I am a weekend "country" person with 11 acres in Columbia County, NY. I say weekend as, to my dismay, my job keeps me in Manhattan during the week - that said, I do get approx. 50 out of 52 weekends in the beautiful Hudson River Valley. Originally from Texas (Dallas area), but have lived here since 1999 - you might say I am a Texan by way of NYC (you never, ever lose your love of Texas, just ask any born and bred Texan!).
Why bees - we have been planting a fair amount of gardens/ landscaping and I have noticed with great interest the numerous bumblebees on our plants AND also happened upon the new "Agrarian" line from Williams Sonoma and thought - would be very cool to have a beehive. I ordered a book from the Williams Sonoma site thinking that it could not be too hard. After reading, I was taken back on the complexity of the bee and a bit overwhelmed with the undertaking of having a beehive. I first decided it was over my head to try such a feat, then (and thankfully), I went to a small get together and the person giving the party had just obtained two hives....I was immediately intrigued, asked him probably 2,500 questions and then came to the conclusion that yes, I could do this too.
I purchased a "starter kit/ hive" and got the number of the person who sold him the bees and I was off and running. A week ago last Monday, the beekeeper from which I purchased the Nuc met me at my place - I was soooooo nervous/ excited. Thankfully, he helped me place the new frames - the bees were very calm despite the 6-7 mile drive in the back of his truck - he was also cool as a cucumber with them which helped me to feel a bit more relaxed.
I have been feeding them with a 1:1 mixture in a front entrance feeder (basically a setup that uses a standard mason jar at the opening) in an effort to build them up a bit before winter. I have two - 8 frame - 6 5/8" brood boxes stacked - the 5 frame Nuc is in the bottom box with an "empty" box with 8 frames on top. I am hoping for them to fill out the top box before winter. Although it has been extremely dry lately, my property has an abundance of clover and they have been going to town on it. They seem to like the sugar water and have taken one 32 oz jar and I replaced it with another before I left for the city on Monday morning. As I just got the Nuc in July, I do not expect to extract honey this year - I simply want them healthy and with enough stores to make it through the winter. I have sat with them for several hours and just cannot get enough of their coming and goings... So interesting and they really are busy as bees - the saying fits for certain.
I plan to open up the hive this weekend for the first time to see how things are going - again a bit nervous - but I am a fairly relaxed person and am going to take it easy. This site is so helpful (what did we do before internet/ blogs?!) - I look forward to sharing my experiences as well. I would post a picture of my hive, but not sure how to post a picture at this moment. While I am here....any suggestions on what I should be looking for when I do take a peek at the little guys (or, more correctly...ladies)? Thanks again for the insight from this site and hope to have more soon.