Monday, May 24, 2010

The Newest Beekeepers on the Creek

Well, it may not be as catchy as "New Kids on the Block", but we're not new kids, don't live on a block, and have officially crossed over from being just consumers of honey, to honey producers.

Yep, we are officially referred to now as BEEKEEPERS.

Which means that we now have an epi-pen on hand at all times, because if anyone is going to be allergic to bees, it will be my Mister or I.

Or both.

Here is a picture of us, still basking in the glow of bee ownership. Before cynicism sets in and we realize the we are in way over our heads.

My hair is pulled back because Heather, the bee lady, said that "you don't want to let the bees get caught in your hair"...apparently, that is a bad thing.

And my goal in life is to avoid as many of those as possible.

My Mister had to chisel out a "back door" escape route for the bees, just in case the yellow jackets or wasps try to take over their kingdom.

I just love watching him figure things out.

This is the brood box. We fill the far left with sugar water and place the molasses patty on the frames and the bees stay happy and healthy.

I guess the Queen doesn't cook.

Forget the romantic thoughts of beekeeping. This is an ugly business. Ugly being the operative word. This little get-up of mine pulls tight downward, gets wrapped around my chest (in a not-so-flattering way), and ties in the front. My sweatshirt sleeves had 3 large rubber bands cutting off my circulation at the wrists, the netting on my face was hard to see through, and I'm 5'3 wearing rubber boots that cut me off mid-knee.

And I'm wearing 2 layers of clothes.

I looked like a character from ET.

The movie, not Entertainment Tonight.

The yellow in the front...pure net. (Just in case you were wondering where I purchased this very stylish scarf!)

You can't tell, but it had just started to rain when we got outside. I was in charge of smoking the bees while my Mister worked the tape and lid.

People with asthma should NOT work the smoker.

Lesson learned.

The sugar water is 1 part sugar, 1 part water.

This is when white sugar is a good thing.

If it were up to me, I'd have smoked those bees to death. Smoke is supposed to calm them.

I don't think they got the memo.

The little addicts finally calmed down.

If they were human, they'd be considered "two-pack-a-day" smokers.

We put 5 frames in this brooder box. In a couple of weeks, we'll add the second brooder box. The honey in these boxes are for the bees. When we add the third box, called the "super", anything that gets made in that, is ours.

Every bee counts when there is honey to be made.

All that's left is to put the top on. By now, it was pouring, I was in desperate need of oxygen and the bees were in a coma-like trance.

All in a day's work of a new beekeeper.
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Martianne said...

How fun! The folks who own the CSA we belonged to the past few years had wonderful bee adventures and the honey - yum! Enjoy!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

I am SO excited for you!! Great pictures (your get-up is better than I expected!) and I can't wait to see jars of your gorgeous honey!!
That's it, we're taking a trip to WA!! :)

Amy said...

I hope that you get into the routine soon. My hubby kept bees a number of years ago. He said that is some serious work.

Have a wonderful day.

Sarah said...

Wow! You two are pretty ambitious!! :) Good luck and hang in there...I bet you'll get the hang of it all really soon and it'll turn out to be fun!


Millie said...

WOW Kim!
I've toyed with the idea of beekeeping but Joe is not on board with it and I'm a little 'scared' of bees so it is on the back burner (way back burner).
You do wear that beekeeper outfit well! I look forward to following along on your bee adventure.

krauterhaus said...

You guys look so cute in your bee clothes! I'm so excited for you - all those new babies to take care of. Can't wait for a sampling of the honey. Love ya!

Anonymous said...

wow. that is alot of work. my Dad was just talking about wanting to get some bees to help out around the garden and orchard. I'm not sure he knows all the info.
Thanks for sharing.
Hope you have some sweet honey in no time!