Recently my boyfriend and I started a lifelong dream for both of us – we became beekeepers! YES! It’s something he had always wanted to do and the same for me. I’m so thrilled and fascinated by these bees.
It isn’t easy as all hives are different. Within a month we purchased a second hive and another Nuc (5 frames of bees) from a local beekeeper. When he left that day after installing the Nuc for us he said to me, “Now you’re official beekeepers”. I guess having more than one hive does that!
We are thrilled beyond belief. I can often be seen in the garden area (where the hives are located) just talking to the bees and talking to the bees. They really are nice bees. You can tell when they get aggravated and then I stay clear but otherwise, they get a morning pep talk and an evening job well done talk. I monitor their sugar water to be sure they always have what they need.
Bees are simply fascinating and the art of beekeeping is the same. It IS an art, I’m convinced of it. We are learning so much, in fact, within the first week and a half with our first hive, we experienced something we had hoped not to experience so early on – a swarm. We were in the garden weeding and both heard something above us that sounded like, well, a roaring swarm. We looked up and our bees were high in the sky preparing to take off to parts unknown. There was nothing we could do. The queen did not take the entire hive as some of the bees were out of the hive doing “bee things” but we suspect we lost at least 80% of our first Nuc. I was devasted, feeling as if we had let our bees down.
It was very strong Nuc so they apparently grew quicker than we had anticipated and swarmed because they had outgrown the space. A day or two later we added a second brood box. The remaining bees seemed happier after that although they were queenless at the time. A new queen has certainly emerged by this point.
We will do another hive inspection on Sunday to see where we stand and see how the hives have progressed.
Our first two hive inspections produced enough beeswax to make these little wax bees. They aren’t perfect as I am learning how to render the wax (clean it of impurities) but these are perfect for our “memory jar” that we began when we first became a couple. I suspect soon we’ll have enough wax for our first candle! I cannot wait.
I’ll end this post on one personal observation – I wish many more of us would keep bees. It is a fascinating hobby and without bees to pollinate, we would starve. I also think most humans could learn a great deal from the inner workings of a happy bee hive.
Oh, I almost forgot! We need your help! We want to come up with a logo and a name for our Apiary (a place where bees are kept; a collection of beehives). This would then be designed and utilized on our products (candles, lip balm, and honey) that we will eventually sell to the public. Contact me privately if you have suggestions or use the Contact Me form on this site. Thank you!
More bee updates to come