Today we started our official beginning with bees!
Well… I guess that’s not quite true.
The real beginning with bees started early last year when I went to Maysville, Kentucky to attend the 8th Annual Farm & Family Night at Maysville Community and Technical College. (That was right around the time I started my deep dive into nutrition so not only did I sit in on a lecture about monarchs, but I also sat in on a lecture about honey bee keeping.)
The reason I say today is our beginning with bees is because today is the day we brought a package of bees home and put them in our first hive. I’m not sure exactly where we are heading with this, but I’m thinking at the very least it will lead to having some “bee gifts” available in our shop 🙂 .
I was just simmering with the idea of beekeeping until at Christmas, my husband/family gave me a starter hive.
So in February I signed us all up for the 9th Annual Northeastern Kentucky Beekeeping School. We learned more about beekeeping 101, biter bees, mite sampling, honey harvesting, bee nutrition, and all things bee related.
We bought some protective gear and ordered a pack of bees.
In the next several weeks we painted our hive and selected a location for it. We put it out a few weeks ago because we were supposed to pick up our bees last week, but because of the crazy weather Ohio has been having this spring the delivery had to be postponed.
Finally, the bees arrived today and we drove down to Morehead, KY to pick them up.
We had a few snags that didn’t go by the book. First off, the hanger for the queens cage broke off so we had to take some fishing line and create a new hanger. Secondly, there was not a cap on the candy so just to be sure she could get out we cut a section of the cage where we thought the cap should be to make sure she could get free. Unfortunately, not all the bees made the trip successfully. I can see I’m going to have to get used to losing bees. The life cycle of bees is short so I knew going in that I would have to be ready for that, but actually seeing it was sadder than I expected.
My daughter helped me make up some nectar for them to get them through until spring has completely sprung (it’s supposed to snow again tomorrow! – so to have so much spring snow this year in OH).
After we put in some Honey B Healthy I thought the nectar smelled good enough to drink! Let the stickiness begin!
We have the feeder on the hive and the bees seem to be buzzing happily.
I’m going to patiently wait until weather warms back up on Tuesday before I take a peek inside to see if our queen is out.
In the meantime, we are going to have to perfect our protein patty recipe because our first attempt is not setting up.
So far beginning with bees has been a bit of work, but this project looks like it will be the bee’s knees!