Long story short: We have 2 beehives now.
Long story long:
In late October about 18 months ago we got some screaming deals on some trees. That moved us to look for some more and before April of 2013 we had planted 10 new trees 8 of which were fruit trees with more to come. For a while now I have been noticing blossoms on things that end up not producing anything. I mentioned that if we were going to have this many fruit trees maybe we should find a way to get some bees to pollinate them. Now, I had in mind figuring out a way to attract some native Mason bees, but my wife who didn’t work with the USU Bee Lab only knows about honey bees. She went all about getting honey bees. However, by the time we finally decided that bees were going to happen it was too late to get bees. So that started the planning stages.
I didn’t want the normal white boxes you normally think of when you see beehive. So I build some cement block stands. To save some cost, and because I like doing that stuff, the boxes came milled, but unassembled. I got to glue them and set them with 2 inch finishing nails two in each joint; these boxes are solid! A little sanding and on to the next step. Then I stained the pine boxes with a beautiful golden pecan stain and then used a fiberglass resin to seal the outside against the weather.
Using cement screws I mounted a piece of 3/4 plywood that I had finished the outside edge the same as the boxes to the cinder blocks. I pre drilled some holes though the plywood into the bottom board and screwed the bottom board to the mount. Everything was ready for the girls to show up.
Well April 12th was the big day. While the rest of the family was at an Easter activity at church. I drove to Toole and picked up 2 four pound packages of Italy’s finest honey bees. At 4-5000 bees per pound that means I had upwards of 40000 bees in the car with me on the ride home. I’ll be honest I was waiting for the disaster to happen. Especially after the guy at the bee place said he had tripped and dropped the packages so the bees were a little angry. Rut-Row ;| However, I made it home just fine and then started the prep work for the next potential disaster. Moving the bees from the box they came in to their new home.
Installing the packages…. I’ll let the video tell that story. It’s about 12 and a half minutes long and well worth the time just for Chey’s commentary.
And yes Cheyenne and Christy were crazy brave. Neither had any protection at all. But still no stings at all. PS don’t I rock the pants tucked into my socks look. 🙂
Almost a week into it and things are looking great. Really the girls haven’t been a hassle at all. We “know” that they are there mostly because we all are fascinated by the hives and are hanging out there quite a bit. The bees could care less that we are there and just go about their business. In fact we have even gotten a little “honey” I had to remove some honey comb that had be put in the wrong place. It had some honey in it and we had some of it for dinner the other night. 🙂