Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Official

I am an official bee keeper.

Mom and Dad arrived on Saturday afternoon with the hive bodies and frames. We spent a little time figuring out where they should go, which way was South, and getting them level. I decided to put them on the South side of the house, facing east. I am not too sure that is ideal, but that is where they are. We actually didn't have too many choices. Even though it is early April, the heat and humidity were already in high gear, so after the set up, we headed in for a late afternoon nap. We needed to kill time until 7:30 until we could go pick up the bees.

At 7:00, we arrived at Jennifer Berry's house. We saw all ten nuks setting out ready to head home with us; the bees were just coming in for the day. They looked good, full, and active. The best part was is they seemed VERY calm and gentle. Jennifer arrived home from a full day of working in the University hives and it was very cool to meet her. She is pretty close to a celebrity in the bee realm. We loaded up the nuks in the back of the truck and headed back to the East side.

When we got home, we decided which bees would be mine. We used the scientific method of "which ones are closer to the back". Those were mine. :) So I immediately suited up, Dad carried the nuks down to the site, and Mom got the sugar water. We then took out the frames, one by one, to take a look at the brood pattern and to make sure that there were no queen cells (an indication they wanted to think about swarming).  Everything looked good, so in their new home they went. All of the drawn out frames from the nuk went in the middle of the hive so they could work their way out. Soon, I will be looking to move the outside frames in so they will fill up all the frames.

The bees handled the transition well and with hardly any agitation. The hardest part of the move was seeing in the dark and using my new gloves. It felt like I had Hamburger Helper mascots on my hands as I fumbled around, got the end of my gloves stuck under the frames, and struggled to handle the tools. These gloves are for the birds. One of these days, if I ever get to a point where I WANT to be stung, I may lose them. In the meantime, I have got to get those puppies broken in.

Mom and Dad headed back home with their 8 new colonies in the back of the truck before daylight on Sunday morning (this is not unusual for them to head home that early, but there was actually a need this time). They needed to arrive back home in Tennessee before the bees got up and left to get breakfast (speaking of breakfast, I believe mom, dad, and the bees may have stopped at McDonald's on the way home. I am sure some of the bees stayed for a tasty Egg McMuffin.)They managed to get home around 9am and Dad was able to get his hives installed with no problems.

I am so pleased to have my own bees now, but I have a feeling it will not be as easy as I think...

1 comment:

  1. I love this photo!! Good Stuff Jessie Lee:)