The Bee’s Knees

After months of preparation and anticipation, the bees finally arrived! We had to drive to Weston, CT to pick them up. It was an interesting ride with 13,000 buzzing passengers in the back seat!

Once we got home, they were sprayed with sugar water to calm them down and make them happy. After an hour rest they were dumped into their new home. The queen came in her own separate cage with a piece of sugar blocking her in. In a couple days the other bees will eat through the sugar and free her from the box. Honey bees are surprisingly docile and pretty harmless. They were flying all around us and other spectators and nobody got stung. Josh, our bee partner didn’t even wear gloves when handling the queen box. But then again, he is pretty tough.

Eventually, more boxes will be added to increase the hive. This year the bees will be using most of their energy making wax and building the combs, so we probably won’t get much honey until next year.

More photos

Beehive

Beehive

Beehive

Beehive

Beehive

Beehive

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73 thoughts on “The Bee’s Knees

    1. Thanks for reading. Congrats on your beekeeping endeavors, it’s a lot of fun. Not sure if you bought any supplies yet, but we found BeeCommerce.com to be pretty good.

      1. I checked on this with my beekeeper friends and they say that an individual needs to be stung about 200 times during thier Life/beekeeping adventure to have that immunity of arthritus. The jury is still out though on this number and definitive results. It does seem that a beekeeper would be stung hundreds of times thoughout thier life.

  1. Good for you, getting bees!! I’ve wanted some for a while… Beekeepers are a motley crowd of some real characters (example: a beekeeper guy I know who is the most intimidating person ever; bald-headed, packs his smoker with his bare hands, shouts everything he says– and wears “mom jeans”) so that’s another fun aspect of beekeeping. Anyway– I wish you and your bees well!

    PS: Word of advice regarding gloves: Diseases such as American Foulbrood spread from gloves that have touched an infected hive… so never let anyone wearing gloves that have touched another hive into your bee yard.

  2. How exciting to start a hive! We have about 3 to 4 different species of honey bees that we attract to our yard with shrubs, veggie garden and trees. The wasps and hornets get their fare share too. We enjoy sharing our space and pretty much we leave them alone or work around them and they do the same – no stings in 6 years. It will be exciting once they start producing the liquid gold. How much fun – Enjoy!

    I think I would have to wear gloves – probably freak slightly if crawling on my hands and arms – brave one in the pictures with no gloves.

    1. I hate wasps and hornets, but these bees are incredible. It’s actually kind of fun to just watch them and have them fly all around you. They really are pretty docile. Everyone has stopped wearing gloves and still no stings.

  3. So cool. I very much want to do this, but our landlord won’t permit it and I currently lack the financial resources (student). Great post and I hope you’ll post updates as your hive progresses!

    1. My wife wanted to start a hive for the past few years. We finally just went for it. I read that bees can travel pretty far to find flowers. Maybe your landlord won’t notice!

  4. It’s so nice to see someone actively doing something about the bees! I watched a programme about the decline of bees and really want to try out bee keeping (plus I can’t say no to the honey I can get for free…). I hope this works out for and I’ll be following your blog 🙂

  5. Reminded me of my beekeeping days, the earliest was at Sufi Foundation Summer Camp during the mid-70s in Devotiion, North Carolina where we got Sourwood honey and tulip poplar h. and then again with the Sufis in the Manzano Mtns near Albuquerque, New Mexico (which is Chihuahuan desert running up the mountains until it reaches Ponderoso Pine forests, leaving behind the Ocotillo stands and other cacti) in the mid-80s where we got White Clover h. It was a superb honey with a rich golden hue and a distinctive nutty sweet flavor, if we got our timing right and caught a pure nectar flow of white clover to prevent it from becoming mixed with wildflower nectar. I had to retire from beekeeping when I discovered that I could no longer pull off the top super when it was loaded with honey (probably weighing 40-60 pounds) without help and that when I did, I ended up getting a back strain. It was time to delegate. All the best to you in your beekeeping endeavors and for keeping the industry alive.

