Netflix today. I liked the Secret Life Of Bee's too. I thought it was interesting how the bees made the purple honey with the elderberries. I wonder what that honey tastes like.

Have you ever looked on Craigslist for free bees. On our listing a lot of beekeepers put adds on that they will remove bees for free. It's sopposed to be the best way to get a good healthy hive, but I'm no bee expert.
A friend of mine, got a very old, huge hive out of her neighbors wall of her house, by setting a 4 story hive next to it, and dumping two jars of raw honey in it. Then she let it sit for about a month. When they went back to check on it the bees had moved in. Her son in law loaded it up in his pickup and hauled it over to her place.

The word verification started at the same time as the posts requiring your approval to post.


Kris said...

Mt step dad called me yesterday and said he just saw an ad in the paper for free bees. I called, figuring it was a swarm or something, and the guy said someone was there then to get them out of his house. I don't think I could do that. Out of a tree maybe. But I'd need more boxes and frames.

I want to see this documentary now. And the bee movie. I have several elderberry bushes here now so I hope the bees will get them too. Right now, my apple trees are buzzing with all kinds of bee activity. Bumble bees, honey bees, little tiny honey bee looking bees, and some little black bees that look like honey bees. No telling how many more are there that I didn't see. And it smells so good out there too.

I have never had to do the word verification when I respond to a comment until that one time. And that's all. I'm so sorry y'all have to. I'll wait a little while longer and see if those anonymous comments stay away. Remind me in about a month if I forget. And thank you all for still commenting on my blog. I sure do appreciate you all.