We have bees!

I have often considered getting some bees. It would be a homegrown source of sugar and beeswax, and they would help to pollinate my garden. But it was one of those things that I would do “someday” “next year” and probably never get around to it.

Well, my friend called me up the other day, and said, “How soon can you make a top bar hive?” (A top bar hive is the type of hive that I was planning, someday, to have.)

Um, today?

So I did. fortunately I was well stocked on wood, because I still don’t have my car back. I found plans online, and I built a top bar hive. It took me bits and pieces of most of the afternoon and evening, and I finished the roof the next morning. That afternoon, they brought over the bees.

We had to hack out a piece of our “jungle” of weeds and grape vines and level out a spot with a shovel and some cinder blocks, but finally we were ready for the bees.

You can see how steep a slope we're on in this picture.

You can see how steep a slope we’re on in this picture.

My hive is on the left. Their little top bar hive, that they were using to store the swarm is on the right.

My hive is on the left. Their little top bar hive, that they were using to store the swarm is on the right.

Caleb is keeping the smoker going.

Caleb is keeping the smoker going.

Our beekeeping friends at work installing the bees, tearing apart their old home, giving them a new place to build...

Our beekeeping friends at work installing the bees, tearing apart their old home, giving them a new place to build…

We saw a bee hatching!

We saw a bee hatching!

Caleb wanted to get closer, so he bundled up best he could and got right next to the hive.

Caleb wanted to get closer, so he bundled up best he could and got right next to the hive.

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All safe and sound.

There was only one bee sting, and that wasn’t until they were about to leave and were shooing the escaped bees out of their car. The bees were surprisingly calm about their home being torn to pieces. Maybe they just know they are going to love it here.

It’s pretty late in the year to start a hive, but the bees couldn’t winter over where they were, so we hope they’ll have enough time to get established this year. We’ll have to feed them through the winter to be safe, but hopefully next spring we will have a thriving colony of honeybees!

It was all so sudden. One day we were just gardners, and the next, we’re beekeepers too! I guess that’s the way life is. You think and you plan and all the sudden, life drops an opportunity in to you lap, and you have to grab it.

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