Podunk is all a buzz with new bees. Over the winter 2 of our hives died. Why? Who knows. It happens every year, at least one of our hives die. We have one hive left that is thriving. It's doing so well we almost can't keep up with those busy bees.
Mr. Podunk likes to have more than one hive. We use honey throughout the year and he also sells a little here and there. It's a small hobby, something for him to tinker with in his spare time. So how do you get bees? Well you can split a hive. Don't ask me how it's done because I'm clueless. I'm just the beekeepers wife. Capturing swarms is another dangerous but free way of populating a hive. Mr. Podunk has tried this a few times with no success. So when all else fails you can buy bees. We have a few local Beekeepers who have mastered the art of beekeeping. They will take their hives to orchards or anywhere bees are needed for pollination. They also make money by letting newbies like us buy their overflow of bees. Getting the bees is a simple process. Mr. Podunk takes his bee boxes to the bee farm right before dusk. The bee farmer removes his bee boxes from their stands and replaces them with our boxes. Bees navigate by the sun, so when the bees come home around dark into their hive.....or so they think! We basically kidnap them. The opening to the hive is covered with a screen to prevent them from flying out during the ride home. The bee filled boxes are then loaded into the back of our truck and we are headed home.
Mr. Podunk isn't taking any chances, he suits up for safety. The chances of bees attacking at night are rare but you can never be to careful. He has been beekeeping for 6 yrs. With every sting from a bee his reaction to the sting gets worse. Last year he was stung by 3 bees while performing a visual check on the hives. His hand swelled up pretty bad. An Epipen would be nice to have around but you know how tough guys think. " We don't need an over priced Epipen." So I keep an eye on him (at a distance) when he messes with the hives.
Some hives and bees are more aggressive than others. The queen sets the tone for the hive. If she's a grouchy gal so are her bees. If you have an angry hive they say you can kill the queen bee, forcing the hive to make a new queen bee. Most of the time killing the queen will calm the hive. The hopes is the new queen will be nice and keep her worker bees calm after she takes power.
Mr. Podunk would love for me to become a beekeeper also, but no thank you! I keep my distance as he prepares to open the hives.
I took a quick photo of him removing the staples from the screen and then I high tailed out of there! Taking no chances! I don't want to be on the 11 O'clock news.
This morning the hives are showing very little activity. Maybe they are getting used to there new home, maybe it's too early for them to be moving around. It's going to be a sunny day so they should be out and about soon.
As I turn to head back to the house, look who's keeping her distance. Normally Khaleesi is right there with us checking the hives. Makes me wonder if our curious little pup might have gotten stung. That'll teach you to keep your nose out the honey jar!
With every new day she is slowly forgetting the neglect and abusive she suffered before us. She's loving her new freedom and has become quite spoiled. There's still many miles to travel down this road of recovery but she is making great progress. We can't let her roam free just yet. When outside she is on a 30 ft lead if we can't be outside with her. When we take her for walks she has another 30 ft lead that allows her a little freedom from us but we still have control. She also is trained on a normal short leash everyday. But her favorite is the 100 foot lead we use when we are working outside or playing with her. She loves her Kong tennis balls. We have 2 of them in the house, 2 in garage and 2 in the yard. This is like have a pacifier for a baby, you need extras, being without one isn't pleasant. Even when we are busy Khaleesi will toss the balls around entertaining herself.
We're working on playing fetch this week. It's a hard concept for her to grasp. She hasn't quite got the bring it back to me thing down pat. Most of the time we are the ones fetching the ball....who's teaching who?....LOL!