The veteran beekeeper who so graciously agreed to sell me some of her bees lives in one of the older communities in this area. Not converted farmland but a long, winding street where every unique house is on about an acre of land. Her lot, in particular, was extremely impressive - with a massive garden, well-chosen trees and plantings, a pond with a duck, a few chickens, and (of course) beehives. The place felt a little bit like paradise and, as much as I wanted to, I felt like it was an intrusion to ask to take pictures.
|Most swarms head into a tree.|
The nuc comes in a "nuc box", which is just temporary housing until you get them into their hive. I called it the condo. My supplier uses cardboard nuc boxes that each hold five, established frames of comb. I was given four frames of "brood comb", which is where the queen lays eggs and the workers feed the babies, and one frame of honey comb so the bees had something to eat.
|The bee condo (aka: nuc box)|
I had already prepped the area where the bees would live - in the space that used to be occupied by the rain barrel - so it was just a matter of carrying the box to the spot, setting it down, and opening up their entrance hole.
My dogs were fascinated. I think they could smell the honey and the sound was driving them nuts. The first casualty was my dog Caesar who, in his intense curiousity, ended up stepping on a bee and getting stung on the foot. It gave him the perfect opportunity to limp around acting like it was the end of the world for the remainder of the day.
|Caesar was the first casualty.|
|Lilly was less impressed but felt the need to get involved.|
|Air vent for the condo|
In part two of Home, Home At Last, we'll look at the move from the condo to the permenant home - a beautiful western red cedar hive from Legacy Apiaries in Indiana.