Yesterday was a very exciting day, I introduced my bees to their new hive. I was a bit behind prepping, I thought they needed to hang out in their package for a week, before introducing them. When I picked them up I learned it should be done within 48 hours of picking them up. I was not ready for that! I spent most of Saturday working on another project, so Sunday was a mad dash to get everything ready. Thankfully, my very patient husband helped me put the comb into the frames, and we got it done within an hour. I was not able to paint the hive box, which helps it last longer. Oh well, the next box will get painted!
Overall, things went smooth. I didn’t get stung, and neither did my assistant and photographer (aka husband). I had lots of emotions while I got the queen out of the package, and shook the bees into the hive…nervousness, exhilaration, excitement, happiness, and scared, all at the same time!
While I was shaking them in, bees were flying all around me, and they were loud! After I got them in, I had to walk away for a minute, because I was starting to get nervous. I took a few deep breathes, and came back to finish up. Most of the night I had the buzzing sound in my head!
For the next 7 days, I can’t open the hive. I need to feed them a quart of sugar water a day, and let them build comb. It’s recommend I observe the bees, make sure they are active, and are finding their hive. After 7 days I’ll open the hive to check on the queen, and observe how they are acting towards her. If they are being aggressive, I can’t let her out of the cage yet because they might kill her. Once they are calm around her, then I need to remove her from the cage, and put her back in. She can begin to roam freely, and lay eggs.
Another thing I must do is provide them with water, every day. It needs to be set up so they don’t drown. Some creative ways to give them water are to fill a bucket, or garbage can, and float wine corks so the bees can land on the corks to drink. Use a bird bath, a large barrel with floating plants or a small kiddie pool.. Keep a outdoor faucet dripping onto a piece of wood. The goal is to make sure they have access to water in the general vicinity of the hive, so they don’t try to find it elsewhere, like a neighbors pool!
I hope this post inspires some of you to consider beekeeping. It can be done anywhere, apartments, condos, and small backyards, as long as your city allows it. Most cities have beekeeper guilds that train and support new keepers. And if you can’t keep bees, plant some bee friendly flowers. The bees really need our help, and we need them too, without them we can’t grow much food. I found this article that shows what grocery store would look like if there were no bees. It’s shocking! Here’s a bee poster my sister sent me. It’s a very true statement!
The rest of this post will be pictures of the process, from pick up to getting them in the hive. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
What do you think, am I crazy? Would you consider doing this yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts.
April 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm
Yes! I want to do this. I hope your cameraman had proper safety clothing as well. Thanks for the post. This explained a lot me about the process.
April 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm
Yes, cameraman has proper gear 🙂 Glad to hear your considering bees. I’d love to help you start your hive!
April 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm
Super awesome! I would do it! Someday I will 😊🐝🐝🐝
April 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm
April 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm
Jen, wonderful documentation and photos on setting up the bees.
April 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm
Thank you Kay!
April 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm
Loved all the pics and the info!
April 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm
Thank you Joanne!
April 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm
Love it! SAVE THE BEES!
April 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm
April 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm
So awesome! Glad you showed the Queen, was curious about her and how you could tell the differnce. Even love her name! haha! Hope to do this someday soon, my honey is really working on our property, starting veggie garden and chickens this year hope next year bees. Gonna start reading up on it. Excited to read your posts. love ya Jenn youre so cool! haha.
April 28, 2014 at 9:58 pm
Very exciting! Your welcome to come done anytime to see the bees!
April 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Super cool! You even covered my questions about the Queen too, I was wondering how you can tell her apart. haha I just pictured her bigger than the other bees. Love her name too! lol
April 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm
The queen is bigger & longer, you were right about that. I didn’t expect her to come marked, so it was nice since I’m a beginner!
April 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm
oops sorry, I thought i erased the first post
April 29, 2014 at 4:47 am
April 30, 2014 at 1:28 am
A very informative post! Bees are cool but kind of scary, too…Hope you have a moment to check out my more whimsical take on keeping bees on the rooftops of NYC: http://wp.me/p4coOx-6k
May 1, 2014 at 2:03 am
Thanks! I’ll definitely check out your blog.
May 1, 2014 at 10:45 am
Thank you, Jen!
May 1, 2014 at 2:11 am
Awesome work Jen! Thanks so much for sharing! I love bees, they are such fascinating insects! I take lots of photos of them on my blog when visiting gardens.We couldn’t have a hive where we live, so I recently planted lots of bee friendly plants in my garden to encourage them around us.
Keep up the great work! I look forward to following your journey!
May 1, 2014 at 2:37 am
Thanks Andrew! I hope to get popular enough, that I can promote real change and make a difference. I think many people do not realize what will happen to us without bees. I will definitely check out your photos. Do you have a Facebook page?
May 1, 2014 at 2:57 am
Yes they are do impritant! I do have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/andrewfriendphotography how about you?
May 1, 2014 at 3:13 am
Great, I’d love share some of your photos! Directing everyone to your site, of course 🙂 I’m http://www.facebook.com/honeychickhomestead
May 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm
That would be great, thank you 🙂
May 1, 2014 at 2:38 am
Oh, and so awesome you planted those plants!!
May 6, 2014 at 12:57 am
That is so exciting Jen. We are hoping to start beekeeping next year but for now are going to plant some bee friendly plants! So great to have your experience as a resource!
May 8, 2014 at 2:50 am
How exciting, so glad you’re considering it! If you have a local guild I highly recommend attending some meetings before you get started.
Pingback: To Bee, or Not to Bee | Honeychick Homestead