Sunday, May 3, 2009

Getting the Newbie New Bee Yards

We were thrilled to find not one but two new sites for bee yards! That is not easy to do in our urban area. Our motivation for finding new places was . . .

  • Our bees did better over the winter and we ordered more packages than we needed.

  • We cannot keep hives at my dad’s farm anymore because it will be sold at auction soon.

  • Our current bee yards have as many hives as they can support.

  • We need to do some splits to prevent swarming.

  • When we began keeping hives, we were too generous in our agreements for honey rent. Sometimes our renters receive more honey than we do although we bear all of the expense and do all of the work. We are thankful for those locations and cannot go back on our agreements but with new locations we can be more realistic in setting honey rent. Perhaps our hobby will come closer to breaking even. We never expect to make a profit. As hubby says, “This is a hobby. Hobbies cost.”

  • Bob might retire sometime and it will be nice to have a few more hives because what if he gets under foot? I just think it is prudent to help him plan for retirement.

When we pulled in to set up our new bee yard, we were greeted by children. Little Anna declared that she does not like bees! I am sure many adults would agree.

The excitement of wearing a real beekeeper suit soon lured Anna into further investigation.

We understand the initial thrill for young beekeepers to put on a bee suit. We had to scrounge for enough bee gear but eventually got the kids suited up. BTW that thrill is usually shortlived.

At first everyone kept a safe distance from the hives.

Beekeeper Bob gave Lesson 1 in this new bee yard to his promising newbie apprentice. Daniel passed with flying colors showing a healthy respect for the bees but no fear.

Bees are fascinating and Beekeeper Bob soon drew the others in for a tentative look.

Not wanting to be left out, even the adults gathered closer.

It is intriguing to watch the bees. Here is one bee gathering pollen from a dandelion.

This fuzzy picture is of the bees carrying the pollen into the hive. You may have to use your imagination.

Our bee yards are charming. That is not the best word. I need help on my vocabulary. There is something peaceful, industrious, balanced, natural, right, delightful . . . about the bee yards. I understand if you do not get this! I did not get it for a long time.

I have heard of athletes who run to relax and some that even have difficulty quitting before they drop because of the high that they get from running. I don’t get it. For me running or even a slow jog, every single time, requires a “grit your teeth and bear it” and “am I there yet?” mentality. I am baffled by real runners, although I do admire them greatly and hope that in heaven I can be just like them. This whole paragraph is just to show that we can’t all “get” what others are “getting”. If you don’t “get” what in the world I am talking about, I am okay with you not “getting” it.

Without apology, here are some photos of our new, delightful and charming bee yards. This is the Better Smelling than Horses DeJoJo Bee Yard—from which all of the above pictures were taken.

And here is the Road Less Traveled McWAC Bee Yard.

Do you get it at all?

1 comment:

Susan said...

My husband just started the hobby of beekeeping last summer. He now has 2 hives. He was hoping to have a 3rd colony but his bees swarmed!!!! Drats!!!!

I read your post to him and yes we "get it"!!