Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The bees have arrived and I'm scrambling!

Do you remember me saying I had a beehive to assemble?  Because bees were coming?  Yup.  That was a project I put off.  That is until yesterday when I listened to my messages and realized my bees were on their way.  As in THAT DAY.

Ack!  That little bit of news got me off my duff rather quickly -- hammer, glue and nails in hand.  I needed at least one deep super, a couple more frames and a top.  I already had two frames from my other hive, the nuc comes with five so I needed (need) to build three more.  Fortunately my hive came with two tops so my plan is to use the less fancy top until I am able to finish painting the fancy one.

Yesterday was productive.  Before I found out about the bees I'd borrowed Mr. Peculiar's truck with the intent of cleaning up the backyard (part of my scheme but shhhh! don't tell -- my first plan of action is to get and keep the yard clean thereby making Mr. Peculiar and the neighbors happy.  Then when I spring goats on them they'll all jump for joy -- or something like that).  Anyway I had already hauled one load of pine needles to the recycling center and was just beginning on the second when I found out the bees were arriving toute suite.

I only had the truck for a day (today my car goes to the shop and Mr. Peculiar needs his truck for work).  Therefore I decided to go ahead and finish my yard project before building the bee box. After filling the truck a second time I took a break and built the first box (this sounds more difficult than it is -- all I had to do was fit the pieces together and then attach with glue and nails).

After the box was built I had just enough time to take one more dump run before picking up Little.   Then I came home, swapped out cars with the mister, dropped off Little and conned the Boy into going for a ride.

The bees came from the valley and a member of our local beekeeping club was kind enough to pick them up for me.  All I had to do was meet him at his house for the exchange.  We pulled up to his property and were dazzled by the number of hives he had (it had to have been at least 30).  Everywhere you looked there were bees a buzzing.  The Boy was a bit hesitant to get out of the car.  But no worries -- the bees didn't care one ioda about us. They had more important things to do.

We loaded our buzzing box into the car and headed home.  I didn't let the Boy drive as I was afraid how he'd react should one of the bees get loose.  Fortunately nary a bee escaped.

We got home just in time for him to go to Lacrosse.  As he changed I unloaded the bees leaving them in their nuc overnight. The I began painting my boxes.  I left them out in the driveway to dry.  Of course it rained.  So now they are sitting on my porch waiting to be finished.  I need to transfer the bees this afternoon rain or shine, box complete or not.

As I said I have two tops for this hive -- one fancy and one not so much.  The fancy one has a copper roof and it simply makes me happy.  My first hive has a stenciled lotus flower.  I'd like to stencil something on the second hive as well.  I'm leaning towards a dragonfly but wonder if it's weird to stencil one insect on the hive of another.   I need something relatively simple as I'll be cutting out the stencil myself.  I also considered a crown or, oh so original, a bee.  I'd best decide soon.

Now it's time to get Little up, take her to school and take my car to the shop.  Then back to work around the homestead.  It might sound busy but these are the days that make me happy -- it feels so good to have purpose and drive.  I'll love it if and when I get that farm!  But for now back to today.


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