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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Meet the Mighty Bee Keeper

the mighty bee keeper

Friday evening we received a call from our bee guy. The bees would be here after dark on Saturday, and we could come pick them up on Sunday.

We finished up the bottom brooding boxes

freshly painted bee boxes

And excitedly waited for Sunday.

My husband and eldest son headed out on the 1 1/2 hour trip to the bee man. They took the car. Gas prices and an old Chevy pickup just don't mesh so well. Plus from what I understood from reading my fellow homesteaders blogs and looking at the bees you order online, the bees come in this nice tight little box. It's ok if you fall over, off your chair laughing at our nativity. I will understand.

My husband got there and talk with our bee guy about this and that. The do's and don'ts of bee keeping. Then they loaded the car, and my husband discovered that the nuc boxes were not as secure as they could have been.

Many of the bees were loose in the car. My husband exclaimed that you could see them all over the back window. And as long as they continued to move forward, the bees stayed in the back of the car. But as soon as you slowed down....

He pulled into the toll booth, threw the money at the operator, yelling "LIVE BEES! KEEP THE CHANGE!" He is sure that she is telling the story about the stupid man driving the toll roads of Kansas with loose bees in his car.

Once he came home, the two of them scrambled out of the car, and away from it. Leaving all the windows and doors open. I was astounded and then found myself laughing at him. He got stung only twice, my oldest son came away without any stings.

nuc box

We waited until dark before moving them out of the car and into the area that we want them. The next day I discovered that our new livestock is a tad aggressive. I wasn't that close to the hive, but one little bee decided to run me off even further. They are also getting into the house. We decided that they are going to have to be even further from the house. But as bees travel miles for food and water, and don't think that will matter much.


Last night we walked out to the hives with the good neighbor, to move the nuc boxes up onto the tops of the brooder hives. It was going to rain, and it did. Tonight we are going to move the hives and nuc boxes further away from the house and pop off the stapled down screens. Then leave them to calm down until the next night before attempting to get the frames into their permanent homes.

So yesterdays post on pre depression, I had been debating all weekend on how to approach it. I thought the story form, drawing parallels was the best way.


Survivalwoman said...

!! LIve Bees Keep The Change!!

Wonderfull , A Laugh to be Sure , I have Heard some strange ones..but that beets it all

Thanks For your Post

Phelan said...

survivalwoman, stick around, we are told things get really odd around here. HA!

BurdockBoy said...

Wow what a story, although that sounds like something I'd do. I've put a lot of things in my Subaru.

That's cool you guys are doing the bee thing. I went to a workshop in Wisco during our local food seminar on beekeeping. I knew the guy doing it and he said he started beekeeping before he had land. Organic farms would let him keep the bees on their land. It worked well for him. Perhaps it's something I should do.

Take care.

alrescate said...

*chuckle* Your mighty bee hunter cracks me up.

Gina said...

It's quite exciting messing with these little guys...err, girls isn't it???

I loved your depression era approach and the parallels are already scary similar.

jim said...

I am still laughing. I can see all this happening.

Robbyn said...


Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

That's funny.

han_ysic said...

I love the idea of them driving through the tollbooth with a swarm (not quite I know) of bees in the back. Hope they settle down soon and are happy and make lots of honey.


Phelan said...

Burdock boy, I have heard of others doing the same thing. With bees dissapearing I am sure you will be able to find someone willing to host your hives.

alrescate, giggle, me too.

Gina, it is! Last night I went out to feed them, stupidly thinking that they were a sleep...hahaha!

Jim, now you can tease him when you see him.

Robbyn, thank you.

Tim, I thought so.

Hannah, I know, too funny! I hope so too.

Cheap Like Me said...

Oooh, just how far away do they have to be from the house? All the bee literature says "don't you worry!" but now you've given me second thoughts.

I too loved the toll booth interaction! I can see the frantic eyes all around! :)

Phelan said...

Ch, AFter that first day, I haven't had them in the house. But it has been cool and raining out. Once it warms up we will see if they get back in. If not I will let you know how far they are from the house. I forgot to ask my husband how far we have them out now, but it isn't like they are right up against the house.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fairly new beekeeper myself. My main goal was to help the garden, but I love my bees now. I've only been stung twice, and I get into the hives about once a week in warm weather. I'd stay away from them when it's cool, cloudy and/or rainy. They get kind of cranky when the weather is nasty. I joined the local bee society, and a man comes out and helps me a lot.
Have fun with them...

lisa said...

What a cool adventure! I love the toll booth exchange...hilarious! Good luck with your new buddies, and "bee" careful! ;-)

abbagirl74 said...

How freaking hilarious! I can just imagine Dan doing that. Your kid was quite the trooper. I would have been screaming like a mad woman.

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