Saturday, April 7, 2012
It's been a while. I know. There has been a lot of ups and downs with the garden and I am glad to be back writing this. We were able to get some grant money through the Fruit Valley Foundation so we decided to start bee keeping. Yes, bees. At first I was nervous and a little afraid. Then I became less afraid and more nervous. Now I think I understand what a dad goes through when a baby is being born.
Yesterday I drove out to Gladstone to get a box of bees. Wait, let me back up. Two weeks ago I took my friend, Clarie to a great place called Bee Thinking in Sellwood. Being the know nothing about bees kinda gal, I thought I could just walk in and pick up our new Top Bar Hive. Well, it turns out that all kinds of people want a hive right now and there is a waiting list. That's when the panic set in. "My bees are coming April 6. MY BEES ARE COMING APRIL 6!!". They assured me everything would be fine and if it came down to it they would give me a nucleus box which is a temporary home until their lovely hive is done. Such was the case. Now back to yesterday.
Yesterday I drove out to Ruhl Bee Supply in Gladstone to pick up my package of Italian bees. Yep, Italian. I cautiously drove home and then set the box outside so they could settle down a bit. I watched them, I listened to them, I adored them. I went to work. I thought about them and I obsessed about them and then I texted Lisa about 75 times. "How are the bees? How about now? How about now? What are they doing?" New father syndrome has set in. Fast forward to today.
We wake up and get dressed. Our friend Laura comes over and Lisa's daughter, Rasheda is also here taking pictures. Everyone is pretty excited. I am way too nervous and keep forgetting the steps I need to take. Is this right? Did I watch the video enough times? Well, no matter. Here we go. I shake the box to make the bees fall to the bottom. It pisses them off a bit. I take out the can of syrup they have been eating. Wait, I forgot to get something to cover the hole. I find a wooden disc that will work. OK. Take out the can, shake off the bees, put the cover over the hole. Get the queen box out, cover the hole. Take out the cork holding in the queen, put the piece of marshmallow in the hole. Where's the marshmallow? In my car. Got the marshmallow. Stick it in the hole and set her in the box. Great. Next, shake all the bees in the box. This was neat and interesting and scary. Now I have bees all over me. Lisa is a very calm assistant and I recommend her for any bee help you may need. She gently brushes the bees off of me and I come out with only one sting! Success! Now we wait. We watch and leave them alone for the first few days and hope that they settle into their little mini apartment until the hive comes. It's exciting and I am hopeful that we succeed with our little colony.