They Are Here

View of my latest adventure…. Honeybees


I have to tell you about a recent conversation with my son-in-law Matt  about honeybees.  When he was younger, someone offered his dad, several bee hives full of bees…They hauled them home in the back of his dad’s pick up.   Before they unloaded the hives, they put on coveralls, gloves, etc, and duck taped their pant legs and sleeves  shut, hoping not to get stung.  Well, the bees were so ticked off, after their bumpy ride in the back of the pick up, Matt said he still got the crap stung out of him…

That story was in the back of my mind last Monday.  Mike (a local bee keeper who offered to sell me a nuc of bees this Spring), texted me and said to be at his place Monday night about dark…by then the bees would be back in their hive.  Well, rather than head home with 4 or 5 frames of bees (which is a small colony of bees splitting off from the main colony)  Mike said it would be easier to just take a whole hive home, and in a few weeks he would stop over and do the split….

hummmmmmmmm…..I wasn’t 100% sure of that idea..(with Matt’s story fresh in my mind)

There would be 20 frames of bees in (2) large brood chambers..depending on how much honey was in them, each box could weigh as much as 70 pounds a piece..

When I got home, there would be nobody to help me unload.

The thought of unloading ten’s of thousands of angry bees,  the only thing between me and them was 3/4 of wood, in the dark, sounded like a recipe for trouble…

I made up my mind, if it seemed too risky, I would just have to pass on the whole thing, and go with plan b…buy 3 pounds of bees and a new queen,  off the guy who taught the recent honey bee class I took.

In the back of my mind, I kept thinking..what in the world am I getting myself into???  I would have no one to blame but myself, if something went South.

I backed up to Mike’s first hive…He had a strap around both boxes, and a reducer in the entrance to the hive, with duck tape over the entry  that part of process went without a hitch.

Took my time driving home.

Backed into our apple orchard up to the 6 by 6 frame I had ready. There was still enough light to see when I got home. That was encouraging.  The hive ended up weighing  between 60 and 70 pounds tops, so that was do-able.

I pried, the entry reducer opening and just a couple of bees came out.

Talk about relieved.

This stuff is all new to me…yes, I’ve been reading, attending bee keeping classes, etc…it’s one thing to watch it on YouTube, it’s another thing to do it solo.

This entry was posted in apple orchard, enjoying life, faith, farming, Gardening, Back to Eden, Heavy Mulch, Ruth Stout, etc, Iowa, personal, self sufficient, Uncategorized, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to They Are Here

  1. I am just dying to get bees but until then I will just have to look forward to reading about your bee keeping experiences. Glad you didn’t have any mis-haps getting them settled in.
    The apple blossoms (?) in the foreground of your pic sure look pretty. I LOVE Spring!

    • DM says:

      What is the time frame for you to get some bees? I am hoping to work up to 6 hives… You are correct..those are apple blossoms 🙂 our trees this season are loaded w/ flowers. weather permitting, it may be a bountiful harvest.

      • Probably next spring. We are getting our house ready to put on the market, and I hope to be on the farm fulltime by fall. Fingers crossed!

      • DM says:

        whoot whoot! With Michael training for a marathon, I wasn’t sure how much was happening on the new property front… Bet you are excited.

  2. Seeking Joyful Simplicity says:

    I admire your courage! All the best on your bee-keeping adventures – may you and your bees enjoy a long and peaceful relationship.

    • DM says:

      🙂 I did get one sting this weekend…right in my side, through my t-shirt. think I am going to invest in a thicker shirt. My bee mentor suggested getting something white. (instead of safety green/ yellow which is my favorite color in my t-shirt wardrobe 😉

  3. Deb says:

    So excited that the bees have arrived. I’m still in line for honey DM so get those workers working and let me know when I can buy a jar 🙂

  4. emjayandthem says:

    Love the adventure of all of this! I am also allergic to bees/wasps etc so I’ll enjoy your stories from here 🙂 MJ

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