To Bee or Not To Bee

Is no longer the question.

I picked up my bees yesterday afternoon at the Bee Farm.

Did I wear my beesuit?

No.

There were two trucks ahead of me and people were getting stung right and left.

Yikes.

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.

Yippy.

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.

bees

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.

bees

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.

bees

bees

bees

bees

At this rate, I will be feeding every day until more blooms appear.

Practice makes perfect!

Brenda

 

 

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About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in Arkansas, Bees, Farm life, Garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to To Bee or Not To Bee

  1. That is amazing…I give you credit for taking this on as it is labor intensive…good luck Brenda!

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    • Bees are amazing creatures. Never thought I would do something like this, but felt I needed to do something to help with the bee population. Bees are so vital for our food supply and lack of them is quite a concern.

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  2. This is so interesting. My son has done some work with bees…transporting them to other farms for pollination, I believe. You are very brave! Looking forward to hearing more “buzz” about this. 😉

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  3. What an adventurer you are! Great going! Wish I were there, not to laugh, but to learn. ❤

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  4. Brenda! You are becoming quite the homesteader. I’m impressed.

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  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Good luck with your hives. Heaven knows we all need bees and they seem to be under attack at present. Every new hive is a step in the right direction.

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  6. That’s just awesome, Brenda! 😀

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  7. Tammy says:

    You are amazing. Keep us updated.

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  8. Pingback: To Bee or Not To Bee | The Blonde Gardener | SmartphonesSmartphones

  9. Wow, beekeeping has a lot of drama! Plus comedy, if you are at a safe distance. Hope the blooms come soon so you don’t get worn out feeding the bees. That tank looks like a giant gerbil bottle.

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  10. Holleygarden says:

    You are so brave! I don’t think I would ever try this – but kudos to you for doing it! I would have never thought they needed such large amounts of such strong sugar water. That’s a lot of sugar!

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  11. bittster says:

    heh heh, I bet you made the bee supplier’s day! Congrats on the latest additions, I hope it’s all smooth sailing to jars and jars of honey…. and some flowers for them to forage off of!

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  12. Oh my … I’m impressed by your bravery. That would have had me shaking.

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