My Bees Are Here

The last few weeks have been very busy for me, what with my belly dance recital (see following post) and too many migraines (the terrible wind events we’ve been having around here haven’t helped) and even food poisoning (because I violated my dietary Prime Directive: Thou Shall Not Eat at Potlucks).

But even though I haven’t posted, there’s been lot’s going on.

Last week, I purchased a top bar beehive from the fellow who taught the Top Bar Beekeeping Workshop I attended last month. I’d looked at various plans and instructions for building a TBH (top bar hive). I don’t do well following plans and schematics, though;  the simple-appearing measurements and instructions just fail to compute, and I get very frustrated. And then I get really irritated, because what seems so logical on paper is something I’m unable to bring to any tangible form with the use of lumber and power tools.  So rather than put myself in a position where I’d likely need a psychiatric evaluation (because that’s how crazy I’d get)  I just ordered a locally-made hive, at a very reasonable price.

Before the bees came, I tidied up the corner of the yard where the hive was going to go; and I painted 2 old workbenches I had, 1 for my new hive:

Here’s what my top bar hive looked like the day of delivery:

I made a simple cover for the hive and painted it white, because the sun hits this corner of the yard for half of the day:

And, here is my 3-pound box of bees; they arrived last Wednesday by UPS overnight delivery. I picked them up at the UPS office early in the morning and left them in my kitchen while I was at work. Last Wednesday was the first hot day of the year (97 degrees) and I’m sure the bees were happier indoors where it was cool.

It didn’t occur to me, beginner that I am, that there would be bee-poop and that it would there would be a pile of it on my stove-top once I took the box outside after work. Yes, there were thousands of bees in that box, and they were quite noisy.

I installed the bees later that day. I followed the instructions, and nothing went they way I thought it was supposed to; it was a complete Murphy’s Law experience complicated by a migraine and food poisoning, neither of which I got from the bees.  Despite some minor snafus in getting the bees in the hive, a full 36 hours later they no longer needed to be fed sugar water and had completed making 2 bars of comb. And today, they’re still in the hive; they haven’t left for better digs elsewhere. When I’m able to actually inspect the hive and take a photo at the same time, I’ll post more photos here. Right now I’m still getting the hang of opening up the hive slowly and moving slowly when around the bees.

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