The last few years in the garden I noticed that I had a lot of blooms but not as much fruit. I started watching and paying attention last year and I noticed that there just wasnt many pollinators. So I got the idea that I would get a beehive for 2015. Well January 2015 rolled around and my trucks engine decided to grenade so there went the extra money we had stashed back.
The first week of May my wife calls me at work and tells me she has a surprise for me for when we get home. When I get home she has an old beehive and honey super for me. Turns out she had been asking around a work and one of the old guys she works with has a brother that has gotten out of the bee business. He brought her the stuff and told us to put it to good use.
Me and the kids got it cleaned up and sterilized. All I needed was the foundation wax so i found a local bee supply place. I went there after work one day and picked up all he stuff I needed including a bee suit and put a package of bees on order. When I got home, both the boys got extremely mad at me for not getting them a bee suit. A few weeks later we took the kids there and got them each a suit.
The bee package arrived on 4/17/15. I took some time off from work and went to pick them up. I did not have time to install them because I had to help with a fund raiser at the Fire Department. So saturday the littlest one had a soccer game and when we got home we suited up and installed the package. The kids had a blast!
Thats been two weeks ago and I have checked the hive a few times since then. The Queen is doing her job and laying alot of eggs. The bees are busy gathering pollen and necter. They have filled out 3 frames so far. I did mess up and let them build almost a full frame of wild comb. I removed that he other day. Its pretty amazing what they have accomplished considering that in a 3# package there are only 3000-4000 bees and a healthy hive contains 50K-60K of bees. The baby bees should start hatching this week and the colonies population should start increasing soon. That should start giving them enough workers to forage and defend the hive. I am starting to ween them off of the sugar syrup so I wont have welfare bees.
I have plans to get another hive and another package (Nucleus) of bees soon. They are fascinating to watch.
Here is a vid of the kids and me installing the package.