Honeychick Homestead

Homestead, Health, and Happiness


2 Comments

What’s up with “Bee-yonce?”

Yes, I’m still beekeeping! There has been activity outside both colonies everyday since I returned from Germany, and that is a good sign! I haven’t checked inside the colonies since I got home. I plan on taking one last peek this Sunday. After that it will be too cold to check on them again until spring.

Here are some pictures of what’s been happening with the Cosmo hive and their queen, Bee-yonce over the summer. This colony was started late in the season because the beekeeper providing these bees had an issue with the queens. We finally got a picture of Beeyonce during the August hive check 🙂

Continue reading

Hive Check with Pictures of Lorde!

11 Comments

Last Sunday I finally got the chance check my hive! This was my first time opening it since I removed the top feeder, and I really didn’t check much that time. I’ve been reading more about beekeeping, and one book recommended not disturbing the hive for more than ten minutes. Umm, that’s not much time for this newbee!

My goal for this hive check was to look for Lorde, make sure there weren’t any ants in the hive, check the brood, look for eggs, see how much comb they’d built, and feed them. Over all, things went well. My skills working with the hive are improving…I only killed two bees this time! Injuring, and killing bees is part of being a new beekeeper, at least that what the book said! I have to move much slower than I realized when removing, and replacing the hive boxes. Those boxes are already heavy, and they aren’t even full of honey!

There was lots going on in the hive, and thankfully there were no ants, or mites! I was surprised that very few bees had moved up to the top box, it was almost empty. I saw some eggs, and some capped brood. Capped brood have larvae in them, and soon new bees will hatch. There was also a little bit of honey, and possibly the start of a queen cell. I’m not really sure if that’s what it was. Next time I check the hive I’ll see if it’s still there.

Here’s pictures of the process, enjoy!

View the pictures →

This gallery contains 0 photos

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! View the pictures →

This gallery contains 19 photos


6 Comments

I’m a Newbee!

That’s what the Santa Cruz Beekeepers Guild call first time beekeepers. I’m THRILLED that I’ll be getting my very own bees soon! Having a local beekeepers guild is proving to be a terrific resource for this beginner. I attended their monthly meeting a couple weeks ago, and it gave me the confidence I needed to take the plunge. During the meeting, they explained in detail how to get a package of bees into a new hive. In addition to monthly meetings, the guild has mentors who help those of us just getting started.

Several mentors recently held “bee show and tells” at their homes for the newbees. I was able to see all three types of bees: drones, workers and the queen. I never knew drones were bigger and couldn’t sting! I also got to see various stages of the hive, including one that was dripping honey….YUM! I learned some beekeeping terminology, like brood, and I saw the different stages of brood. I even got to see some new baby bees hatching! I held frames full of bees. I was shocked the mentors and some newbees didn’t wear gloves when working with the hives!  Hopefully, someday I’ll have that confidence too!  In the meantime, I’ll be wearing my jacket, hood, and gloves when I’m checking my hives.

Here’s a couple pictures I took during the show and tell. Continue reading