This year we decided to try our hand at a little bee keeping. It was a new and interesting experience for sure. Perry built his own top bar bee hive instead of spending a fortune for someone else to do it. It was fun trying to get all the correct angles on those bars, but he managed to come up with a nice system and it all worked out. The first set of bees we bought weren't cool enough for our hive. They flew the coop and absconded within the first couple of days. The lady we bought the bees from said it was perfectly normal and basically it just sucked for us. We bought a second round of bees and they thought we were cool enough to hang with! They provided us with much needed pollination skills all summer and the garden thrived! Our first day with the bees:
They arrived in this teeny tiny, homemade box with screens for sides.
The mail lady called us and said Ummmmm, you've got some bumble bees here
that you need to come pick up. They wouldn't deliver! ;)
There are roughly 10,000-15,000 bees in that box!
We had to let them sit here to get used to the area for a day.
Perry's hive waiting for bees.
A little bit closer.
The honey water they will feed on until they've collected enough on their own.
Here goes nothing. All suited up and ready for action.
The bees know something is up.
Step 1 is to pry open the box. The girls and I were watching from inside the truck.
Step 2 - Once the box is open, you're suppose to find the smaller box with the queen inside. Then use a tack to pin that smaller box to the inside of the hive. The queen was not where is was suppose to be - that's the reason Perry's hand are up in the air with an I don't know gesture. She wasn't where she was suppose to be, but he finally figured it all out and got her situated.
Step 3 - dump the bees into the hive. Seems like this would make them really upset, but they really don't mind too much. They are so worried about getting to their queen that they just want out!
Just look at all those bees piling out.
Thumbs up for not getting stung!
Step 4 - Put the top bars in place and close the lid.
Step 5 - Spray the hive with the sugar water and leave the shipping box under the hive. The remaining bees will finally find their way out and join the hive.
Step 6 - Wait and see if they stay! Thankfully these guys decided they liked the hive.
Just look at all those bees buzzing around.
They figured it out pretty quickly. They are amazing little creatures for sure!
Perry the beekeeper and his top bar hive.
Can't wait to see all the honey!