I set up and installed two hives of bees this year.  Not only will they pollinate the garden and help it produce at its maximum level, it will provide our family with plenty of delicious honey for our table!

My friend Rebecca took some photos while I installed the hive of bees.  Unfortunately, this hive that she photographed me installed had a bummer queen and the whole hive collapsed and had to be replaced within a week.  The good news is that both of the hives are now doing really well and I can see comb forming with honey in it!  Good job bees.

This is me getting ready to take the bees outside.  They come in 3 pound packages.  The bees are completely enclosed in the box until you open it up to install it.  They are really REALLY loud and they want out to find a home that will suit them well.  They are all hanging in a cluster around a can of sugar water that is in the package with them so that they have plenty to eat on their way to their new homes.

When you are ready to install the bees, you smack the package on the ground to wake the bees up and get them off the can of sugar. You pull the can out and it becomes the opening. When you smack the package on the ground, it gets really noisy and intimidating.

You then open the hive up and pour the bees in. I have not yet released them here (still working up the nerve to do it). The hives I am using are a nontraditional hive called a top bar hive. It is a much more sustainable and healthy hive, and it works well for a backyard beekeeper for many reasons. I think the hives are very stylish looking. I LOVE the yellow color they are painted.

I have now released the bees and they are being poured into the hive and being closed into their new home. Can you see the bees flying all around me?

The bees are now very happily working away making honey. The hives have a little observation window that I can look into, so I have been keeping track of their progress while allowing them to have some space. I am looking forward to working with them later into the summer.

posted under Homesteading

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