Wednesday, June 12, 2013


This post has been a long time coming.  For those who don't know we keep bees.  See how I didn't call us beekeepers.  We are novices.  We like having bees in our yard but don't really know all the ins and outs of having bees.  This all started about 3 years ago when we acquired a top bar beehive.  I am not going to go into detail about the top bar hive (search it on the web and you will find more than enough info).  Anyway we were not prepared that first year and lost our hive.   The next year we caught a swarm and had that hive for two years.  Unfortunately this past winter we lost that hive as well.  So this year we decided to buy bees for the first time.  Once you have bees in your yard something always seems missing when they are gone.  So anyway this year we got a hold of Corky from the Ballard Bee Company and bought a package of bees.  and here are some pictures of us putting them in our hive.

When you buy bees they come in a 3 pound box with some food and a queen.
Here I am squirting a little bit of sugar water on them to calm them down and keep them occupied while I remove the lid.

Here is our empty top bar hive awaiting its new occupants.

Carefully taking out the feeder/lid and placing a piece of cardboard over the hole.

While most the bees are still in the box they came I prepare to take out the queen.  The queen comes in a little box with a cork at the bottom.  Wherever she goes so does the hive.  I first inspect the queen and make sure she is healthy.  Then I replace the cork with a small marshmallow that the other bees will eat through to let her out.  This way I can put her in our hive without fear of her flying off and losing the whole hive.

Dumping out 3 pounds of bees.

Here I am placing the bars back into the hive.

So far so good.  We got these bees in April and I am happy to say they are thriving.  Just this week I stopped feeding them and they seem to be bringing in lost of pollen from around the neighborhood.  I am so happy to have bees again.  Hopefully they will stay around for quite some time.

Wish us luck.