Beekeeping

A year ago, we purchased our first hive of bees.

2012-05-22_17-41-38_337They were super easy to maintain, took little effort, and produced more than 10 pounds of honey in the first harvest … enough to pay for our initial investment, had we sold the honey!  I was starting to think bees are where it’s at.  I mean, who doesn’t want to add more of something that takes little time, is low maintenance, AND makes money?

But then, this spring, our bees swarmed.

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Gage, ever-knowledgeable about this sort of stuff, had been saying for weeks that the bees were going to swarm, but we still weren’t prepared.

We called Richard Harvey, our “bee guy,” who came, and helped us lure the bees back into a hive.  I had no idea this could be done.

See that black thing way up in the tree?  That’s bees.  A solid bee swarm.  I had never seen anything like it.

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The tree came down, and Gage and Richard lured them into a hive.  Amazing.

In the process, Richard discovered that the original hive was still populated, probably with a new queen, which means it was probably the old queen that left and took the swarm with her.  He also discovered three more queen eggs in the original hive, which they separated into new hives, hoping they would populate with bees looking for a new hive.

It’s all very complex.  I don’t pretend to try to understand it.  Bees are Gage’s thing.

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In any case, at the end of the day, we had not one hive, but five hives.

Then we had, what we can only assume was a wild swarm, populate one of the catch boxes Gage had set out.

Since this little adventure, Gage has captured two more swarms, from people wanting to get the bees out of their yards.  He has also been frantically building new hives to house all of these little creatures.  And as it turns out, new swarms are not exactly low maintenance.  Oh well … I knew it was too good to be true.  🙂

So in the matter of a month, we have gone from one hive to eight.  I guess we are in the bee business.

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