Monday, April 13, 2015

Our Burgeoning Brood of Honey Bees

We added two more apiaries for our growing family of bees.  Peter designed and built the apiaries himself.  Nothing but the best of accommodations for our bees and enough room between them to get the mower through quickly and easily.  They are a welcoming and pretty sight to see in the early spring outdoors.
Peter getting ready to introduce new bee colonies to their Blooming Hill neighborhood, a couple of weeks ago.  Getting the bees out of their delivery boxes and into the hives can be a tricky thing.





















When you keep honeybees, empty-nesting is not an option, especially if your hives thrive and grow.  We have been lucky to see our brood of bees not only call our yard their home but also to multiply and need more space in order to do what they do best and that is to produce honey.

Peter kept adding more drawers to our original hive, last summer.  He knew then that he would have to build more homes for them for this year, It seemed as though we were heading for a skyscraper occupying space in the backyard.
However, being a beekeeper is not all fun and games.  There also comes the commitment of being a responsible and vigilant landlord to these aviary tenants, as well.  That means giving them good housing, lots of nutritional plants and flowers, a water source, a little peace and quiet and, above all freedom and room to let them fly--kind've like being a parent--only to a few thousand very busy and precocious toddlers, one day and temperamental teenagers, the next.

Hotel "Highrise" Blooming Hill, Summer 2014.
Everybody is scrambling out of the box and into the hive to find their place and already getting to work, just a couple of weeks ago.
Happily, as our number of bees increase, so does their buzzing and humming, exploring and gathering around our property and, our neighbors tell us that they see our honeybees, too.  Right now, the cherry trees are full of busy, happy and hard-working bees.  Everyday, something new begins to bloom, from the smallest pansy to forsythia bushes, already keeping the bees very busy from sun-up to sundown.

Peter standing at the original hive after getting all of the bees resettled, just a couple of weeks ago.  The apiary on the far right is home to a colony of bees that can be a little testy about having visitors so we approach them with more caution than ever before.











This year, we have added two more apiaries to give them sufficient room and while the last two years were a peaceful coexistance with our bee family, as they seemed somewhat docile in nature, one of the new hives could very well be described as possibly related to the likes of Darth Vadar with light saber stingers. Peter came in the other day breathing a sigh of relief, after filling up their sugar water supply and said, "This time, I only got stung once!"  That, in the words of Martha Stewart, is a good thing.

Early spring sustinance--sugar water.  Maybe the Queen in each apiary makes sure they all brush their teeth every day. 
The original hive when we brought our first colony of bees home back in 2013.
So, as we begin another year of bringing up bees, maybe we won't be sitting down to supper with them and asking how their day out in the field went or what kind of homework needs to be done but, we will enjoy listening to their daily chorus of humming voices in the garden and appreciate their time spent with us here at Blooming Hill.

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