After a fair amount of consideration (and consultation with The Management here at HA), I have decided to get back into beekeeping. I had a hive back at my old place in Kentucky, and it was a fun and rewarding hobby. I got out of it about 15 years ago, mainly to pursue other hobbies like woodworking and running. There was only so much time in one day, and something had to give. Back then, it was beekeeping.
Today, it seems like a great fit again. I’m retired, and have more time to devote to bees. Not that it necessarily takes a great amount of time. Mostly the bees take care of themselves, and it makes for a pretty low-maintenance hobby. I’m still fascinated by the social order of bees. They are truly amazing creatures, doing important work like pollination while they give us a great local source of sweetener.
I gave away all my equipment back then, so I am pretty much starting over from scratch. I opted to order a beginner’s outfit that had everything I would need to get going. For the curious, it cost me about $450 for the hive and accessories, including a 3 pound package of bees with a queen. Yes, bees are sold by the pound! More on the bees later.
The kit I ordered includes two 10 frame deep hive bodies and two 10 frame shallow bodies (honey supers), plus a bottom board, covers, frames, a feeder, hive tool, veil, hat and jacket. The feeder is needed to feed the bees sugar water until they are established and can gather enough nectar to feed themselves.
Back to the bees. I’m not sure if the 2011 bees will be shipped via the USPS or perhaps by UPS. When I ordered them way back when, they arrived at my local Post Office, and my friendly Postmaster called me (at work no less) to tell me they were in. I rushed over there to pick them up, because I figured the PO was anxious to be rid of the bees. The Postmaster assured me it was no big deal, that I wasn’t the first person there to order bees, and she told me the names of a couple of experienced local beekeepers in case I had any questions. Gotta love living in a small town!
My experiences with the bees were all rather good back then. I never got stung a single time, and I certainly enjoyed the honey I got from my one hive. So I’m really looking forward to my new adventures with the Beez. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on beekeeping, because I’m not, but I’ll likely share my experiences from time to time.
And that’s the latest buzz going on around here!