I have wanted honey bees for a few years now but prior years we had rented and I just didn't want to start hives on rental property and have to move them. Plus we lived in a neighborhood and didn't want to deal with people's paranoia over bees. I felt I was already pushing the envelope there with chickens. Now that we own and have land we revisited the discussion on bees.
My father is a beekeeper on the east coast (my mother assists) and both my parents have been here since the arrival of R-bear. Through the weeks, my dad kept busy going to local bee clubs, put himself on a swarm call list, and started putting together supplies in case he got called for a swarm removal. Three times he got called but didn't have his phone on him. Last week he finally received a call for a swarm in a nearby town. My mom went with him and together they successfully retrieved the swarm. It was indeed exciting times.
We let the swarm relax in their hive box for a couple of days and when we went in to check it, they still appeared a bit disoriented and the sugar water was barely touched. No queen was found and we gently closed them back up and opened up a small entrance for them to figure things out.
Today we went back into the hive and saw four amazing findings:
1. tons of bees going in and out of the feeder for sugar water
2. lots of bees with pollen on their puffers which indicates theres potential for brood
3. two and a half frames were being built out
4. WE SAW THE QUEEN!!!
Yep, our hive is getting organized, starting to build out wax for honey, and the sighting of the queen was extra spectacular. So now we sit, wait, and continue to feed them with hopes of seeing some brood the next few days. If we see that we'll know our bees are establishing themselves and approve of their new home. Honey bees are so fascinating to watch and the more we learn about them the more in awe we are of their intelligence.
Here's to some honey!!!!