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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Big Day

Saturday was the big day. Bee pickup. The day that we officially became bee keepers. It was 20% thrilling, 80% terrifying. 

In January we ordered a 4 lb. package of bees from Knight Family Honey with some Christmas money we received. How do you weigh a package of flying bees? Your guess is as good as mine!

We show up at the warehouse and walk into a swarm of people and bees. Apparently one of the packages busted open and pounds of bees were on the loose.  As the bees were buzzing in my ear and on my 2 year old daughter, it was a struggle to stay calm. The man working there told me not to worry, they were just like flies. Right! Flies that sting!  At that moment it was also hard to remember why we were doing all this.

When we got to the car, LUCKILY we realized that the OUTSIDE of the package we were about to drive away with had bees on it. Can you imagine getting in the car driving away and having 30 bees loose in the car with your daughter strapped in a car seat? I think it would have put me over the edge.

We were all set, the boxes were ready to go, we just needed to dump the bees in the box. 
Michael had to take a few Lamaze breaths before he started.

He took the lid off and took out the queen.  Nice to meet you, Your Highness.

Michael then rubber banded the captured queen to one of the frames so that all the knights in shinning yellow and black armor could rescue her.

Next order of business,  dump the bees in the bee box.

A close up for you,  in case you aren't grasping what is going on here.
Are we out of our mind?

Yup, completely crazy.

He then carefully put the remaining frames in the box trying not to squish any of the bees.

We have a syrup mixture in the top box, which they will drink from for the first month.

Once it was all over and done with, we were pretty pleased with ourselves. Nobody got stung, and all the bees made it safely into the hive. Well, all but a few casualties.

Michael will check them weekly for a while, then he will start checking on them monthly.

~marisa



24 comments:

MAYBELLINE said...

Yes.
You are crazy.
Isn't it great?!

Tressa said...

So does the queen just stay in that little trap or do you take off the netting at some point?

Rural Revival said...

Excellent! Glad to hear it all went well. I'm taking a two day course this weekend and my bees should be ready in the next few weeks. It IS crazy but exciting too!

~Andrea~

Kris Mo said...

Good for you! Yep, you may be crazy, but in the best possible way. Congratulations!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Congratulations! In no time you will be wondering how in the world such a gentle and delicate honey bee scared you so much. I find honey bees to be a complete joy and I think you will too :)

Karina said...

Wow, you did it! All of us watching you do what we only wish we were doing :-) You're so brave.

marisa said...

Tressa, there is a little cork that you take out and put a marshmallow in it's place. The workers will eat the marshmallow releasing the queen.

Betty Tolman said...

this is like my dream come true. I've always wanted bees.

I think you should come up with a give-away for naming the queen bee... and have me win ok. even if the name is lame.

I like Michael's bee keeper outfit.

marisa said...

Great idea Betty!

daisy said...

Congratulations on adding to your independence! Another goal on my list, most definitely!

Meg@MegaCrafty said...

Congratulations! I'd like to keep bees someday and am really looking forward to seeing you go through this first year. I think I might have backed out right then and there if I'd walked in to pick them up and a swarm of them were flying around- yikes!

Kristi said...

This post gave me an anxiety attack.

teekaroo said...

I like how every "to-do" is something that Micheal will be doing. I'll have to remember to get my husband on board before I ever try this.

Loretta & Amanda said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I've been "kicking around" the idea of getting bees for our little homestead for awhile, but have never actually done it. This is the third post I've seen about beekeeping this week. I think I'm going to give it a try. I've been trying to find out how much "hands-on" is involved, cost involved, resources, etc. Thanks again for the post!

fullfreezer said...

Oh, how exciting! We're hoping to get bees next year. I think I agree with your percentages, 20% thrilling and 80% terrifying. But I'm glad I'm in crazy good company.
Judy

Anthony Simister said...

Marisa... You Amuse Me!!!

Maggie said...

Goodness! I remeber the first time we got bees. It was definitely a heart pounding experience! Good job. Hopefully no one did (and will) got stung! I've never been stung expect when I got a bee in my pants. Is that even possible? Especially since it was on my thigh. Hmmm. interesting little creatures.

Prairie Cat said...

Oh neat! I want to get bees somewhere down the line... but to be honest, the buzzing drives me crazy! I was scared of them when I was younger, and I guess I'm not entirely over it yet.

But man do I want some freshly harvested honey! My craving will probably win out over the fear. At least I hope it will!

Bach Bunch said...

Awesome!!

Alice said...

We got our bees from the same place, but we didn't pick them up until monday (we were in St. George for a beautiful weekend and the Ironman).

My Mister "installed" them in our top bar hive monday night. That was freaky. Did you have gear on too for taking pictures? I was taking pictures but didn't have any gear on and I didn't get too close, but we still had a couple of bees chase us into the house.

Luckily they calmed down and we just checked on them yesterday, the queen has been freed and they've built three top bars of comb.

marisa said...

Alice, did you do the ironman?!?!? I was adventurous like you and didn't wear any gear to take the pictures.

Mary said...

I felt the exact same way when I installed my little beauties. Good for you guys! Have you had to add another super yet?

marisa said...

Mary, not yet. I'm so excited to get to that point!

Alice said...

I didn't. I'm not that crazy (or in that kind of shape). My Mister did. It was awesome.

I'm wishing we had bought 2 bee veils- I really want to go see the combs, but I'm too chicken to do it myself or without protection (although My Mister checked on them on sunday wearing shorts, and has replaced their syrup a couple of times without any gear on- but we have an entrance feeder).