Your time is valuable so I will try to keep this brief. 😉
Our honeybees from last year didn’t make it.
Some of you already knew.
I think it was mites.
Because the whole thing is a hobby, and both of us have been working real hard and are mindful of where we spend our money, I didn’t think there was another $125- $150 of discretionary money available to purchase more bees this season. I still want to keep bees, just in the context of the rest of my life, it wasn’t going to be this year.
And then a few weeks ago, I stumbled across $90 tucked away in my gardening notebook, money from the sale of green beans, apple cider, apples, and pumpkins from 2017.
Side note – Wife and I both get a $25 a month “allowance” to do with whatever we want. Mine normally goes for coffee beans, (Starbucks/ french roast/ whole bean/ not ground) but because of my birthday, the visit from a friend, and finding some Starbucks french roast on discount @ the Amish grocery store my wife frequents, I still have some of my money. 😉
Suddenly I had $150 to buy more bees.
I found a bee keeper about 30 minutes from me who was advertising bee nucs for sale. I called him and got my name on the list.
Sunday morning I went to pick them up.
Last year when I brought the bees home to our property, they were in the body of a hive box. 10,000 honey bees alive and somewhat ticked off, after a 20 minute ride in the back of a pickup. I still remember the feelings of lifting that hive out of the back of my pickup, just as it got dark. Felt like I was handling dynamite. Not having ever been around honeybees before, it was surreal.
That time, things went without a hitch, but I was still creeped out. There was nobody around but me. Other than a six week bee keeping class and some words of encouragement from another bee keeper, I was flying solo. If something went wrong, there was nobody to bail me out.
This time, the bees came in a cardboard nuc box. 2000 bees on (4) frames. The frames look like this:
photo by google
I plunked them down on the passenger seat of my pickup. As long as the little cardboard door stayed shut, I would be fine.
Half way home, an agitated honey bee suddenly began flying around inside the truck. Back and forth on the inside of my windshield.
My first thought was…how in the heck did he get out?
Then there were two…
Photo compliments of google