In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.
We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.
This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!
Hey folks. Sorry for this long-delayed post. Things at work (aka my full time job away from the homestead) have kept me pretty darned busy. But, I'm back and I just can't wait to tell you how the bee installation went on Monday!
Kyle and I woke up early on Monday morning and I set about getting all the foundation inside each of the 16 frames (we have 8 frame hives which are supposed to be easier to deal with). I know we were supposed to get everything set up days in advance, but with the weather being so crappy I thought I'd wait as Monday was supposed to be a decent day. After trying on my veil (actually googled how to tie it down, yeah I know...I'm hopeless) and waiting it out for as long as I could possibly stand it we headed out. It was about a 45 minute drive to Northwoods Apiaries where we chatted with the owners for a while and John gave us a rundown of how to install the bees into the hive (not that I hadn't done tons of research, but it was nice to see how a seasoned pro went about it).
Once we got home we sat the girls on the front porch while we went about finishing the set up of the hive. Kyle made a stand really quick so I wouldn't have to stoop to work with the hive and I made some syrup to feed the bees. Once all the set up was ready I 'suited' up (consisting of a veil and some gloves with irritatingly long fingers) and we started the process of installing our very first hive of bees. Oh man was I excited!
So I sprayed down the bees with some of the syrup and then pryed off the wooden top that covered the feeder can. I smacked the bottom of the box onto the ground to get all the bees off the queen's box and the feeder and carefully removed the feeder and the queen. After quickly replacing the wooden lid I inspected the queen to be sure she was alive and well, and then I hooked her box onto one of the frames within the hive body. Once she was in place I gave the box of bees one more quick spray down with the syrup, another whack to get them to all fall to the bottom of the box, then promptly dumped them into the hive, right over the queen.
It took alot of shaking and shimmying to get them some of them out of the box but after a bit I stopped and carefully put in the rest of the frames. I put the inner cover on, followed by another super that would enclose the feeder. Once it was all set up, Kyle and I took another look at the bee box, and decided to try to get the last few stragglers out. I gave them another spray down with the syrup, whacked the box onto the ground, and dumped the last few into the hive (just in the top where the feeder was). There were a few handfuls of bees so I was glad we took the time.
Tomorrow, I'll go in and remove the queen's box and recheck the syrup supply. I checked it a couple nights ago and it was still pretty full. So far they all seem to be doing well, there's always alot of action when I get home. Hopefully the flowers will all be coming out soon, especially the dandelions, so we can stop feeding them the syrup and they can fend for themselves. We've got a handful of daffodils out here at the house, but somehow I doubt they are enough to sustain some twenty thousand bees. =]