It has been three months since I have given an update on the bees. First, I have to say that it has been a really great experience to help this hive grow. From a little 3 pound bee package to a full grown hive in just a few months. We are even starting to talk about winterization of the hives. Not sure if this is to encourage others to keep bees or just a little mental masturbation, but I am gonna roll with it. Here is a reflection on some of the cool things about my beekeeping experience, thus far:
- Just picking up the bees and introducing them into their new home. I wrote about it the first bee post, but really felt like a bucket list sort of experience.
- Learning about bees. They are really amazing creatures and have existed for 130 million years. Yeah… 130 million. And I think they need me to keep them alive. Maybe the other way around?
- Thinking about the hive rather than the individual. To me, it is fascinating that they work as one. One big engine of 30 – 50k or so bees working together like a fine tuned engine. Things like cooling the hive, removing the dead, and making a new queen if needed are just figured out.
- Learning to not be afraid of bees. I had some apprehension about getting stung and kept on seeing these people not wearing hoods and shoving their hands right into the hive. I thought they were crazy! Now, I am much more daring. I have even been…
- Sticking my bare finger right into the hive to try fresh honey. How cool is that?
- Thinking about collecting honey. I might not even get to collect honey this year and it remains to be seen if my hive will last the winter, but watching these guys build up with the hopes that I can take some honey is pretty exciting.
- Helping with the environment. Trees and flowers need bees to pollinate. By having this little hive, I feel I am helping with that process and doing something, albeit a small something, to better the world around me.
Overall, this has been a pretty great process. We still have to get through the fall and winter to make claims of any sort of success, and we might have our obstacles, but I am happy I have gotten this far. If you have any interest in beekeeping, it really is a fun project and think about starting a hive. To finish off, here are a few photos and videos from the hive.