Bee hat,veil, and gloves
Hive (bottom board, super, inner cover, telescoping cover, and frames – no worries they sell the kit)
If you have read some of my posts you know we live in a small mountain town in South Carolina. Beekeeping must be thriving in these parts, because right down on Main Street there is a shop and they sell nothing but beekeeping materials and products. Back in December, my husband ordered 2 hives. Each package of bees has about 10,000 bees with 1 queen. The complete set up costs about $175.00 and the bees cost about $100 a hive, depending on where you are.
It just so happens that on the coldest Saturday that I can remember, the bees were scheduled to come in. My husband and the children went to pick them up. They all come in rectangle box with mesh sides.A couple of cool facts, if you put your hand up to the side of the mesh you can feel the heat generated by the bees. They are fairly quite, until we painted sugar water on the sides of the mesh and sounded like a storm of bees coming. Because of the cold weather, we had to keep the bees inside and feed them sugar water for 3 days. My husband worried the whole time, but there was nothing that we could do. It needed to be at least 50 degrees to give them a fighting chance.
When the weather turned, it was time to release the bees and introduce them to their hive. Maggie and Thomas had built the frames and Thomas and Jack painted the hives themselves. I want to decorate them later this summer with flowers.
My husband positioned the hives right beside our garden and opened the box. Inside the box was a smaller box with a sugar cork that held the queen. You can tell its the queen because she is much larger than any of the other bees. Now you may think that’s a hot mess and there is no way that I would open a box of 10,000 bees. It is really not that bad and the footage that you see is me up close and personal with the hives and I do not have any gear on and did not get stung. He emptied the boxes in each hive and made sure they had a mason jar full of sugar water to get started.
He continued to refresh the sugar water jar the first few weeks. Finally he added a entrance reducer which limits the number of bees that can go in and out of the hive at any one time. It has been since March that he started the hive and one of the supers is already full! If you sit and watch the bees, you can see their flight pattern, back and forth to the hive. My husband checks on them occasionally, but they are really self sufficient little creatures. Believe it or not, I don’t really worry about being stung. The bees really keep to themselves and continue about with their work. As far as honey collection we will not collect any because the hive needs it to get through the winter. But next year…..
How to Start a Beehive is a great experience the whole family can enjoy. Not only is it fun to watch, but you realize how important every job is to completing a task. I use this analogy a lot with my children. If you are looking for a Chore Chart that Works, Click HERE
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