Friday, June 3, 2011

A New Addition

Like we have said before, our home is an ongoing experiment, and we have yet again decided to try our hand at a new craft- beekeeping! Last Christmas, Jeff got me a book on backyard beekeeping. I have read that and everything else I could find on the internet and finally ordered my three pound package of Russian bees, which are, believe it or not, known to have a sunnier disposition than Italian honey bees, which are the other commonly raised honey bees. I ordered the bees from the most wonderful apiary in Ohio which meant they had to be mailed. (Yes, I tried to find a local source but they never returned my calls.) The woman who runs the apiary informed me that I needed to call my local post office and make them aware the bees were coming and once they arrived, the post office would call me to pick them up. I timidly called the post office. They didn't so much as flinch- you would have thought I was the hundredth person that day with bees being mailed! The day they came, I got woken up at 5:45 in the morning with a call from the post office. I threw the first thing I could find on and dashed to the post office. The front door was locked since it was well before they opened but the cleaning lady let me in. I walked up to the desk and after a few "hellos", the gentleman who had just woken me came out with the box of bees.

I was surprised by how small the box was and by how quiet they were. On the ride home, I put them on the car floor in the front seat and headed back to the homestead. Of course, only when I am driving around with three pound of bees in my car, would I get cut off in traffic. I slammed on the brakes and the box slid forward and fell back. My heart stopped. I prayed that the screen on the side of the box was secure. The funny thing is, I barely heard buzzing. They must be the nicest hive on the planet, and I am the luckiest idiot urban farmer also. I got home and sprayed them down the sugar water so they would have additional food to the can of sugar water in their box, and then I dashed off to the office. That night I would have to install the bees into the bee hive but for right then I was just glad the bees came before I had to go to work. It would be very awkward to explain to my boss why I had to leave a meeting to pick up a bee hive...
The hive on their ride home in my car!