Sunday, April 19, 2009

✈ 18,000 Bees ✈

It is official - the bees have arrived here at the farm !!

My husband has been building the hives all this past week, in preparation for today's bee package delivery. We explored YouTube last night to watch helpful movies of other people 'installing' their new bees. I was amazed at how little protection people wore while working with the bees - many wore no gloves and even short sleeve shirts !

We were worried that the bees would be stuck in the mountains and miss the planned delivery schedule. Colorado received a bunch of snow and rain these past few days, with major highways getting closed over the mountain passes. The bees were being brought to Northern Colorado from Utah, so weather could have slowed their progress. Luckily, the delivery man arrived where he was supposed to this morning, and we received two full boxes (or packages) of bees.

Each box has about 8000 bees and one queen. She rides in a small box separate from the other bees. Later when they are all in the hive, the bees free the queen from her tiny box by eating out a marshmellow that is stuck in the small portal hole. It looks like all our bees got to us safely !

The hives are pretty complex arrangements. The bottom two boxes (or supers) hold vertically hanging frames. They contain the wax where the bees will make honey combs. The middle box holds a bottle with sugar water. We need to feed the bees for awhile until they make honey to eat. The top 2 boxes hold more frames that we will take honey from. The bees get some, and we get some - perfect !! Here is a picture of one box, with some frames hanging in it:

bee hive
I'll try to get more pictures of the bees and the queen over time, so check back for more about our first adventure with bees !!


Doris Sturm said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your bees, Kathryn. Good luck to you and your husband on becoming beekeepers.

I think I've already told you about this Etsian before, but she belongs to my Honeybee Helpers team and has a great blog on their experiences in beekeeping that you might find informative.

That is wonderful that so many people are taking up beekeeping. I wish I could.

Wonderful post with very thorough information. I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Wow that's great. My husband and I are trying to start bee keeping. We have 2 bee hive, but so far no bees. Hopefully soon. I have pictures of our hives, not set up yet. The pictures are way back in my blog. We are also starting a garden this year too. We have one last fence to build to ensure our goats can't possibly get in to eat everything. Well good luck with the bees.