Thursday night, Son 1 arrived late and Friday was spent with him, as he made some repairs for us and we all took a walk. Friday in time for dinner, Son 2, a granddaughter , and the bees arrived. We visited, unpacked the pallet of boxes, frames, suits, and other accouterments needed for raising bees, and I found out that the two hives I thought we were starting with was actually 4 hives.
Hubby and I had purchased a post, ground rod, and pavers (for two hives) earlier on Thursday.
This morning, the work began, first pulling a huge pile of Autumn Olive bushes, clearing the space to set up the electric fence to surround the hives, and the guys pounded in poles and dug in the post while I goffered for them and prepped Easter Eve dinner for 10. When the post were set, I strung the electric wire and they determined that the charger wasn’t generating sufficient current to deter bears.
Daughter, her kiddos, her friend and his daughter arrived and we had a scavenger hunt style Easter Egg hunt for the kiddos. The two younger ones had clues from one egg to the next, finally to an Easter basket of mostly crafts. The two teens and Son 1 had escape room type puzzles to solve to move them from egg to egg and finally to their baskets. Son 1’s prize was Easter dinner, a huge spread with lots of delicious food, ham, roast beef, au gratin potatoes, green beans, asparagus, deviled eggs, rolls, and a honey cake with strawberries and whipped topping.
After we gorged, Sons 1 & 2 donned the bee keepers garb and moved two of the nucs down to install two of the hives. I sat at a reasonable distance and watched, one of the nucs had allowed a lot of bees into the net sack around it and that batch was angry, but settled nicely once their queen was in the hive. The second nuc may not be as healthy, though they did find the queen.
Then I got my jacket, gloves, and veil and Son 2 and I installed the third and fourth hives, he did one and showed me, then I did one. They were both healthy hives, though we didn’t see the queen in the last one, there was evidence of one.
These two were much calmer, but wow, what an experience to be setting up the hive with the swarms of bees surrounding you. He has two more nucs to take home tomorrow to set up two more hives there.
Today was great, all three kids, some of the grands, good food, good company, and a brand new experience and addition to the farm.