Is no longer the question.
I picked up my bees yesterday afternoon at the Bee Farm.
Did I wear my beesuit?
There were two trucks ahead of me and people were getting stung right and left.
Then it’s my turn. I backed up the truck and reluctantly got out. I am wearing a t-shirt, jeans, ball cap and hair in a pony tail.
What the heck was I thinking?
Did you know bees like pony tails? They seemed to hone in on it immediately. I yanked my hat off and started the “there’s a bee in my hair” dance. After a few minutes, and thankfully no stings, Mr. Bee Man suggested I get in the truck and he would talk to me through the window (rolled up, of course).
Great idea. I got my instructions and headed down the road.
Looking in the rear view mirror, I saw Mr. Bee Man laughing with his helper. At least they had enough composure not to imitate me until I was out of sight.
Thank God, no one else was there.
Now I’m thinking, “what in the world have I gotten myself into?”
When I got home, I put my bee suit on, took a deep breath, and approached the hives. The entrance was blocked with wire so no bees were buzzing around.
My hives are called starter hives. The contain a nucleus colony of bees. A nucleus, or nuc, only has 3000-5000 bees. (A regular hive could contain up to 60,000 bees) I can tell you this. When I was carrying the hive to it’s stand, the buzz of those bees sounded like there were 100,000.
With both hives in place and standing to the side of the hive, I removed the wire screen.
Bees poured out.
I won’t lie. The sights and sounds were somewhat unnerving.
Trying to stay calm, I slowly walked away.
I think it was then that I took a breath.
I did it.
Without the dance.
That’s not all I needed to do, though. Bees need food and lots of it.
The feeders that you see on the outside of the hives contain sugar water.
The ratio for spring bees is 1:1. 1 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar so 1 gallon of water gets about 5 lbs. of sugar.
By this evening, they had gone through about 1/2 gallon of the sugar water.
Al was kind enough to take photos of me feeding the bees. He was thankful for the telephoto lens.
At this rate, I will be feeding every day until more blooms appear.
Practice makes perfect!