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 hole..so 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.