After our successful first year as beekeepers last year we were optimistic regarding our healthy, booming hive surviving the rigors of winter. We even purchased some tech savvy monitoring equipment to gauge their health throughout the winter, but alas, a pesky skunk, apparently adept at problem solving, kept bypassing our defenses in the fall, ultimately weakening our hive to a point it couldn’t recover. I’m sure there were other factors at play, which wreck havoc on the general bee population, e.g., pesticides, hive humidity. So this spring, we were saddened to find ourselves beeless, as we had become attached to our two hives. We even had nicknamed our hives the ‘angry’ bees and the ‘lazy’ bees. I know, not the most creative of names but the names stuck before we were really conscious it was happening. We learned a lot from our inaugural hives, whereupon this year we are hoping we have summited the learning curve!
For our second season as beekeepers we decided to go with three hives, i.e., two Carniolan and one set of Italian bees. Having picked up our bees in early April, they’ve had just over a month to get acclimated into their new hives. Our troublesome skunk has been back, however we were prepared this year with a sturdier barrier. Let’s see how Pepé Le Lew troubleshoots this new obstacle. We are currently brainstorming new hive nicknames! We of course have mulled over using our favorite Detroit Tigers players or perhaps even some Lion’s players, however nothing has quite stuck. As such, I must propose this query my wonderfully creative blogging community! Do you have any good ideas with regard to hive nicknames?
Below you’ll find some of my favorite images from our first few weeks caring for our bees! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we did! I’ll be adding updates of our beekeeping adventure throughout the summer season!
In the photo below Luke is shaking out the bees into their new hive. The white container that he is holding is how the bees are delivered to us, with each one containing three pounds of honeybees.
The next photo is one of my favorite that I’ve ever taken! Honeybees are very calm and relaxed as long as you are not attempting to harvest the honey that they’ve worked so hard to make. In this photo you can see one of the worker bees returning to the hive after foraging for pollen. Honeybees fill sacks located on their legs with pollen, as you can see in this image by the yellow bulge protruding from its leg.
I get a claustrophobic feeling looking at the next two images. In the summer a healthy hive has an approximate population of 60,000 adult honeybees. It is honestly hard to fathom that quantity of bees, let alone in one hive. Regardless, the close quarters make for some interesting images.