The honey bee (or honeybee) is so important to the 'circle of life.' They pollinate all the plants. Without them, there would be massive death, plants and animals. In fact, they are on decline and backyard beekeeping has become more popular. And YES, if you live in the city, you too can have them :) They are very docile creatures. Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets give them a bad reputation. But these guys simply want to do one thing, produce honey (and of course keep the queen happy). My fascination with bees has grown significantly since my self-reliant living plans have blossomed at my developing homestead. And we LOVE our honey and there is nothing better than the honey you make, so I am told. I have read and learned from other bee keepers that the most sought after honey is basswood honey. I'm in luck! I have several on my property :) I also have large gardens that will be thankful and produce larger, healthier fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
So, in order to get ready for their arrival I needed a water source, sugar water, pollen patty, bee suit, smoker, smoker pellets, hive tool, & bee brush,. For more about the pricing on the bees/needed items go to the finance page and click the bees excel sheet.
Providing a good water source for bees is critical to their success in cooling the hive, reproduction, and making honey. It's also important not to leave open water that they can easily drown in. This is what I came up with:
So now, we are ready for the bees. Once they arrived, I removed the starter boxes and placed them on stacked pallets. I liked the idea of placing them on pallets because the wood will turn to match the surroundings, unlike cinder blocks, and they make it easy to place them on while creating the ventilation needed underneath. After I got them set up, you take the plug in the front off, and replace with a reducer to slowly allow the bees to come out and explore. You don't want them to swarm and leave right away. After a couple days the reducer can be taken off.
I am having two colonies (separate hives) and they will produce about 80lbs of honey each. Holy, yum! Though, I wish I can consume that much, I have decided to share my local honey at the Farmer's Markets I attend. It's also noteworthy that honey NEVER goes bad. Honey was found with King Tut and still edible!
As for now, the 'newbees' (pun intended) are getting cozy at their new residence and I can't wait to see them tomorrow.