The Homestead Buzz

I must admit I was terrified on the inside after I made the decision to get honey bees.  Now that the little ladies (worker bees are all female) have been flying around the homestead for a few months I am very fond of the whole hive.

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Bees at work in the hive.

Sir Swine was apprehensive from the start but has warmed to them in time.  He finally became comfortable with them about a month ago after he stood and just watched them buzz in and out of the hive working.  As a hardworker himself, he resonated well with the working bee that simply just doing it’s job.

On the homestead it seems that just when you think things are settling in nice something shakes your day up.  That is exactly what happened today with our bees.

Our normally calm hive suddenly became an abundance of activity.  The first year beekeeper (not sure if I qualify for that title yet) I am completely went into a state to say the least.

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My new homestead friends.

It first started when we noticed bees flying around the house. Only the one door, of course it’s the one we use regularly.  No clustering or anything like that just very odd behavior.

A quick call to my mentor in bees led to me setting up another watering source closer to the hive. I decided I would head around the back and take a glance at the hive too.

I had just put a second box on last week Thursday so I knew they wouldn’t be full yet.  I just expected to be able to do my typical stare at the bees routine I have come to enjoy.

I followed along the small curved path that leads behind a small set of trees and was scared and unnerved.

Not scared need to run, just paranoid that I would lose my new friends. 

My biggest fear with the bees is losing them not their sting.   If they swarm and leave or freeze this winter I will cry.  I’m not to big to admit I have come to really enjoy them.

The hive was a frenzy of activity and that was on the outside! 

I raced to the house to suit up fearing the worst. I even took my smoker, I usually don’t smoke my bees for hive inspections and we have gotten along very well.  Ready to collect them all by hand if need be I raced back to the hive.

I lightly smoked the bees outside of the hive did a few puffs in the entrance and gently talked to the bee on my mask. 

Yup, I pleaded with a bee.  I pleaded with her to tell the rest of the colony to stick around and that I would miss them so they needed to relax.

Well I opened up the hive to find them all eating up some stored honey. Everything looked good. Second box only had a frame of honey but they are working wax on four others.

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Building wax cells on this frame.

Ultimately I decided to try to open up the end holes and give them a bit more ventilation, hot weather is coming on soon.  I did this and sat back to watch.

I checked the bees every ten minutes for the next half hour always worried at what I would find. At the end of that half hour my bees were all back in the hive and quiet.

Learning through experience is one of the joys and hardships of being on a homestead. Today I was lucky enough to calm the hive. I don’t know if they were actually planning to swarm but I’m glad they didn’t.   I don’t think I’m ready to take a swarm on just yet.

Here’s hoping for honey, happy bees and another wonderful day on the homestead.

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