3 Days Later

It’s Saturday….  three days from when the bees were put into their new hive!

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After opening the top and removing the travel box this is what was discovered…..

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The queen and her attendants ate their way out of the little queen box and now all the workers are busy making a new home!  They were all still docile and easy to work around. Pete wore his jacket and veil (he was the one moving things around in the hive) and Austin wore a hoodie (taking these pictures)… both were comfortable around the bees!

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Pretty cool huh?!

3 Pounds of Bees

I wondered, “What the heck is three pounds of bees going to look like?” and now I know! Pete arrived home with his box of bees….  naturally, being the curious sort, I grabbed my camera and ruler! The box measures 16 inches long, 8 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches wide and has screen on the two biggest sides! These little guys were buzzing and clinging to the queen all around a can of sugar water! Quite fascinating to be sure!008

After making sure the sugar water feeder is all in place and all the tools are ready (gloves, veil-jacket, opener, spray bottle) … we headed down to the hive! 009

012Pete took his time and never even wore the special gloves! 🙂  The queen is housed in a separate little box with a few attendents and was fun to look at! She is longer in size but still would be hard to pick out of the crowd of so many bees! The few escapee bees never bothered or buzzed in warning… they hung on the box and allowed us to check it out!022023

The bees were reallly docile… which made this whole first experience sooo much easier! After removing the plug from one end of the queen’s box, Pete hung it in the hive. They bees are suppose to eat through the remaining fondant to freedom within the hive while the worker bees are all getting use to each other and accepting her as their queen! They have quite a sophisticated little kingdom from what we are understanding!!028

Pete took out the can of sugar water that they traveled with and put the bigger box of bees into the hive, then put the next stack on top and the covers.029

034035They have an opening near the base of the hive where they can come and go from and after a few days, the hive will be reopened and the travel box will be removed. If all goes well, the bees will be happily adjusting to their new home and flying out and about looking for the flowering fruit trees and bushes and flowers!

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Now to hook up the solar powered electric fence and keep our fingers crossed!!

Spring Has Sprung!

Our new chicks arrived on April 17th and are already getting big!! These birds, are moving fast from the cute yellow chick stage to the ugly white bird stage! They grow fast and within 8-10 weeks they’ll be ready for freezer camp! Fresh chicken anyone?

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Pete went to Bee School over the winter. 6 Saturdays of practical teaching on how to keep honey bees! Since then, he’s been busy looking at a variety of dealers and products and has made careful decisions. He bought a hive and spent lots of time putting it together, painting, prepping and getting all ready for the big day!! We have a space, protected (hopefully) from the worst of the winter winds and protected with a solar battery electric fence… to keep the bears out, not to keep the bees in! May 19th is the big day!! We’ll be picking up a 3 pound package of bees to add to the hive! Can’t wait to see how this all works out and to try our own ‘home grown’ honey!

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Last fall we gave away our few remaining hens and only wintered a few rabbits. We are starting our 2013 garden and growing season with new hens! We bought a half dozen Red Comets/Cinnamon Reds and were blessed with a gift of another 6 hen and a rooster a few weeks later from a friend who had to move!! Thankfully, they are all about the same age which made the introductions a bit easier! Fresh eggs are another delicious reason for liking spring!

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The maple syrup has been bottled, the fruit trees have been pruned and the field across the street has been fenced and maybe a few cows will graze on them this summer! The kale is making a comeback, the rhubarb is growing and the fruit (plum, apple) trees and blueberry bushes are beginning to bud and blossom! We were pleased to see that the elderberries made it through the winter too…  they were a new addition last fall! So much to do all at once in the spring!

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The only things we do NOT like about spring are ticks (as of today we’ve had a collective number of 20+ ticks!), black flies and the soon to come mosquitos!

Up next….  keeping the lawn mowed, garden tilling and planting!  Enjoy the nice weather and the dirt between your toes!

May your days be blessed and your nights be restful! God Bless!