Honeychick Homestead

Homestead, Health, and Happiness

The Bees are here!

28 Comments

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!

IMG_6514

 

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!

P1010822

The bee package, ready to pick up

P1010831

Woo hoo! Carrying them to the car, it was a windy day!

P1010838

Here’s a better shot of the bees. I look a bit nervous…I didn’t want to drop them!

P1010858

All the equipment, ready to be carried out to the orchard.

P1010866

Here’s a picture of an assembled frame,

P1010870

The bees, right before things got exciting.

P1010880

Here I am, in my jacket and hood. And yes, my pants are tucked into my socks, I didn’t want bees flying up my pants! I got my Epi-Pen too, just in case!

P1010883

I’m trying to remove the can of food, this was harder than I expected. When I pulled it out there were lots of bees attached. We couldn’t get a picture of that because my husband was encouraging them to go back in, by using the smoker.

P1010884

Here’s the queen bee, she was being shy. Her forehead is marked with a green dot, to make her easier to find. We named her Lorde….get it? 🙂

P1010895

Getting ready to shake them into the hive!

P1010899

The first shake, only a few came out.

P1010906

After a couple shakes, a few more.

P1010913

Finally, I got a bunch to come out!

P1010914

This was almost the last shake. According to the mentors, it’s impossible to get every bee out. I left the package near the hive entrance so they would hopefully go in on their own.

P1010934

Ready to put the top on! Each frame was sprayed with sugar water, to encourage them to go in.

P1010940

They’re in, and secure!


What do you think, am I crazy? Would you consider doing this yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Author: Jen @ Honeychick Homestead

Honeychick Homestead is about more than urban homesteading. Here you'll find a mix of diverse topics, about health, real food, Lyme Disease, and my newest adventure, urban homesteading!

28 thoughts on “The Bees are here!

  1. 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.

  2. Super awesome! I would do it! Someday I will 😊🐝🐝🐝

  3. Jen, wonderful documentation and photos on setting up the bees.

  4. Loved all the pics and the info!

  5. Love it! SAVE THE BEES!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. oops sorry, I thought i erased the first post

  9. Super cool!

  10. 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
    Cheers! Annabelle

  11. 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!

    Cheers, Andrew

  12. 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!

  13. Pingback: To Bee, or Not to Bee | Honeychick Homestead

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s