Friday, May 20, 2016

welcome home newbees

They're here at last and all is right with the world again, I really missed having a bee presence in the garden.

I hope to choose a mythological name for this colony but since we keep calling them the new bees maybe it should just be The Newbees -- for now at least.

I was surprised to learn that honeybee colonies have personalities and preferences just like everyone else -- these honeybees use a different entrance than our last ones and they look a little different as well. And they might be just a little more fierce.

We purchased what is called a nuc -- a nucleus colony -- with a queen and about 20,000 worker bees already established on five frames. I picked up a nuc for someone else as well so drove home with two nucs and two bees on the loose in the car. Nothing happened though. The next day it was easy to lift the frames out and place them in the brood box quickly before the rain started up again.

Afterwards I realized I forgot to put on the entrance reducer so went to the hive unprotected. One honeybee got caught in my hair, I tried to get her out and she stung the top of my ear. I was sorry for her that it happened and was reminded of my mistake of not wearing head protection for the next few days.

If getting stung was a message of some sort, I think it would've been that I wasn't listening to my wiser self who knew perfectly well the bees were excited so a person should cover up.

All of this bee-ness got me going on the beekeeper quilt again.

The hawthorn tree is further along than the photo shows, I'm just starting to stitch the flowers. It's a spontaneous undertaking, I don't know what comes next or when but hope there will be more.

I've been enjoying a cup of Earl Grey tea with honey and milk in the afternoons lately. It's sort of a reward for whatever I think I should be rewarded for.

Lots of wishes to be made with all the dandelion puffs. I love that people in my neighborhood are starting to leave their dandelions alone and not spray or otherwise kill them. Local beekeepers are successfully creating awareness on the importance of dandelions for bees, especially in early spring.

Five things I want to do:

1) name the bees
2) finish reading Celeste's Garden Delights
3) begin a list of common names for all the plants in our gardens. Linda Rago says in Wear a Sprig of Thyme that plant common names are their real names, the ones they've named themselves and told to humans -- and we all like to be called by our real names.
4) continue to sow seeds every week, I usually give up by the end of June (a tip from an expert)
5) start taking notes like this, should work for lectures, podcasts, etc. too

Welcome home, Newbees.

And happy weekending to you. xo


  1. Yay for the Newbees!! I like that clever name :) Glad you got the hive going've been a busy bee! lol The dandelion pic is so pretty. Sure enough looks like Spring!

  2. Your bees bring so many memories of helping my Gram's best friend and her hives. Our tree guy keeps offering up bees to me (he rescues swarms), but I'm not sure I can keep them alive or be as dedicated as one should be. I miss our Hawthorne and love the stitched one. Have a beautiful weekend with the Newbees.

  3. So pleased you've got new garden pals - fingers crossed for them having a long and contented life and hope your ear isn't too painful lol
    I was once stung by wasps, I was about 12/13 yrs old I think and had long hair.
    I was sat in the front of a van with big boxer dog on my lap and the side window open for her to get air.
    The guy driving us back from taking the horses to stable, slowed down to bellow at lads throwing stones across the road, in front of us.
    And the swarm they'd disturbed -sigh .... Came right in and smothered the dog and I.
    Being brainless lol I got out into the swarm and not across to the drivers side - and ended up with my hair full of the creatures.
    The noise was awful!
    Coincidentally, Dad came along on his police velocette motor scooter and had gloves on.
    He pulled and pulled wasps out, squishing them with his gloves whilst I screamed lol
    He stopped counting at 30 something and my head was bright blue with Reckits Blue, something used to white. Washing, so I think it must have had - probably bleach! in it to take away the sting.
    To this day I get an itchy head in hot weather where the majority of the stings were.
    Amazingly I don't go in a panic when I see wasps or bees!!

  4. "a reward for whatever i think i should be rewarded for"

    i like this a lot. Will enjoy thinking about this...

    Love to your bees

  5. Happy welcome Newbees :-) love that you and other beekeepers are managing to encourage the spread of dandelions. Enjoy your afternoon Earl Grey ritual...great to give yourself a reward. Love to you and bees....Buzz x