Beekeepers have some unique traits. One of those unique traits is our obsession with examining dead bees especially after an entire colony dies. We take pictures of our dead bees and post them in beekeeper groups on social media. I spent a significant portion of time one day this week examining photos of dead bees from a hive in Alabama trying to figure out why the bees died. It occurred to me after the fact, that many people may not consider this behavior normal.
I loathe January. If January were a vegetable, it would be cauliflower except unlike cauliflower January can’t be redeemed with a cheese sauce. New Year’s Day is an awful. Everyone is tired because they stayed up too late. January is when everyone starts overly ambitious resolutions to exercise more and drink kale smoothies for breakfast. January is also a terrible month if you are a beekeeper. The weather is too cold to open the hives. You just have to hope that all your fall preparations are working and you don’t have a pile of dead bees at the bottom of the hive.
This is the story of how we managed one of our new hives that was without a laying queen for nearly 2 months.
April 2018 was a time of great anticipation. Doug and I ordered 2 nucs of bees to begin our beekeeping adventure. The local supplier we used sold both Italian and Russian bees. We carefully selected Italian bees, and by carefully selected I mean we asked the guy at the store known as The Bee Man, “What do you recommend for new beekeepers?” He sighed, paused 2 seconds and said, “Go with the Italians.” That conversation was back in February when we ordered our bees. In late April, we received a call that our two nucs were ready for pickup. Continue reading
Here is something that may blow your mind…..You can order bees through the mail. That’s right. You can order a box of bees, referred to as a package of bees, that is shipped to you through the US Post Office. Continue reading
In the fall of 2017, my husband and I decided to become beekeepers. Actually we are not beekeepers yet. We started our hives this year, and the saying goes that you are not really a beekeeper until you get your bees through the winter. Until you do that, you are a “bee-haver” but not a “bee-keeper.” Beekeeping has been a great hobby that my husband and I can enjoy together. Continue reading