Sunday, April 02, 2017

getting ready for bees

setting up hives IMG_0577 setting up hives IMG_0583
ready for bees IMG_0589

I'll pick up two packages of bees tomorrow. They'll replace the two hives I lost this past winter. The boxes are now set up and waiting now.

I filled both boxes with nine draw-out frames each with a good amount of honey in them. I'll also feed the bees sugar water in a frame feeder since I don't know what's blooming near me now. I think the maples and willows may be, but not sure.


Anonymous said...

Where do you get your bees from?

kathy said...

I drive up to Tyngsboro NH and get them from Rick Reault at New England Bees (NEBees). He drives down to Georgia three times every spring in April and brings a truckload of bees back. I got mine today from his first truckful.

I took a bee keeping class from Rick before I started beekeeping. If you're in the area, I highly recommend it. It's 10 hours of instruction from a real expert.

Garden4Dinner said...

I am curious how much time it takes you to take care of your bees. Do you have an idea?

kathy said...

I spend a lot of time. I took a 10 hour class to start. It takes hours to paint new boxes and clean old ones. Time to figure out what's going on when things go wrong.

Regular hive checks are about three hours every three weeks.

When I get honey, it takes me at least 5 - 10 hours my guess to haul it up, extract, and bottle it. I need to make sure I've got bottles on hand.

Bees are finicky and often unpredictable. I go to local club and read their newsletters to learn and keep up with new things.

I have collected 150 lbs of honey in my first two years, 75 per year. I spent time at the farmers market to build a market of people who want to buy my honey. I respond s to their calls and email requests and make the honey available to them for purchase.

I don't know what this adds up to. My guess is an average of 2 hours a week. 100 hours a year. But it's probably more.