Honey bees:  (2011) by Mary

I mentioned having honey bees one day, and Larry loved the idea. (I'm still not used to us agreeing on so many things.) He thought it would be a great hobby and was very interested. We studied up on them and decided what type of hive we wanted. When Todd and Nancy moved to the farm, it seemed possible to follow through, so we researched some more, and placed our order for bees from one company, and a top bar Warre hive made out of cedar from another. We also bought the top half of the white suit with the head gear, the long gloves, a smoker, and a top bar tool. Todd assembled the hive in the house and it smelled so good and looked so mysterious and impressive, it was left in the corner of the dining room until the weather warmed up.  

Wanting to be prepared when the bees arrived, we chose a place at the edge of the forest where we thought it met all the criteria, and also where we could easily keep watch from the yard. Bees are fascinating creatures, we read, and we didn't want to miss out on their exciting little lives! Part of an adventure is the unknown, the scary, and bees were definitely in that category for us.
The bees arrived the end of April, and first I was disappointed, then actually relieved that Larry & I weren't the ones to receive and introduce them to their new home. Even though I had read about how to do it and watched YouTube videos, I just knew the bees would sense my apprehension.

Well, the mailman brought the bees to the door and said that this was a 'first' for him! Glad to make his delivery route more exciting! Todd called and shared the experience with us.

Todd put on the suit for the first time, and carried the box of bees up to the hive. After dismantling the hive, he removed the cork from the little box that contained the queen and set the box in the hive. Then he opened the large box and dumped the big pile of bees on top of her. 

Above, the top bars are positioned, and the bees will build their honey combs down from them. Todd placed the bee covered can that fed them while in transit on the top bars.

Right: When he finished, he rocked the box back and forth to get the stragglers to come together. They formed a ball, tennis ball size, which he dumped on the ground by the small entrance. Then he leaned the box against the hive. Within five minutes most of the stragglers had entered their new home. 

on to Mason bees

Other bee stories:

Fretting & AuNT BEE

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