My husband and I have been reading a LOT here, and we're doing our best with what we have.
The whole "bee thing" just fell into our lap. About 3 weeks ago a huge swarm showed up and nested in one of our shrubs. Dh called a local man (former beekeeper) and he came and got them.
Then another swarm showed up. Then another. Mr. Former Beekeeper then gives us hive building plans. See where this is heading?
So dh builds a nuc box - but FAST - no frames, just top bars. While he's building it, a 3rd swarm shows up, then the two that were there take off. The nerve! Ha! (In the past 3-4 weeks we've had 6 swarms come through)
So the nuc box isn't ready until the following day, and the peach tree swarm is still there, so dh dons a borrowed bee suit and gets the bees. We think we got the queen.
As of today, we've had them for 6 days. My oldest son (14) wanted to check the bees yesterday, so I let him. He did a great job, but it's hard relaying back and forth what he should be looking for. Unfortunately, the bees are drawing comb crosswise! I did my best to make a "guide" of sorts on such short notice. I bought square cut comb honey and cut it into strips and tied it onto the bars. Well, they've attached it a little and cleaned it out, but went and built elsewhere. THey showed me!
Dh is going to build a full 10 frame box (all medium depth for uniformity, though, thanks Michael Bush!) and I guess a wired brood frame, since we're going to have to treat this like a swarm catcher unless I learn otherwise (very possible!).
We're a homeschooling family, and I think this is a great learning experience for all of us. We're trying to plan a bee-licious flower garden for our new friends, too.
I really appreciate the forum, have learned so much already!
Renae in MO