Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Keeping Bees

I have wanted to have bee hives for several years but wasn't sure how they would fit on our property since I have grandchildren and frankly, my husband felt they would be a problem trying to mow around.  But, being the person I am, I knew we could fit them in.  I heard about a "mentor" program with the local beekeepers association.  I waited a year, then decided to see if there was an opening in this years class.  I joined in January, and our bees arrived in late March.   You can see here the initial hive has two boxes.  These are brood boxes with 8 frames each.  The bees lay their eggs and start rearing their young.

This is a frame where the queen as laid her eggs.  The nurse bees are capping the cells to allow them to grow and hatch out later.

 I like the mentor class because we all meet together at a designated bee yard where there are about 10 hives.  Our mentor gives a talk, we get to ask questions and we inspect our hives together.  We also check our hives by ourselves at 10 day to 2 week intervals.  When we first placed our hives we had to take sugar water out every 10 days. Once the flowers began to bloom, and nectar flow, we removed our water feeders.
You can see now that it is the end of July, my two box hive is now four.  The third box is full of honey for the bees winter stores.  The fourth was added a couple of weeks ago in hopes they would save me a little!  Our class meets August 2 and we will remove our honey for our on personal use.  Each frame yields a quart of honey and I hope I have at least a couple.

My hive comes home in August, and since I have been working with the hives I see that bees are really calm, and should pose no threat to us or our neighbors.

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