Friday, April 23, 2010

Welcome Little Friends!

Today our most anticipated little workers finally arrived! My husband has been pacing and looking foreword to his new colony of Honey bees since last fall, and today,they're here! He & Tressa put together this hive super, should be well big enough for now. We have taken half the stretchers out to welcome home the new colony

When you order honey bees, this is how they arrive, in a screened in box. The tin can looking thingy on the top, is the container that holds their sugar water feed so they can eat on their trip home

So to get them out of their shipping container, and into their new hive body, first they are sprayed with sugar water~ this serves 2 purposes~ the first, it makes their wings sticky so they cant fly as well as usual, and second, gives them a little treat to eat and keep them preoccupied while your dumping them into the hive

So once they are sprayed, the feed can is carefully lifted out. tacked onto the top of the shipping container, is another little rectangular box, and this holds the Queen

She is larger than the others, and her body is colored, naturally, so she can be easily seen in the hive. There is a little 'candy' plug keeping her in there for now

So her little container is taken and hung in the center of the hive body~ the worker bees will eat the candy plug thru, to release her into the hive...pretty cool huh!

So with the Queen already buzzing her orders, we just dump the bees into the other half of the hive~ they instantly flock to her

The reason we really wanted our own bees is to pollinate our orchard and the garden. We have cherry& peach trees, several different kinds of apple trees, grapes and berries that the bees will pollinate for us. We as a people, are very dependant on the work of bees for our own survival, most folks don't realize how much they do for us. For instance, any dairy product you can think of, would not be on this earth, if it wasn't for the bees that pollinate the hay and grass and grain that the cows eat to produce that milk...and meat, that we eat every day.

The wax combs are replaced, carefully...

And the top is placed on the hive~ that's all there is to it!

Not as romantic as a bee skep, but we are happy with our new bees. The little feeder you see on their door, is a sugar feeder to keep them happy until the flowers bloom. We have strung an electric fence around this hive to keep the bears out, and Lumpy too, since he just needs to be in the middle of everything!


Doreen said...

How wonderful Rachael..I've been chatting with my Dad..a long time beekeeper about starting a hive of my's a bit scary but I really want to do it.

Wishing you luck with your new endeavor!

Hugs, Doreen

Barbara said...

TOO COOL!!!!! Who's that in the white setting this thing up for you??
LY, Mom

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Very interesting! I think bees are underappreciated. People are so frightened of them, yet the only people I know who've actually been stung, did so by stepping on one that was beeceased.

My little Milla loves 'zoom zooms' and stands vigilant at the rosemary bush trying to catch them. Makes me a little nervous, but she's almost had them between her fingers and not a one has been aggressive.

I bet you're looking forward to some yummy honey!

Christine LeFever said...

My husband used to keep bees in the small town where we raised our children, but as the town grew,'twas time to remove them to the country. A farmer inherited them.

Great shot of that photogenic bee. Or as Robin's little Milla would say "zoom-zoom". So cute!

While I was operating a noisy weed eater, one bee stung me on what used to be my soft spot. I had to go to the ER, because that spot provoked the classic allergic symptom. The bee must have confused me for a very large enemy.

Lucky you with your beautiful mini-far!

Theresa said...

Rachael what a great're right about the bee's not many people know that their numbers are becoming smaller and smaller each year.....and we need these little guys to live.

Olivia Shum said...

Hi Rachael,

Having read your blog, I found the things you do very interesting. I love the way that you embrace the nature by keeping your own bee hive in the garden and analyse historical toys.

I came across your post/video on a nineteenth century german sand toy while I was researching on it's mechanism for a project of mine and found it particularly fascinating.

My project is to analyse the pros and cons between traditional and modern toys and how they effect child brain development. I would be delighted to know about your views on traditional toys.

I look forward to hear from you through e-mail.

Thank you,
Olivia Shum
A Product Design student from Loughborugh University, U.K.

Finegan Antiques said...

You never cease to amaze me Rachael. Now you are in to bees. That is WONDERFUL!!! Are you going to try and harvest the honey? Hope so. I love honey on wheat toast in the morning.

Good Luck darling.