You may not know this, but Young'un and I became official beekeepers last month. Well, technically he's the beekeeper and I'm the sidekick...but still, sometimes I think I should get a genuine costume to wear for the things I think of and do for the love of Young'un and his bees.
For example, the morning we actually picked up the bees I got up and said, "Hey Hon, I think we need to make Young'un a bee yard for his bees so the sheep don't rub the boxes over when they scratch their butts on them." Then I made breakfast and we piddled around a bit. Then I said, "Hey Hon, we have to pick the bees up in four hours. Let's get that bee yard started." Let me tell you, it's amazing what our family is able to accomplish in four hours when we put our minds to it and are on a deadline to bring bees home.
This week we got a call from a local fella who said he had a swarm of bees he wanted us to come and get. First thing that came to mind was where's Ashton Kutcher because I think I'm being punked. Then I realized the guy was serious. After that came thoughts of us having no idea what to do to get the swarm...although since we had only one hive, we wanted it badly. You see, there's a real nice guy by the name of Dan Williams who has been a wonderful asset to Young'un and his bee adventure. He's the person that came here last year and took a swarm out of one of our trees. Come to find out, he was at work and couldn't get the swarm, so he gave the man our number to give a call because we really wanted another hive to add to the bee yard.
First thing I did after telling the fella we'd be over in a bit was consult the Beekeeping for Dummies book. It has loads of great information, quite frankly, although after reading it I was still a bit foggy on what to do. I sure as the world didn't want to go over there and cut off a branch on someone's tree when they weren't home and there was just a neighbor to show me where it was...and sometimes I'm not the best with tools, so Hon would probably have had a bit of a freak if he knew what my intentions were with his saw. I decided to call someone in our beekeeping club to ask some questions and clear some of the fog from my mind. I also had a few texts from Dan with some suggestions. Then it was time for us to put what was in theory to the test.
In the end I told Young'un no matter what we were to go there like professionals...and under no uncertain circumstances let on that we were total noobs that were flying by the seat of our pants and a Beekeeping for Dummie book. Then Young'un told me we were going over there to be bee busters, which of course had me thinking of the Ghostbusters movie, and subsequently stuck that theme song in my head which is days later still being sung in my mind. We packed up the things we knew we needed for our adventure and off we went...singing our new theme song, Bee Busters.
In the end we got our bee swarm...or at least part of it. In short, this is how it went... I put a tote under the swarm and gently tapped the tree limb so the swarm would fall into it while Young'un stood to the side and observed the delicate procedure. So far so good. Then I tipped the tote over so the bees would lightly fall into the nuc box so we could secure it and take the bees to their new home. Problem was the bees had other ideas. As I poured them in, half of them flew out of the box all around us and then off in a cloud of crazy. The neighbors that were watching from across the road decided at that point to run in the house for some reason. All we could do is hope we had the queen. We secured the top on the box reeeeeal well and off we went to take our bees home. We even went back later that night to get any scouts that went back to the tree. In hindsight, I suppose we should have used that smoker tool to smoke them before I did the whole process, but I consider this a learning experience...and we didn't even think to take it with us anyway.
As of now the bees are happily doing what bees do in their little nuc box. Hon is going to make us some larger boxes for the bees tomorrow and then we'll put them in their new bigger box. When we transfer them to that box we'll get a good look at what's going on with the bees and see what we see.
So, there you have it folks. Youg'un is an official beekeeper and I'm his personal assistant. I still think a costume is in order. We had what we both classify as an uber awesome experience bringing home our first swarm and look forward to doing it again now that we kind of sort of know what we're doing. I suppose you'll have to stay tuned on occasion to keep up with what's going on in the bee yard. In the meantime, below are a few pictures of us building the bee yard and setting up Young'un's first hive. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.