Hello everyone. Bees have always fascinated me. Especially honey bees. I remember in Florida as a child, my great grand parents had two hives on the farm. I would love to watch them coming and going. Those hives were never managed in my time but they thrived. I am sure by now they have either died out from all the introduced mites and diseases or, hopefully, someone has taken them over. Around the same time, a neighbor (we knew him only as Mr. Morgan) had bees as well and oddly a HAM radio. Hobbies make life interesting I suppose. My brother and I would visit him frequently to talk about the bees.
Recently my Dad started keeping bees. I have some of his honey in the cabinet. Last time I visited we sat and talked about his bees and I watched them for a while as well. I love the smell and sound of an active hive.
I finally decided to take the plunge and get some bees of my very own. So about a month ago I headed to the local apiary and purchased two 10 frame Langstroth type hives. Well, then I needed some bees and some beekeeping education.
Assembling the boxes was pretty simple. In a few hours, my 10 year old son was turning out deep hive bodies for me with nice finger joints on the table saw. I was making sure we were ready to expand when the time came.
Bees seem like a pretty simple thing to get hold of. Apparently if you wait until April, bees are getting pretty scarce. Ideally I would have liked to catch a few swarms for starting my new hives but there were none out yet, possibly due to the weather we have been having.
Education? Hello internet. The internet has a vast array of beekeeping information much of it conflicting. Well I read quite a bit in a few places and tried to make informed choices. Possibly the best thing I did was join my local beekeeping club. There are a lot of nice people there who are ready to share what they know. Not to mention, a lead to get some bees.
After speaking with a few gentlemen at the bee club meeting one of them mentions that he knows of a guy who has bees for sale. In the background his wife is telling me I can have all the bees I want anytime he is not home. I took that as a joke and moved along.
Finally!! I am going to get some bees. After speaking with the bee seller he arranged that I come pick up my bees after sunset to ensure everyone is home before hauling their house off. Unfortunately, my city does not allow you to keep bees inside city limits. Fortunately, I have some friends north of town who are not bound by such foolishness.
On the big night, I show up to pick up two cute little nucleus hives, which are plywood five frame hives with screens on all the entrances to keep the bees in. I then drive them all the way up to my friends house and drop them off on a hastily assembled hive stand.
I excitedly open their little screen doors and head home for the night.