  6. Reminded me of my beekeeping days, the earliest was at Sufi Foundation Summer Camp during the mid-70s in Devotiion, North Carolina where we got Sourwood honey and tulip poplar h. and then again with the Sufis in the Manzano Mtns near Albuquerque, New Mexico (which is Chihuahuan desert running up the mountains until it reaches Ponderoso Pine forests, leaving behind the Ocotillo stands and other cacti) in the mid-80s where we got White Clover h. It was a superb honey with a rich golden hue and a distinctive nutty sweet flavor, if we got our timing right and caught a pure nectar flow of white clover to prevent it from becoming mixed with wildflower nectar. I had to retire from beekeeping when I discovered that I could no longer pull off the top super when it was loaded with honey (probably weighing 40-60 pounds) without help and that when I did, I ended up getting a back strain. It was time to delegate. All the best to you in your beekeeping endeavors and for keeping the industry alive.

  7. Maybe my novelaesque commentary that I just posted to Facebook was too large for FB as well as Twitter, which are both modulating over my post. It was all ancient history anyway about my experiences as a bee keeper and a honey enthusiast.

  8. Hi, I have recently found out that certain plants that bees visit to collect pollen, make poisonous honey , Acacia being the one I looked up. You may already be aware of this but it is worth researching in case these trees/bushes are in the vicinity of your bee hive. Hope this is helpful and good-luck, make awesome honey!

  9. A question for you dear what is bee’s Knee Called in HIndi????????????

    BIKINI………….Lolz……………!

  10. Nice pics!

    I just started a hive from a bunch of bees I found in a store room at our farm 2 weeks ago. I got myself the suit from a local beekeeper and box to house them in. To be honest I have no clue if there’s a queen in there but why else would they all be grouped together in wooden box in a store room? 🙂
    Thanks for the tip on the sugar spray I will try that, I used smoke when I first transferred them to there new home.

    Best of luck!

    1. Thanks! That’s interesting that you started a hive from a swarm that you found. If you look close you can locate the queen. She is slightly bigger than the others and you will notice a group of bees facing her in a circle.

  11. Great Post. I have bees and am showing progress. 2nd year, 2 Hives. Some interesting facts regarding arthritis and foulbrood from gloves. It seems to me that the bees can smell or sense fear, don’t really know for sure. Thanks.

      1. I started with one and was convinced that I didn’t do well with them. I thought my first hive would die. Because of that I ordered new bees. Right before they came in I realized that my first hive was still alive and was doing pretty OK. Then I bought another Hive super and then had two hives. They are both doing great.

        I recently found out that mint plants around a hive keeps out ants and supposedly are a deterant against the varroa mites according to someone’s interpretation of the latest “Bee Journal”. The Jury is still out but I do have a lot less ants around my hives.Thanks

      2. Wow, 2 hives so quick, congratulations! Thanks for the mint plant info, that’s very interesting. We will have to try that. We have mint growing elsewhere in the garden. You can’t have too much mint, especially for summertime mojitos!

    1. I don’t know if they smell fear, but I seem to recall that you use gentle movements of your hands and arms when working with them when their hives are open (as a couple of Baumgart’s fotos illustrate), and if one of the bees starts to buzz around you as if to attack, you should just move away from the hives quickly until you are out of range, but you should not make big movements with your arms like swatting at the bees, because that angers them even more. Also, you should never wear any wool including in your socks as they go right for it with stingers ready! All this bee-bizness really takes me back! Now on . . . to the presence. HaveAHeart2

  12. I just found your site through “Freshly Pressed,” and I’m so glad! I’ve been thinking about getting some bees, and it’s nice to see your process and the photos. Thank you!

  13. I want to learn how to do bees! I’ve tried the last few years to get into a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School near here but the class always fills up too fast. Love your post and am definitely inspired to beat the crowd for next year’s class!

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