Bee Careful

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

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23 Responses to Bee Careful

  1. Nicole says:

    Soooo you left us hanging! I’m assuming u add it home without more escaping?!? I will be picking up our new queen for the Edith hive tomorrow (hive by Fillmore named after my grandma).

    • DM says:

      Yea, I know.. just those two, not sure how they got out. the other 3998 made it home w/o incident. Do you guys have a hive @ the home place or are all of them @ the other farm?

  2. Are you typing this through bandages? I always love your stories – thank you for making me smile this morning. Hope everyone is tucked in nice and happy today!

    • DM says:

      No bandages 😉 I did pull over and check the trap door. It was still shut so I opened the passenger window and let the wind suck them out. It felt good to see the bees milling around the hive last night. Do you guys have bees yet Michelle? You strike me as someone who would have bees.

  3. Oh dear. This made me laugh out loud and Ben too. So what happened? I’m on the edge of my seat.

  4. Oh Doug! So sorry about your bees, but at least you have some more now. Maybe those other two were hitch hikers?
    Keep us informed!

  5. I know that feeling! I have my first two hives and a similar thing happened when I picked up NUCs except I had my “any flying insect” hating dog in the truck with me and it was about 10 bees! It happened at the Beekeepers place so he took back that box – it had bent near the lid and that’s how bees were escaping and gave me another. We put them in the back of the pickup this time – just in case…

    • I’m curious from a new beekeeper perspective – did you treat for mites and if yes, what method did you use? I find the whole mite thing stressful…
      Thanks

      • DM says:

        We didn’t treat for mites last year. I have found a new bee mentor. He works @ a local lumberyard. He told me, until he started treating for mites, he would loose the hives all the time…and now, never. Told me a month ago, if I ever got another hive, to let him know and he would be glad to stop over and show me how he does it. (we learned a couple of different methods in that 6 week class I took, but not sure how he does it) I will definitely post an update and tag you when we do treat. DM

      • That would be great – thanks!

    • DM says:

      I can just imagine 🙂

  6. Laura Wills says:

    Sorry about the first round of bees, but glad you are able to give it another try. Good Luck!

  7. Deb says:

    Keep me in line for some honey Doug. My mouth waters every time I think of it on my morning english muffin!

  8. emjayandthem says:

    I loved the serendipity of the $$ find … just in time for you to buy more bees. They were meant to bee …. 😉 MJ

  9. m1cey says:

    First of all, I didn’t know you lost the bees 😔 Secondly, I’m glad you were able to buy new bees 🐝. Thirdly, you really know how to leave a person hanging. 🤣I really hope you made it home in one piece!

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