Spring/Summer 2017 Homestead Updates: Bees!

This will probably be my final update for this series and it is pretty short. The bees have been pretty simple and straight forward so there isn’t a lot to say!

Homestead updates, bees

I got my bees in the middle of May. I ordered a package and picked them up about an hour and a half from my home. I realized too late that I should have bought two packages. Let me tell you, driving an hour and a half with a box full of irritated bees next to you in the car is a bit unnerving!

Truck full of package bees, homestead updates

Homestead updates, picking up bees 

Luckily, my brother is staying with us for a bit and is an experienced beekeeper so I have expert help! My neighbor is also an experienced beekeeper, so between the two of them they make up for my lack of knowledge! I have read the books but actually doing it a bit different than reading about it!

 

I bought all my bee supplies from Dadant. My brother assembled the hive bodies and frames for me and I got discount mis-mixed paint from the local hardware store to paint them. My husband built a great stand that will hold about five hives.

Homestead updates, assembling bee hives Homestead updates, assembling beehives

We got the bees installed in the hive, fed them sugar water for a couple weeks, and just let them do their thing. By mid-June, it was time to put on the second hive body so my bees now have a two-story home. We will be adding the first super in the next week or so.

We are trying to check them as little as possible since hive inspections set them back significantly. I’m super impressed with how quickly they are filling the hive and reproducing. They make me look like a sloth! I can’t wait until next year when we have honey! I got a bit of a taste because they tried to build some comb on the lid. It was amazing!

Homestead updates, bees

We did put out a bee trap in hopes of catching a swarm or two but didn’t have any luck with that. Maybe next year. I will probably purchase another package in the spring so that I have at least two hives. Or I’ll figure out how to split the hives….apparently, that is something I am supposed to do.

I have a ton to learn still about bee keeping but so far it has been the easiest of my projects!! I managed to accomplish 2/3 of my animal goals this year. Chickens and bees have been successful! I didn’t get rabbits and I am postponing that goal until next year, but I’m happy with what we have accomplished so far!

***I just realized I don’t have any pictures of the whole hive put together. I’ll take some next time I’m out there and put them in a new update!****

Well, that’s it! A run down of what I’ve accomplished this year on our little homestead! I’ll update again in a few months when there is something to tell. If you would like to see all of the updates in this series visit the homestead update introduction post. Later this week I’ll let you know how my other goals are coming along.

I would love to hear what sort of homesteading adventures you are up to, please share in the comments!

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