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Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 | 4 comments

Adventures in Beekeeping

Adventures in Beekeeping

Beekeeping is something that I had been wanting to do for a long time. When I finally got all my supplies and bees, I was over the moon! The whole adventure started when I got my first package and installed it. Putting the bees in the hive on the first day was both scary and exciting.

Day 1

Upon my first inspection, I was able to identify and find the queen in 5 minutes. She is marked with a green dot on her back. I had worried about her all week! Her survival is imperative to the hive. Her only job is to lay eggs. Without her the hive would not flourish. I’ve been keeping a journal and taking photos.

Bee journal

A veil and gloves are essential items for a beginner beekeeper’s protection.

Beekeeping

I absolutely love inspections, I am very curious as to what is going on in the hive. I actually have to hold back because I don’t want to disrupt their work. During the first month, I inspected every 7 to 10 days. Now, I am checking every two weeks.

Bees

During my second hive inspection, the frames within the hive were wedged together with new combs. As I pulled one board away from the other to inspect, several bees created a bridge connecting their bodies, called “bridging.”

Bridging

I had been beekeeping for a month before I used the smoker for the first time. This was a bit of a learning experience for me. You really have to let it smoke for at least 10 minutes before using it. Also, I learned to use the smoker fuel I have plus dried pine needles (that I can find everywhere). The pine needles catch on fire quickly and help to make some good smoke.

Smoker

On a hot day, I noticed a lot of bees hanging out on the front of the hive. I thought this was strange and looked it up. It is called “bearding.”

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Literally, they are crowding right outside the entrance of the hive. It is something bees do when it is hot outside. Like hanging out on the front porch on a warm summers day. I tried to pull out the entrance reducer to allow more ventilation, but couldn’t because there were so many bees at the entrance of the hive and I didn’t want to disturb them. A chore for another day….

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I continue to add more boxes to my hive and the bees continue to build more honey comb. Having bees has been a rewarding experience. I love it!

Bees

4 Comments

  1. Wonderful photos, Justine….. We’re thrilled for you & looking forward to updates. :)

  2. This looks fascinating

  3. I’ve always wanted to try this!

  4. You are so brave. Don’t know what I’d do without honey and bees. Can’t wait to hear more.

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