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Thursday, May 5, 2011

the bees have arrived!

They're here! We picked up our bees last Tuesday. We ordered them from a new place. Although we had quite an interesting experience in Waldo last year, we decided that since we had a string of bad luck with them that may or may not have been coincidences ( lazy bees, lost a queen, had a swarm, a wax moth infestation and finally, frozen bees) it was a good idea to try a new source this go round.

Beekeepers tend to be strange folks. I guess people who willing open up a box full of thousands of stinging angry bees and poke around inside of it have to be a little crazy, and I guess Greg and I fall under that category but still, it seems like every time we have a run in with professional beekeepers they always seem a bit off. We drove two hours to eastern Ohio to pick up our bees. The bee farm was out in the country and as we were searching for the right place we saw a flock of white doves walking around in the road. Like the doves you release at weddings, those white doves. Not something you typically see at the bird feeder. The doves didn't seem to mind that we were about to run over them and they slowly strutted into a driveway next to the road.

The driveway happened to have the same address as the one listed on our order form for our bees.
It didn't take me too long to figure out that these doves must have been some kind of side project that the bee farmers were doing. We parked the car next to a big barn which happened to have even more white doves hanging out inside.This was our first indication that we were in the right place. Like I said, beekeepers are weird. Nice, but weird.

pallets of bee packages. Hundreds of thousands of bees. You can't see it really well but there are tons of loose bees flying around. Often times during shipping packages break open.

We went into a little shop next to the dove barn to tell them we were here to pick up our bees. Inside there was this wall covered with articles, pictures and newspaper clippings all about bees. Like a huge scrapbook.

I bet this tiny girl knows more about beekeeping than I do.
I don't know who she belonged to but with all those bees flying around, I was nervous.
She's carrying an empty bee box, but still. There were TONS of bees flying around.
The bee farmer man putting our queen in the package.

Marking the queen. We decided to pay a few extra bucks to easily find the queen this year.
Last year we were never able to spot her. Maybe we had such a bad year because we didn't even have queens? When I asked the gentleman if it was okay to take pictures he said sure and that he hoped he didn't accidentally let the queen fly away because he would be embarrassed. Sure enough, he accidentally let her go and it took about five minutes of him dancing around trying to catch her again. Free entertainment I guess.

wall o' bees

We added a hive to our little apiary for 2011. This is the new one. Its wax treated and unpainted. Ordered from the same crazy bee farmers.

This creepy beehive rocking chair caught my eye. Yup, beekeepers are weird.

the rogue loaded up and ready to go.

I guess the bee farmers were into turkeys too.

A lot of loose bees flying around the INSIDE of the car on the way home. This happened last year too. Guess you can't avoid it. I was much calmer about it this time around.
 I will post the pictures of hiving the bees this weekend. Its bedtime.  Did I tell you that Greg and I have an apprentice this year? My cousin Cody is in high school and he is doing his 4-H project on beekeeping. I think he will be a lot of help to us this year. I hope we do a good enough job teaching him so that he will want to get his own hive next year!


  1. Just love to read your blogs!!!! As I said before two are just amazing!