So I’ve been a beekeeper for a couple of days now. The picture above is of my hives the day before I picked up my nucs. So far, so good.
I ordered nucs from a local guy who raises Russian bees this winter and due to some weather setbacks, they haven’t been ready until recently. The guy lives about a mile away from me as the crow (or bee?) flies, but the drive home with thousands of pissed off stinging insects in the cab of my truck was a real white-knuckle experience.
Actually suiting up and transferring the frames from the nuc into the hives was another white-knuckle experience. I’ll admit that I probably should have been a little more careful and calculated with the process, but I wanted to get it done as fast as possible. You get a little nervous when a huge cloud of bees starts swarming around you. Unfortunately some of the bees were killed by my clumsiness, but that does happen. I should have taken the time to do a little more observing in the process. At any rate, it looks like it was a success so far.
I got a little worried when a large portion of the bees from one nuc didn’t leave the box. I got all the frames in with about half of the colony, but the other half stayed in the box for about 24 hours. I think they were just trying to eat up all the honey on the sides of it. I wondered if it was a swarm forming already or maybe the queen got knocked off the frame in the melee. As of right now it looks like both hives are functioning as they should, but I’m not going to actually get into the hive for another week or so to confirm this.
I’m also surprised on how unobtrusive two beehives really are. They take up enough space to fill a roughly 4×4 pallet, they don’t really make any noise and once you’re about 10 feet away you don’t really sense any presence of the bees. Right now they’re kind of in a nice spot because if I look down from my deck, they’re right there and I can see them come and go and I think I’m at a point where I don’t really bother them while being able to see everything that goes on outside of the hive. As the hives get stronger and the population grows, they might have a little more of a presence in my yard though. I’ll probably post more about backyard beekeeping as I learn and experience more with it.