I woke up early yesterday morning to see how the bees had fared overnight. They seemed to be spending the morning becoming acquainted with their new home. I could see plenty of curious bees buzzing around the nuc boxes and hives. I looked on as some were spiraling up into the air. They were orienting themselves to their new location. The sun was shining brightly and temperatures were already in the sixties. I had to get to work. Later this morning, I would transfer the bees from the nucs to their new hives.
Yesterday, a friend and I made the 3-plus hour trip to Brewster, New York to pick up our bees. Finally, the weather had warmed up enough and our bees were ready to come home. We began our journey after lunch and did not arrive home until after Midnight. When we arrived in Brewster, we had to wait until 7:30 pm for our new bees to come home for the evening. We were scheduled to pick up five nucs.
This past Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending my very first hive opening with our local beekeeping association. Last Winter, I took their beekeeping course and today, I was getting a close up look at two new bee hives started from packages 4 weeks ago. Hive openings are best when the weather is around 60 degrees, sunny and in the afternoon when most of the bees are out scavenging the area for pollen sources. Opening the hive is critical, especially after transferring your bees. This should be done weekly until they have filled out two deep supers (for Winter survival on Cape Cod) and you have added your first shallow super (honey collector).
|We rarely see honeybees in our gardens, only the large bumblebees.|
So as many of you know, I am starting out on my newest adventure, beekeeping. Finally the weather warmed up literally overnight and it was time this week to kick things into high gear. The bees are scheduled to come in May and I had so much yet to do. I had to finish building the hives, paint them and find a suitable place in the yard following the guidelines. The hives also needed time to “air out” after their painting. So, I have been busy as a bee these past few days. Proper placement of beehives is key to success as a beekeeper.
One of the biggest questions that I had prior starting out on my honey bee keeping journey had to do with how the chickens and the bees will coexist in my yard. I was nervous. I knew nothing about keeping bees, yet I knew a lot about keeping chickens. I wondered to myself. Will the bees sting the chickens? Will the chickens bother the beehives? What will happen if the bees swarm? Can my chickens still free range in the yard with beehives present? Do chickens and bees get along?