So it’s official, I’m now a beekeeper. About 11:00 a.m. I picked up my honeybees from the local Post Office.
A few weeks ago, I’d already found the perfect spot. Shade most of the day and the sun peeks in on part of the hive in the mid afternoon. Also, there’s honeysuckle in the undergrowth behind the hive and my does it have the area smelling sweet.
Since I was waiting to take my Warre Hive outside, the honeybees didn’t arrive in the hive immediately. Instead, I found a shaded spot to rest my honeybee package while I got their area ready. My daughter and I were fascinated with the honeybees. In the above photo I’d sprayed them with sugar water and was watching them use their little tongues to clean the sugar water off themselves and each other. 🙂
It took about three hours to get the Warre hive situated. I had to dig up dirt that also had several roots/clay mixed in to make the task more challenging. After that was finished, I flattened the dirt to make it firm. The leveler showed me that the hive was now level, I also made drainage tunnels since that rainwater would not well up around the hive. Much thanks to my father who lent a hand, if it weren’t for him this process would have taken much longer.
Installing the honeybees into their Warre Hive
After donning my bee suit, I lightly sprayed them with sugar water and shook the package honeybees to make sure they fell into the bottom. I really didn’t need to spray them with sugar water. Michael Bush, suggests that this isn’t needed. Next time, I’ll install the honeybees without and see what happens.
I removed the feeding can that was included with the package honeybees and also grabbed the queens cage. What you can’t see in the above picture, are the queens attendants. There were four in the cage, one was dead. I removed the plug and replaced it with a marshmallow, and then placed it into the Warre hive.
Since I now had the hive area just the way I wanted, it was time to install the honeybees.
And I must say the installation was easy. I shook them out into the Warre hive a few buzzed around me. It’s hard to describe the feeling, seeing and hearing a living vibrant community of 10,000 – 12,000 honeybees buzzing about you, it was almost zen-like and a tad bit intimidating for a first time beekeeper but I remained calm. I’ve seen numerous videos and know this usually isn’t a big deal, and I was right. I had a few that buzzed and landed on me, they flew away after they were satisfied. Perhaps they were thanking me for releasing them from their tiny prison?
Afterwards my daughter and I hung out with the honeybees for at least three hours. About an hour ago, I strolled out to the hive and was pleased to see that they were doing well. There was only about twenty honeybees outside. I walked up to the hive, without a bee suit, and hung out with them for a while. I’m one happy beekeeper.
Here’s hoping my honeybees decide to stay.