After six months of waiting, our backyard bees have finally arrived! I must say I am a bit in love. We don’t have any other pets and we already feel attached to them after a week. Josie wants nothing but to sit near the hives ,which she calls the ‘bee house’, and watch them every morning. Ada is upset that I have yet to let her suit up and pull frames out with me. I took classes with amazing teachers through Honeybee Lives and spent the winter reading and stocking up on bee supplies. We have years and years of learning ahead of us. These sweet girls have yet to give me a sting, which I have no doubt deserved thus far. I am clumsy and hesitant still- not to mention hugely pregnant. But they quietly let me transfer them from the nucleus boxes into our waiting hives without my wearing gloves (which can prevent sensitive feeling and cause you to squish bees). My smoker went out in the middle of the transfer and I am sure I bounced them around more than I needed to. I changed my mind about where their water should be placed, after I not so brilliantly bought what I thought was chicken waterer at an antique shop. It turned out to be a chicken feeder and all of the bee water came cascading out of the holes when I filled it. (My parents are going to laugh at me for that one. What kind of a farm girl am I anyway?!) I honestly got the feeling that I had just given birth when I finally had all of the girls in their new homes last week.
It rained and rained at the end of the week here, so I had to wait impatiently until Saturday to check on the hives. Inside of one they had already drawn out comb on the new frames by several inches. The frames were filling up with nectar and brood and I saw many busy foragers flying in with their pollen baskets full. Chris and I debated whether the quieter hive was being robbed, and later came to realize it was new foragers out on their first flights away from the hive. They were just memorizing the entrance of their still new homes. All of this bee activity is sort of magical. Watching them fly and move and cooperated so precisely it an amazing thing to see. I feel so lucky to be able to have them here. I have to agree with Josie- all I want to do is sit and watch the bee house too.