Friday, May 11, 2018

Buzz Buzz....We Have Bees!

We are SO excited - we added a hive of bees to our homestead this spring!  This is something that we knew we've wanted to do for a few years, and this was the year to make it happen.


After some research, we decided to buy a Warre Hive.  These are supposed to be a more natural habitat for bees - and we're all about things being natural around here :)  We got our bees ordered and began preparing for their arrival.  The first thing we did was scoped out our property to find a good spot for them.  We decided to put them on the back side of the new addition we added to our garden last year.  This puts them close to our garden (obviously), but also far enough away from where the kids spend most of their time playing outside.  First thing was to get the area all tilled up.  This worked great because we needed some soil for a new strawberry box in the garden!

    

Next up was a fence around the area.  We already had the picket fence laying around so Jason went to the store and picked up some split rail fencing for the remaining side.


While we have lots of things in bloom in the summer, we wanted to plant a few flowering bushes inside the fence for spring blooms.  I found these gorgeous Weigelas at a local nursery.  Beautiful!


And then....we procrastinated :)  I mean, we were mostly ready, right??  Ha!!!  We got the text on Friday that our friend would be by to pick Jason up the next morning at 7:30 to go pick up the bees.  So, then hustle-mode kicked in.  Apparently there were modifications that needed to be made to our Warre Hive before it was actually ready to be used.  So that's what we spent our Friday night doing.  I mean, doesn't everyone paint beeswax onto hive bars at 10:00 on a Friday night!?

    

Jason had to modify each one of those bars by sawing a tiny notch in each end.  This will make it easier to remove the bars once the bees build their honeycomb onto them.  


Finally, all of our work was done around 11:30 that night (and, if you don't know us - that is L A T E for us!!).  We were finally sitting down to decompress when Jason, looking at his phone says "oh, shit.  I don't think this hive is going to work."  He explained that we ordered a Nuc of bees - basically we ordered frames of already established bees with brood and a queen.  These frames are made to fit the Langstroth hives.  For a Warre Hive, you would need to order a box of bees and a queen.  You then (gently) dump the bees into the hive with the queen and hope everything goes smoothly and they begin to make their brood and honey.  Well, isn't this just great!  #newbies

The next morning our friend Adam came and picked Jason up and Jason planned on talking to both Adam and the beekeepers on what we should do with our hive situation.  Thankfully, Adam had a plan and an extra box.  With a few modifications, the guys were able to makeshift a Langstroth hive for the time being.  Thank goodness for handy men.  Yay!!

     


While the guys were busy making a hive for our new additions, The bees were getting acclimated to their new surroundings.

    


Once the guys handy work was finished, they moved the new box out to the bee area and moved the bees into their new home.

    

We've had the bees for a week now and all is well!  They have taken to their new home without any issues and we love spotting them all over our property pollinating away.  We are hopeful that having bees will help with our garden and fruit trees.  And, let's not forget about the delicious honey we'll get to harvest in the future!


Buzz Buzz

~ Sara :)

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