It was a year ago today that I hived my first package of bees. Happy bee-versary to me (and the bees!).
A lot has happened during my beekeeping adventures. I thought it would be fun to have a retrospective post of some of those experiences.
- December 2008 - Santa brought a beehive for Christmas! (no bees, just the woodenware).
- January 2009 - Lots of reading and education.
- March 2009 - Time to paint the hives. The bees come in a month.
- April 13th - I pick up the bees! Thousands of bees in a box in my truck cab; about 6 were loose, along for the ride (my wife thought I would be freaking out).
- April 14th - I hive the package. They get a new home! I also made a video of the experience.
- May 2nd - Bees building up nicely. Lots of brood and wax.
- May 9th - Added a second deep super to the brood chamber.
- May 25th - I get stung due to running a weed whacker around their hives (duh!!).
- May 30th - Bringing in lots of pollen (very colorful!).
- June 20th - I get my kids in the hive with me. One gets stung...
- June 25th - My hive SWARMS!!!
- July 4th - I make a Nuc split with the extra queen cells (as a result of the swarm).
- July 14th - The Nuc dies (I think I didn't give them enough nurse bees).
- August 1st - I get a 2nd beehive (the green hive), made from a Nuc.
- August 26th - The State Bee Inspector comes to inspect (I got a clean bill of health).
- September 7th - Bees invade my neighbors (looking for water).
- October 22nd - Start feeding the bees getting them ready for winter.
- November 3rd - More feeding.
- December 6th - First snow on the hives.
- January 16th - Emergency feeding of sugar for the hives.
- February 20th - Warm enough weather for a cleansing flight.
- March 21st - First spring inspection - both hives survive the winter!!
- April 7th - I think I have two queenless hives.
- April 11th - Nope, one hive still has a queen.
In addition to all of the activity at the hives, I have been to a bunch of Worcester County Beekeeper Association club meetings, seminars, inspections etc. and have met wonderful people who have been very helpful.
This blog has over 90 posts documenting my many adventures, and has generated many comments and questions, and I learn a lot from each of you who comments (and hopefully I have been able to share information to those of you who don't comment, but who read). The Internet forums at BeeSource have also been an invaluable source of information and advice, as have the various Facebook groups and friends.
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for helping me in this little adventure. It has been a fun learning experience, and in our conversations if I come across as overly enthusiastic, you have my apologies (but not too much!).
I'll leave you with the final Calvin and Hobbes comic strip for my final thought:
I know I will have more fun to come, and together it will be an adventure. Here's to a prosperous 2nd beekeeping year!!