Monday, April 2, 2012

They're Early!

Saturday, I started putting all the pieces together to transform the pile of various wood pieces into a functional hive. I had my beeswax foundation sheets laid out next to me and had just began dry-fitting the pieces when a honeybee came to visit. She flew away and came back a few minutes later with 3 friends. Then they left and came back with even more... I was convinced that they'd take over the hive before I'd finished the first frame!

There was a bit of a hiccup on the bee acquisition front. I'd scheduled to pick up a nucleus colony (nuc) from a local beekeeper, then reconsidered after realizing that the bees in his care had probably been treated with Apivar or another of the many common mite or fungus prevention chemicals on the market. It's important that, staying in line with my views on doing this as naturally and organically as possible, my bees don't come from a factory farm-ish operation and have not been treated with chemicals of any sort. Unfortunately it seems that the vast majority of bees people are selling, whether as nucs or packages, fail to meet these criteria. I've got an alternate source lined up with some untreated (but also non-native) bees and some feelers out as well, but I'm truly hoping to entice a local swarm to move in on its own. I'm currently researching the best way to do so, and would welcome suggestions from anyone who has experience in this arena.

Next up: Construction continues. Stay tuned for more!

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