Oh, how I have missed the buzzing of honey bees around here! The wait is over….we’ve got our new bees.
Last year, we purchased boxes of bees that needed to be installed into the empty hives, which also involves installing the queen cage. That was a great learning experience, but this year we decided to go another route. We found a local beekeeper who was selling established colonies. Considering the fact that the bees would arrive in Michigan later, and that they would already have a jump start (laying queen/raising brood/food stores), and that they come in their own hive, AND that the price was right, we couldn’t pass it up.
Check out the video that goes along with this post. We brought the camera along on our trip to Grand Rapids, MI to pick up the bees. We met some nice folks while we were there, many of them new beekeepers as well. The microphone picked up some of the conversation going on — somewhat entertaining. 🙂
The established colonies won’t need to be inspected as often, mainly because they are already doing what they need to do and we already had the experience of watching bees start from scratch last year. I will need to check them to see if they are getting overcrowded so I can try to prevent them from swarming. I have extra hive boxes on hand so I can either expand the existing hives or split them and have extra colonies. Which will we do? Time will tell…
I would love to hear about your beginning beekeeping experiences — please leave a comment or send us an email. At the very least, we hope you learn more about bees from our posts so you can support beekeeping efforts worldwide. After all, we can not live without bees!