I'm now a beekeeper! I'd like to say thanks to all the fine members of this wonderful forum. Without you folks taking your time for all of us newbees,
this hobby would far less interesting and enjoyable.
My job has kept me from visiting the forum for about 3 months (I've really missed it). I had just enough spare time to get everything ready for the arrival of my 3 pound package from R. Weaver down in Navasota, TX.
My son Matt & I drove down on to Weaver's on Saturday (April 9th) and picked them up. The trip took us through the Sam Houston National Forest and the weather was perfect!
R. Weaver's place was not much to look at, but he was expecting us and was very good to deal with. I guess the thing that really stood out was the shear number of bees in flight ALL AROUND his operation. His uncle's place (B. Weaver) was right next door and watching all those bees reminded me of a heavy snowfall.
I took a few pictures of some of his hives that seem to be scattered here and there around the buildings. Old hive parts were laying in heaps under metal roofed overhangs. Evidently I got too close to one of the hives cause a bee started popping me (three times) in the back of my head and chased me for about 30 feet! Weaver brushed off about thirty bees that were clinging to the outside of our package, we put it in a cardboard box to protect the carpeting in the trunk, said our goodbyes, shook hands and back home we went.
On the way home, Matt & I stopped off at one of the trail areas in the forest and took a couple of shots of me holding the bees. The pine trees shown in the background, are about 110' tall! It's really a very nice area, we'll need to go back sometime and do a little camping and hiking.
The bees made the trip well and upon arrival at home where given a nice spray feeding of sugarwater and placed in a dark and quiet spot. Sunday morning Matt & I made our last minute preparations for the install that evening.
Oh no, the Texas spring weather was ripe for thunderstorms!
The skies stayed dark and threatening all day, it even rain a bit around lunch. No worries, as evening approched, the clouds thinned and the sun made an apppearance, the timing was perfect!
The new hive is located on the roof of my employer's one story warehouse/office space. Matt & I had taken everthing up on the roof a couple of days before, so all we needed was the package and jars of syrup they would need to start drawing comb.
Everything went fine considering we had no previous experience. Because we picked up our package, there were very few dead bees. Matt took the pictures and I was pleased with the shots he took. If any of you are wondering about my weird beekeeper's outfit, all I can say is my order from the supplier was lost and I made do with what I had. As it turns out,
all my preparations to guard against being stung were not even needed. The bees were wet with sugar water and had no interest in me, but just seem to crawl away from the pile and begin cleaning themselves off.
By the time we had loaded the jars of feed and replaced the top cover,
the sun had been down for about thirty minutes and the bees didn't venture out. The best part about all this, is that Matt seems to be very interested and has been with me for every trip back to visit the hive.
See Matt's pictures here at Image Station. Sorry, but you'll have to sign up with the site to view the album.
(Aw com'on, it only takes a minute!)Click Here for Pictures
Just an update...
Went into the hive Friday at dusk (April 15) and found the queen cage empty. I removed the cage and replaced the frames that were taken out to make room for it and looked to see how much comb has been drawn (around 35% of the MEDIUM super???), the bees have taken about 6 quarts of syrup in 5 days. I'll give them a couple of more weeks before I crack it open again, then we'll look for egglaying patterns and pollen storage.
Thanks again to everyone for helping us to a great start and we look forward to spending more time here with you!