A few years ago I was given an opportunity to try beekeeping. Then the next winter, all of my bees died. So, I did what I always do and convinced myself to quit. Last summer came and I found myself missing my bees terribly. As much as I love keeping goats and chickens, beekeeping is different. I have never been what you may call an easy going person. I tend to lean toward the dramatic. With bees you cannot fake calm. You have to be calm. Before doing any work with bees you have to take a deep breath and reach deep down and find your confidence and strength. I have never meditated but I think it must be the same sort of thing. So this winter I ordered a package of bees, determined to try again.
They came yesterday.
I had destroyed a lot of the old bee equipment, since I was not sure if the bee's demise was due to disease . The pieces that I kept were disinfected with heat. I purchased new foundation and prepared the frames.
I had never introduced a nuc of new bees to a hive before, so I asked a lot of questions, re-read my books and watched a few You Tube videos. Then I just did it.
I removed the cage and knocked her attendants off. Then attached her to the frame. There is a piece of sugar candy that her attendants will eat, this slowly releases her from the cage. This allows the rest of the hive to become used to her. I think if you just dump her in, they may not recognize her as the Queen and kill her.
Then I turned the entire nuc over and shook all 10,000 bees into the hive. I can't describe the feeling of exposing yourself to TEN THOUSAND bees. I wore my gloves, but I decided to forgo the veil. My husband stood off to the side taking pictures and saying things like, "Woah, wait...are you sure?" I was.
Then I replaced the frames, carefully. I placed the can of syrup and a protein patty in the upper super and put the hive back together.
I have bees in my hair. BEES IN MY HAIR. I am calm...I am calm...
If you are wondering, I did not get stung.
And I have bees once again. I find myself sneaking down back every hour or so to check on them and I am happy. And CALM.
Smiles from the farm,
Also here is a picture of The Other Duck. He may be getting a new girlfriend this weekend. And what is he sitting on? You'll see. Soon!