Did you know that depending on where they get their nectar, the honey will look and taste different?
As I’ve explained in my first post about these wonderful little creatures, it’s only been a few weeks since me and my buddy decided on becoming beekeepers ourselves.
As per usual, my motus operandi doesn’t consist of “Let’s think this through” but more of “Oh yeah cool, let’s go!”
Usually this just means me buying something I don’t really need but just want, because in general I’m too lazy to start new hobbies. But as I said before, I like bees, and here we are.
As I said in my last post, I got myself a Simplex hive. I gave it a nice little ground layer and then painted it blue. Why blue? Well, from what I’ve been told, bees tend to have a very good sense of direction, but colouring their hive actually helps them a bit. Bees can see white, blue and yellow the best. And seeing that I like the colour blue, it was an easy decision to make.
After clearing the land and setting up the hive there was only one more thing to do. And that’s getting the bees there.
Last Monday after I had levelled the hive to my liking, had it in the correct spot and everything, I told the guy who was getting me the bees that everything was ready. At the time I figured that he’d just tell me he’d do it on of the next few days seeing that it was already getting closer to the evening, but no. He sent me the text that he could do it that day and if I could make it between 20:00 and 21:00.
I obviously said yes, because this was what I had been preparing for in the past couple of weeks, to finally have bees!
When the time was nearing 20:00 I took a quick shower, because I had been working up a sweat. And I had read that bees hate smells.
They don’t like the smell of sweat, dirt, gasoline etc etc. So best to take a shower as to not aggravate them. Jeans, shirt and shoes on and let’s go! Off to where they shall go.
I arrived right behind him, talk about timing.
The thing I find fun is the fact that hobby beekeepers just tape up a hive and put it in their car. They literally just pick it up and then go to wherever they need to go while they have thousands of bees in the back of their car.
Today was the same, he opened up the back and there was the hive, the little nucleus. 11 frames of bees, buzzing away as they couldn’t leave for now.
We took a wheelbarrow and made our way to the spot. I had put on my gear and my sister, wanting to see this happen too, joined us. She used my phone to make a few recordings from a safe distance.
A safe distance that soon became clear she didn’t really need to keep since the bees are not aggressive creatures at all. They’ll get mad if you steal their honey or provoke them, but in general they are quite docile.
A fun little thing with this is that the beekeeper was wearing gloves, I was not. I have them, but I didn’t use them. At one point one of the frames was unable to correctly go in so I took it upon myself to correct this. While there were a few thousand bees in the box already. But hey, look at me being fearless. Or you know, just mindless since at the time I didn’t even think about it. My thoughts were just “ok this needs to be fixed lets go”
After about half an hour the deal was done, the bees had moved into their new permanent home and I could finally call myself a beekeeper.
In the next few months, I’ll be learning more about them but in general it won’t be that much work. The bees need to be prepared for winter, which I will do by feeding them about 10liter of sugar water in the next couple of months. But other than that, they will be able to go on their buzzy little lives.
I will obviously go and look at them as much as possible, my plan is to open the hive once a week, just to have a little look and become more familiar with everything.
My buddy will be joining me, as he will get his own little colony soon. Well, he already has one, but one of his own, one that we shall be taking care of together.
The only small issue is that he has a Langstroth hive and I have a Belgian Simplex one. The reason why this is an issue is because due to the difference of the hives, it would make it harder on both of us if something goes wrong.
New beekeepers are always told to start with at least two hives. The reason for this is that if something goes wrong with one hive, you can always use the other hive to fix things. But since they won’t be doing much now, I should be fine with the one hive.
I already have a plan in the back of my mind to split this hive when the bee season starts next year. And then boom! I’ll have two hives.
My buddy’s hive is a cool one though, it’s called a Flow hive.
For some reason it gets a lot of flack by the beekeeping community, but I think that’s because when it first came on Kickstarter they marketed it in a way that you supposedly put the flow hive in the backyard and you’ll have honey on tap.
And that’s not how it works, you have to take care of your bees or they will die. There are so many threats in this day and age that they need constant care. Mites, pesticides, infections and other insects mean that you can’t just NOT look at your bees.
But the Flow hive is super cool and supposedly makes it super easy to collect your honey. Unfortunately, it’s a Langstroth hive, so his frames will be different than mine. But I’m sure that we’ll figure something out eventually. There’s always a way.
And if I’m going to be honest, if things go well, I might just get one of those myself in a year or two.
But that will only happen if I can keep my current ones alive and get through the first year!
Stay tuned o7