Buzz buzz….The bees are here!

We picked up and installed our 2 packages of bees yesterday! How did it go? Pretty smoothly thank goodness. Here is our first experience as newbees.

I picked up the two 3 pound packages around noon. While I was at the Apiary I asked more questions and decided we needed a hive top feeder so I purchased 2. After a good painting they will go in the hives. In the meantime we are using entrance feeders. Anyhow they put the buzzing little bees in the back of my farm trailblazer and away we went. Surprisingly they were quiet on the way home. I had imagined driving home with a deafening buzz in the back. 😂

Hive top feeders. These will go in after a couple coats of paint.
10,000 bees in each box! 🐝🐝🐝

Once we got home I had to put them in my laundry room to keep them fairly cool until evening when it was installing time. Onyx was intrigued but a cautious.

What the heck did you bring home now?

And the wait for Farmer Cheese to get home began. Once he arrived and it was early evening we began getting ready.

We separated the two packages and tapped the first one and sprayed the bees with sugar water to lump them together in the bottom of the box. I was trying to video so Farmer Cheese did the first box. First lesson learned. We needed 2 sets hands. The board covering the queen and the syrup was hard to remove on this first box and because of that and my lack of help he dropped the queen in her little cage into the box with the bees. No biggie, we just did things a little backwards. We dumped the bees in and I reached in and retrieved the queen! Once the majority of the bees were in we set the box near the entrance and put the top on.

About to take the board off and get the syrup and queen out.

Next on to hive 2 where we did everything in the correct order and did not lose our Queen. After the queen was installed between a couple of frames we dumped the bees in. We removed one of the frames first but think the bees would have gone in easier if we had removed 2 or 3. Second lesson learned. After the top was closed on the second hive we filled up the jars of sugar water for the entrance feeders.

Queen for hive 2!

All in all things went very smoothly and we feel quite accomplished. Did I tell you it was so hot that I went out in my jacket and veil, shorts and flip flops?! Farmer Cheese questioned my sanity but I have been practicing being calm. I briefly wondered if there is a world naked beekeeping day but don’t worry, I’m not doing that! 😂🤣

Hello bee! I’m glad you are outside of my veil! (Ignore the flushed face, told you it was hot!)
The rest of the bees will inside soon.
All done!

It’s a New Year: Meet Farmer and Mrs. Cheese!

Few days oldWhen Farmer Cheese and I started raising chickens 3 years ago this March, I don’t think either of us envisioned nearly 70 of them! The funny thing is we are adding more. We can’t keep up with the demand for eggs and we are so infatuated with our little feathered friends. Since our humble beginnings we have learned a lot. We have suffered losses, watched new life hatch and can truly say this is what we really want to do now. In addition to the chickens we garden to fill our freezer with fresh veggies. You will also find me in the kitchen canning and making jams and jellies in the spring and summer time. Earlier in December and last week we processed a deer for the freezer so we should have plenty of meat through the upcoming year. We made sausage, steaks, roasts, and ground some for hamburger. We feel an accomplishment at having done this ourselves. We are not nearly as self-sufficient as we’d like but we are working on it. Each day that we can spend less time and money in the grocery store is a step in the right direction.  We would like to have milk goats and honey bees in the future. We are working as hard as we can to prepare a homesteading life to enjoy when we retire. Hopefully in a few more years we can both quit “working” and spend our time here on the farm.