|Hard at work! (Bee trivia - all worker bees are female!)|
Everybody do the bee dance! I got word last night (Sunday) that my bees are nearly ready to come home. The estimate is about nine more days - which is perfect because I'm still waiting for my equipment to show up!!
The woman supplying me my bees has offered to keep them and do some evaluation on the brood frames - these are the wooden frames that the bees build their comb on. She's also kindly said that I could come over and get a lesson on what to look for. I have to say this... as hobbies go, beekeepers are such a generous group of folks! Everyone has been super-helpful and really gone out of their way to ensure that I'm fully informed. Hmmmm... now that I think of it, maybe they're just trying to make sure I don't kill myself (or give beekeepers a bad name!) LOL
Anyway, all the basic stuff I need is ordered. I considered trying to save some money and buy stuff from Craig's List and eBay but, frankly, the convenience of being able to order everything from one place won out.
Here are some of the things I had to buy:
A hat and veil - so bees don't sting my face (this is kind of important)
|I'm too sexy for my veil. Too sexy for my veil. So sexy I won't fail...|
Gloves - so bees don't sting my hands while I'm poking around in their home.
|I defy any bee to sting through that leather.|
Tools - because... well... all beekeepers should have hobby-appropriate tools. My favorite tool, by far, is the smoker. There's something weirdly romantic about being able to calm the bees with a bit of smoke.
|Just like in the movies! I'm going to smoke bees!|
|Yeah... it doesn't look like much but it's indispensable.|
|This is a thing. Not sure I really needed it but it was cheap.|
|Not sure I couldn't have just bought a brush at the dollar store but...|
And, of course, the big-daddy of beekeeping purchases - the hive itself.
After much debate and emotional roller-coastering, I decided to go with a standard Langstroth hive. Well, not exactly standard - I'm using the smaller (less popular) model - but standard in that this is the style of hive most people use. In the end, I decided that adding a layer of complexity to my beekeeping was not how I wanted to start out my hobby. And, to be perfectly honest, I met an amazing woman who's been keeping bees for five years and she teaches beekeeping classes. She took all my concerns about Langstroth hives and all my reasons for thinking about other hive types and gave me answers and solutions to remove my worries. So, Langstroth it is. Maybe someday I'll experiment with some alternative hive options and see if I like them better. :)
I'm stoked about the hive I bought. It's made from red cedar (sustainably harvested, of course!) and looks gorgeous. The guys who run Legacy Apiaries seem like really fine people and I'm looking forward to a beautiful, long lasting hive in my yard.
So, stay tuned. I'll try to take some pics when I go meet my babies and, of course, when I bring them home and install them, I'll be sure to give you all a complete update. And, don't worry... I'll get distracted by something else again soon so it really won't be all-bees-all-the-time forever. :)
- Bzzzzzzzzzz Alex