Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bee Prepared


So, the bees are on their way.

Over the weekend, I painted their hives and am desperately hoping that the rain is melting the snow in the spot where I want to place them so that I can set them up before the packages of bees arrive.

White is the traditional bee hive color because it helps keep the hives cool in the summer sun, but up here in the cold north woods, we can use darker colors to assist the bees in keeping their hives warm. I used a dark red called Fireweed and want to paint whimsical designs of flowers and trailing honeybees and a logo--I'm thinking Beth's Bees.

The hive temperature needs to stay at around 93 degrees and we have very few days where the outside temperature tops that, so in Maine we are more concerned with keeping the bees warm than with keeping them cool. I am especially concerned about them when they arrive on Thursday to temperatures in the 40's and nights in the 30's.

Now for the the scary part. The bees are coming in 3 pound packages--there are about 3500 bees to a pound so that makes about 10,000 bees and I'm starting two hives---so that is 20,000 bees. There will be no gentle introduction to my new hobby as I dump them from their traveling box into the hives. I read the section on Installing Your Colony in my Bee Book and then re-read it and then re-read it again. I really don't think there is any margin of error when working with 20,000 bees for the first time. Then, just when I thought I had the book chapter memorized, I decided to check You-Tube. Well, wouldn't you know there are plenty of videos of people installing their bee packages--some good, some not so good--some cautionary tales, some instructive. I watched them all, some of them several times and now every time that my mind has time for any discretionary wandering--it replays the process of installing the bees over and over and over.

If I surivive the installation and if I can find anyone brave enough to photograph it, I will post pictures on Thursday of my hives.

16 comments:

Kathiesbirds said...

Wow Beth! I missed out on the post where you told us you would be doing this! You are one adventureous woman! Will you be collecting honey? I do hope all goes well. What a great way to help the environment! BTW, I see I am not the only one up in the wee hours of the morning!

Kallen305 said...

How exciting!! I cannot even imagine getting 10000 bees sent to me. I can't wait to read how it goes.

Joanie D. said...

Good luck with your bees, Beth. That was an interesting video to watch. The man is obviously very comfortable working with bees!

RuthieJ said...

Good luck with your bees Beth. I hope everything goes well. Someday I would like to try beekeeping for myself too, but for now I'll experience it through you!

The Texican said...

Bee Careful. Tell Charlie to use the telephoto lens to limit his exposure. Bee sure to place some of those used hand warmers in the outer portion of the hive to keep those little Georgia bees warm. They probably could use some grits sweetened with syrup to give them a good start. I am counting on your success for some Maine Honey. Pappy

Carey's Corner said...

Look forward to hearing the future buzz concerning your new hobby. I hope all goes well placing them in the hives. I've heard that herding bees is nearly impossible. Take Care

NCmountainwoman said...

I am SO excited. I can't wait to hear more about the bees. Another blogger buddy has just received her own bees. You might want to visit her Website.

http://joansnaturejournal.blogspot.com

Jayne said...

OK, now that was fascinating, and I found myself fully forgetting they are bees that... um, can sting... until he turned that thing upside down and I saw the sheer number being dumped into the hive. Gulp. Wow. Now, I am both scared and excited for you Beth!! Can't wait to possibly taste some of that honey from the GA bees!

marianne said...

oh my gawd i am so freaked out. i'm just sayin. hahahaha but then, i am allergic.

Ruth said...

Can't wait for the next installment..

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Good luck, Beth!
I bet you'll roll them gently over, and they'll barely wake.

KGMom said...

Brave doesn't begin to cover it!
I do like your post title.
As for Beth's Bees-watch out for Burt who may claim the B name.
Secret Life of Beth's Bees?

beth said...

now if only I had a body suit....I would SO come with my camera and video camera to capture all of this !!!!

rach :) said...

How do the bees like their new home?

Cindy said...

How are the bees? I'm looking forward to following this adventure.

Rondi said...

Wow! That was really interesting! I read this after I read your own description of what you did...and it was exactly the same! How exciting! Good luck. I will be waiting to see what happens next =)