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Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal

To Bee or Not to Bee?

Gerald has been wanting to have bees for years. It would be a great help in pollinating our many fruit trees and plants in our garden, as well as providing honey for us and for our customers. Finally, this spring we got our first beehive in operation!

'Beka became the resident apiarist or "Queen Bee". She did some initial research which helped us get started. We have a good friend, Jonas, who has done bees for several years. He has been our "go to" person with our gazillion questions on what to do and when. He also gave us a hive, and much of the equipment needed to get started. Thank you, Jonas! You are such a blessing!

The first thing we needed to do was get a queen and a colony of workers. Early in the year we began our search online. After finding that many online sources were already sold out of bees, our son Matthew noticed in a Rural King flyer (a mid-west farm store) that we could order bees from them online. That was a great lead! It cost $165 to get one queen and a bunch of worker bees. We couldn't decide if we should order the Italian type or the Carniolan type of bee. Jonas thought the Carniolan type would work well for us.

It was an exciting/scary day when this busy box arrived via UPS. Our home was buzzing with activity! We were glad to hear all the buzzing noises because that meant the bees were still alive. On the day the bees arrived, it was supposed to be very cold during the night, so we decided to wait to set up the bees the next morning. Tim researched how to set them up, as well as talking to Jonas.

The next morning dawned bright and sunny. We moved the hive to its new spot and then Jonas walked Tim through the set up, one step at a time. (Cell phones and ear pieces are wonderful, aren't they?!)

Getting set up.

Taking the bees out of the box they came in.

Taking out the can that had the bees' temporary food supply.

"This is when the bees get upset," said Jonas.
Literally dumping the bees in the hive.
Matt looking on from a safe distance!

Putting the hive lid back on.

Success! Great job Timothy (& Jonas!)

Part 2 coming soon!



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