After seeing all the documentaries and hearing about the plight of the honeybee, we decided that putting a hive in our yard and welcoming a colony of bees was the next step for our little yarden. But not wanting to try this alone, we decided to enlist the help of Ypsi Melissa, a local bee mentor.
Here she is helping to ready the hive by placing empty honeycomb scraps on the top bars of the empty hive.
A month or two ago, I drove all the way out to Jackson to pick up a hefty top bar hive from Steller Apiaries, a local leader in natural beekeeping.
I especially like this hive because of the observation window on the side, which lets us see what's going on in there without disturbing the busy bees.
The bees came in this white nuc box, with the queen in a little queen cage.
Installing the frames of comb into the hive was trickier than we had thought it would be, so when we checked the hive today, we were so happy to see signs of health (pollen being brought in, lots of brood cells, egg cells, and new comb that the bees had made in the last 3 weeks).
One aspect of bringing all these animals into our yard is that many of the old fashioned sayings and idioms are coming to life. Dirty as a dog, all cooped up, and making a beeline are just a few. There are so many more that we are experiencing firsthand. In fact, during the transfer of the new bees from the nuc box to their hive, I heard some intense buzzing and realized that I in fact did have a bee in my bonnet!
Today my bee mentor asked me if I had chosen a name for our queen yet. I'm leaning toward Miriam, a sweet Jewish name that reminds me of the Isrealites' longing for the land that flows with milk and honey. Since our little plot of land is sort of producing eggs and honey, I think the name fits.
Good work, Miriam and daughters!