Monday, April 18, 2011

To bee or not to bee?

The hive, assembled
 OMG. We ordered bees. Not that either of us has any experience in beekeeping or clue on how to handle bees. Yes, you may argue that we have been swept away by the romantic notion of saving the honeybees and with that saving the world. So far for our James Bond ambitions.

Now for the reality check: At some point, I also ordered the Beginner's Kit, including the to-be-asssembled hive body, a complete suit, a hat with veil, a smoker and a bunch of other yet to be identified items.

The 'stuff' to go with the bees arrived  a while ago and I started assembling the hive. Now, I have quite some experience and have mastered a variety of Ikea items including an entire kitchen but somehow the instructions for this hive didn't make any sense to me.

Then the manly man came in and took over.

Took him a few hours to come rushing in from the garage, complaining about missing instruction papers. No. That was all that there was. Turns out, the instructions were incomplete and incorrect as well as assembly items missing. Great, so it wasn't just the girl. So if you ever order from drapers apiary, bare that in mind....

Of course, Roberto got the job done.

Now we are waiting for our bees to move into this hive. They were scheduled to arrive in April. Well, any day now. Any day.

We are pretty nervous because the NUC will be all Italian including an Italian queen. BUT with all our animals and Aurelia, I was worried they might be too aggressive, so I ordered a Carneolean queen. Carneoleans are supposedly the most docile queen bees.

The theory is such that after you replace the Italian queen with a Carni queen, within a couple of months all bees are Carnis and Mama sleeps better because chances of stings just got reduced dramatically.

Yes, we will soon after the transport requeen.
Yes, we are aware that this will send the entire colony into two massive shocks.
Yes, neither one of us has ever set up a NUC nor requeened.

With the dark outlook that has been portrayed as effects of the demise of the honeybee (no plants pollinated, no crops, no food), we decided to bee... and do whatever we can, even though we actually do not know what we are doing.

No, seriously, both of us have been doing a tremendous amount of research on beekeeping and Roberto's brother has had bees FOREVAH, so we are pretty optimistic. And yes, most definetely TO BEE!

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis
55 AD - 138 AD


  1. Put me down 4 a jar of honey! Tuche Monsanto Corp!

  2. Of course.... most probably we won't extract this winter but plan to do it in 2012. But who knows?!

    Maybe they adapt to their new home really well & produce in abundance so that we have to extract already this winter ;-)

    In any event, you get some honey, honey!