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!
What a beautiful dog! She looks really smart with her ears all perky. We had bee hives on our land when we farmed, and the bee keepers always brought us a gallon of new honey each fall as "payment". I kept a wide distance from the hives too.ReplyDelete
It makes me sad when a hive dies. Yours is the third I have heard of this year. We lost ours last year and I was afraid it was because of my brother in law freely spraying his Roundup on his garden!! We need to be kind to our bees. I thank your husband for making such a great effort. It sounds like you new pup is settling in. Good for you for rescuing such a beauty.ReplyDelete
Bees scare me! Glad you are careful around them. My brother is deathly allergic to them - winds up in the ER if he has no epipen handy. I'm so glad Khaleesi is doing so well.ReplyDelete
Milo loves the Kong Airdog Ring toy. Fuzz like a tennis ball, but a ring which is fun to chase and pick up and he carries it all around the yard, the house, room to room. We've gone thru 4 now as he's still a rough puppy but we can't be without one.
chewy sells them at this link
Great post LeaAnne, from the other LeeAnna
My husband became allergic to bees a few years back. And yes those pens are outrageously priced and only good for 8 months or something like that - they also suggest you keep two on hand. Our pharmacists says, "keep bottles of childrens liquid Benadryl handy and drink it immediately and get yourself to the hospital - pretty much same as a pen." It works so far, knock on wood.ReplyDelete
So glad Khaleesi is looking so happy. The picture of her chasing the ball is pricelessReplyDelete
Hi Lea Anne! Well, isn't that fascinating. This city girl had NO IDEA how bee hives were stocked or anything like that. I do know when honey comes from though. And that photo of Khaleesi watching safely from a distance. Yes, I would totally suspect she got her sweet pointy nose stung at least once. And she learned from the lesson which is a good thing! That leap for the ball is just PURE enjoyment of life. Why throw the ball and bring it back when you go fetch it for her. I can just see her tilting her head when you say bring it back. ~smile~ RoseanneReplyDelete
My middle daughter's dog, Riley, a pit bull mutt played by herself tossing a toy up in the air, catching it, shaking it, slinging it around and pouncing on it. Emily called it Frapping! Sounds like Khaleesi is frapping! So happy for you all.ReplyDelete
What a gorgeous German Shephard! We have a two and a half year old black GS. She loves her Kong balls but the tennis ones are lucky to last a day so I bought the red rubber ball and large bone which last her around a year. The ball bounces beautifully which delights her to no end and then she pushes the ball around with the bone or a stick in her mouth. They are beautiful dogs and wonderful companions.ReplyDelete
i see you're not quite back to yourself, just want you to know that i noticed and miss seeing your blog and hearing from you. hope things get lighter soon. shoshanaReplyDelete