Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Installing the Bees

I can finally call myself a beekeeper. The bees arrived on Friday and I installed them on Saturday. That was quite an adventure. I was not too nervous and I look forward to my next opportunity to open the hive and see how successful my bees have been at establishing a new home. I did discover that reading about installing bees and actually doing it are two different things. I had read several books beforehand, to get ready for the big day, but I still managed to mess it up. Luckily, I don't think I messed it up too much but I am not sure how confident the bees are in my abilities.

The first problem that I had was getting the food can out of the box. This has to be removed to get the bees out. I was so preoccupied with trying to wrestle the can out that I forgot to hold onto the tab that was holding the cage with the queen. The queen box ended up in the bottom of the box, covered in about 10,000 confused bees. I was left trying to figure out how to get it out. I dumped some of the bees in the hive and then had to stick my hand in and grab the box. I tried hard not to think about the fact that I was sticking my bare hand into a box of bees. There was a moment of thinking I might have chosen the wrong hobby. Luckily, I got the courage and finally got the queen and the bees into the hive. I may have done a few of the steps out of order but hey, I got the bees in the hive. I figure that is worth something.

You can now find my husband and I standing at the window, with a pair of binoculars, looking at the bees going in and out of the hive. I am sure the people driving by think we are perverts or something but there is some sort of thrill watching bees. Next time you see a honeybee, take a moment to watch her closely, it is really quite interesting.

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