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.
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.