Friday, April 24, 2015

The bees are here!

Our first colony of bees has arrived at the Lazy Duck Ranch, and they are already working on pollinating around our place! We spotted some of our bees enjoying a patch of yellow blooms in our yard today. Tom was very excited to see the bees out doing their thing, as it indicates a healthy hive.
The gentleman who provided us with the swarm that came as part of our bee club raffle prize package let us know our hive was inhabited and ready for pickup on April 12th. He provided us with an established hive rather than a swarm. This meant that 70% of the frames that make up the first level of the hive were already full of honey comb. This is good news because that means they already have a good start on building their stores for next winter and chances are better that we might have a little surplus honey to enjoy ourselves this fall.

Tom is getting used to suiting up to check on the hive, and is working to overcome that innate fear of being surrounded by creatures who could, if they so desired, inflict great pain. A bee inside his veil didn't help ease the transition.

Within a few days of the hive's arrival, it was overrun by ants in search of the sweet honey. Tom did his research and employed a combination of methods to deter the ants, including lifting the whole setup onto cinder blocks and putting cinnamon sticks, which break up the ant's scent trails, between the stand and the hive..
Tom proudly wears his RightStar shirt, the perfect attire for beekeeping.
Our second bee colony arrives in a couple weeks. Time to get the second hive ready for them, and get prepared to install the queen in her new home, all on our own!

1 comment:

Gail Jeffreys said...

Keep up the good work. We look forward to the day that we get a jar of honey from you.