Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a new bee house

I'm in love.

The bees in the birdhouse had a population explosion and were within a half-inch of the doorway. So we took the plunge and bought them some new digs, a light blue Langstroth hive -- and a beesuit for me. And lots of other bee-related things. There is much to learn. And buy.

Here we are assembling the new house, I'm in my suit on the left. You feel very safe in a beesuit.

A screen was duct-taped over the opening and the roof of the birdhouse was removed. This photo was taken seconds later.

The beekeepers who helped us said we had ourselves an amazingly strong and healthy feral, but gentle, swarm of Italian bees.

The birdhouse was packed. Bees work in tens, we're told -- there were eight sheets of honeycomb and not much room for the next two. They would've had to leave in another few days.

We placed some of their honeycomb in the new set-up and left some in the birdhouse on the ground in front of the new hive.

We thought we would take this in the house after dark and snack on it but we never did. We felt that the bees needed it more than we did.

The hive will gain a second story on Saturday when we'll also check inside and see how the queen and her workers are doing. I can't wait. Because I'm in love, you know.

home sweet home



21 comments:

lynda Howells said...

thanks for showing us this....l love beesxx

woman with wings said...

Lynda, you're very welcome. I never knew how much a person could love bees until now! There are a lot of bee people out there...xo

deanna7trees said...

oh how interesting. hope you'll keep us posted. would love to see how you remove the honey from the hive.

Debi From the Pacific Northwest said...

Wow, what a fascinating post! I felt like I was right there with you! Gorgeous photos also!

;-) Debi

Jeannie said...

What fun! My Gram kept bees and I remember eating the waxing comb and thinking it was better than candy. I look forward to further adventures with the bees.

Marie said...

I could feel your excitement about the bees and I agree with Deb..I felt like I was right there with you.
Several years ago, while living in Vermont, there was a great concern regarding the bees and how it seemed they were disappearing. They are vital to all plant life and our food supply. How was it determined that your bees are Italian bees?

woman with wings said...

Deanna, Debi, Jeannie & Marie -- thanks so much! We probably will harvest honey at some point but I'm not sure if it'll be this year as the bees may need it for their own winter survival. My understanding is that at some point in the not-too-distant future, there will be an excess of honey and that's where we come in! What a gift, these bees are.

I'm not sure how they know for sure but the beekeepers mentioned they have a specific characteristic of Italian bees and that is that they dive-bomb but don't sting. So you might feel them flying into you but no stings! Maybe they're just little lovers, not dive-bombers!

Deb G said...

Oh I just love this! How incredible... Someday I'm going to do this.

woman with wings said...

Deb, I can definitely see you as a beekeeper. You should.

liniecat said...

What a treat to see so much here. Bees are quite beautiful and honey is so delish.........hope they fayre well with you and you both enjoy them ....not sure the suit will catch on mind you but can definately see whay youd need one...just in case!

helen said...

Oh! I'm in love too :~) What a great great gift they have given you...and didn't they choose so wisely when they decided upon your garden ~ Woman with Wings ~
I love that you decided to leave them the honey and comb. I can be a sentimental old fool sometimes and this post made me tear up.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Mrs Bee Lady xx

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Lyn -- so far so good. I LOVE that suit! Ha. But really, it means I can be up close with them. At least until I'm comfortable enough to wear just the hat...

woman with wings said...

Thanks for your kind words, Helen. Maybe you'd like to take care of bees, too, because you also have the right name -- Bohemian Buzzz?

I keep going out to look at the hive, like when you have a new baby and you keep checking to see if they're breathing. This morning I suited up and gathered some that hadn't made the move yet. I clipped the branch they were balled up on and placed them in a box that I carried to the new location. And then placed the branch on the top of the hive. Tonight I'll remove the branch. I hope they join their sisters in the little blue house and live happily ever after!

Kathy said...

I'm so jealous. I'd loved to have a beehive but it's not allowed here.

woman with wings said...

Kathy, sorry 'bout that. Someday you will maybe...

Gracie said...

Oh, this is all so amazing. First that the bees have chosen you, next that you are now all actively collaborating. Just so perfect! You don't happen to know the story of Modomnoc the Irish monk and famous friend of the bees? I'm reminded of it reading this.

helen said...

I hope they joined their sisters Peggy....you have slipped into bee~caring as easily as slipping into your bee suit I think.

I have wanted to care for bees for many years, but we never intended to stay here....and yet, ten years have passed and here we still are!! One day....

woman with wings said...

Gracie, we do feel blessed and I hope we can continue to support these bees, in whatever ways they need and want. I don't know about Modomnoc but I'd love to learn! Thanks, I'm going to check him out...

Jo said...

What will you do with the old house? I had imagined the new house attached to the back of the bird house, the way people will take a small cottage and put an addition on (sometimes bigger than the original).

woman with wings said...

Jo, we're going to reassemble the old bird house. I like it too much to let it go. Besides maybe some other creatures need a dwelling...? Unfortunately, you can't do any kind of construction with bees, loud hammering, etc., it upsets them, but I'm sure how you envisioned it was pretty cute!!

Marynille said...

Where is this place? I would love to come and visit it. It's a good learning environment for the preschool children...