Posted by: Pam B. Newberry | April 24, 2011

A New Beginning…


Happy Easter! Spring is here and the bees will be arriving soon!

Spring at Hobbit's Bend

Hobbit King and I have been busy preparing for their arrival. We finished decorating the last hive and now have all hives in place with their frames prepped.

Queen in waiting...

We decided to go with nine frames in each hive for each colony to live. Our Bee Mentor shared that some people use eight frames, while others use ten frames. He recommends nine frames due to the ease of being able to move the frames without it being too tight or too loose inside the box when working with active bees.

Listening to our fellow beekeepers, members of the Mountain Empire Beekeepers Association, and our Mentor, we decided to purchase nucs of bees instead of packages. We’ll receive four nucs (i.e., short for colony nucleus). Each nuc will contain about 20 to 30,000 bees and a queen with four frames. The nucs will come in cardboard hives ready for us to transfer into each hive. We have five frames already prepared and ready in each hive. Because the queen comes acclimated with the nuc colony, there is no need to allow for the bees to accept the queen, as she is already part of the family. We felt using nucs would be one less worry as “newbee” beekeepers.

Hive stand ready to receive hive

Placing bottom board with hive screen

Hive body (also called Brood Chamber) with four frames

Notice that the four frames have been prepared with foundation and are now ready to receive the nuc.

Honey Super in place on top of the Hive Body with frames

The frames in the Honey Super are in place and the worker bees will use the nine frames to collect honey for the colony. Later, when the colonies have matured and begun to grow, the worker bees will fill the super. At some point, we will add a second honey super. This second honey super will be where the honey we get to have will be stored. The placing of the second honey super all depends on the nectar flow and how well our bees do this year. In most cases, we’ve been told not to expect to get honey the first year for our personal use.

Inner cover on the hive

Notice the slit in the inner cover. It is designed to help provide ventilation to the bees by helping the worker bees cool the hive when temperatures increase.

Outer cover on hive

Inserting hive entrance reducer

The entrance reducer is generally used during the winter to help keep the hive warm and to reduce the chance of small animals and other invaders attacking the hive. We placed the reducer in the hive to protect it until our honey bees arrive to keep invasive bees from taking up residence.

The finished hive ready to be secured in place

Hobbit King decided to strap the hive in order to prevent wind damage. We have such horrible winds through our valley. We will be placing a wind break in the next week to help with the wind.

Strapping the hive in place

All four hives ready to receive their colonies

Now we wait to begin the art of beekeeping!!!

We are so excited and are counting the days. In future blogs you’ll hear about our trials and tribulations as we learn how to care for these lovely ladies.

Yesterday, while walking around the farm, I saw a variety of bees out foraging. There was an abundance of bumble bees on the wisteria and I saw several small flying insects that were black in color working the dandelions and other small wild flowers. I’m not sure the black insects were a type of bee or even a honey bee. I haven’t seen any honey bees (e.g., Italian) since our last cold spell when they were working the Weeping Cherry tree. I hope they made it through the sudden temperature drop.

It won’t be long we’ll be seeing our bees setting up homes and out foraging here on the farm at Hobbit’s Bend…

Have a glorious Easter and a joyful spring time!

Honey Cheers,
Hobbit Queen


Responses

  1. Btw, Hobbit Queen – Congratulations! You have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award (passed through me) for your wonderful blogging.

    Go here (http://fantasyfic.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/versatile-blogger-awards/) for details on the terms for acceptance of this award. You rock!

    Like

    • THANKS!!! That is sooooo kind of you!!! I am “wordless.”

      Seriously, Thank you so much!!!

      I’ll have to catch up when I get back! TAKE CARE And I can’t wait to tell you all about receiving our bees. Got some good and not so good stories to share…Wish you could see us! Too funny!

      Like

  2. First let me just say, I’m so jealous of that wisteria in the photo! I didn’t realize it until you mentioned it, but I do always associate this purple wonder with bumble bees! The hives look like a perfectionist artisan made them. Have you thought of condensing your bee experiences for an article in a magazine for small/hobby farmers? I bet it would be a success. Enjoy your spring. Out here in the Pacific Northwest, the weather’s milder now, but still rainy and blustery days on end. Bee well, Janet

    Like

    • Hi Janet…such kind words and I love your idea regarding the hobby farmer mag. Hmmmm! I must consider doing that. We do get hobby farmer and I’ll need to study up on their submission process. Sounds like the Pacific NW is having a few good days. Todya, we are to receive heavy thunderstorms with high winds (some places tornados) and hail. Oh the glory of spring!

      Take care and looking forward to reading your latest post!
      Honey Cheers,
      Hobbit Queen

      Like

  3. Nice looking bee houses lady

    Like

    • Thanks Hobbit King…Your the “bee” man in my life! 🙂

      Like

  4. Lovely, exciting post. You wrote it as if I were there, watching the final preparations to receive your hard-working ladies. The decorations on the hives are so happy and well done, and the red strapping makes each hive look like a wonderful present, just waiting to be used.

    The whole thing makes me smile with happiness. I wish you and your extended family all the best this year. With such loving and creative care, I am sure your bees WILL be happy and productive.

    Like

    • Thanks so much Ms Sandra…I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I so wanted it to feel like we were talking together.

      Just read your latest post. It is very thought provoking!!! Such a challenge and you definitely rose to the occasion…thanks for sharing such a very important post!!!

      Like

  5. Those hives are just beautiful! I wouldn’t mind living there! Hoping for some yummy success!

    Like

    • Thanks a bundle Rosa…Loved your post too! Great job sharing about Inez. The pic with Princess Mia was awesome!!!

      Like


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