The bee season is upon us.
I just got word from my Bee Guy, Steve, that my bees are almost ready for transplant into their two shiny new hives.
The bees will be coming to me from Steve, a master beekeeper in Chesterfield, Virginia. He's been super kind in donating the bees to Fox's Garden. He's also been super gracious in becoming my Bee King Mentor.
Mentors, as they say, are incredibly important to aspiring beekeepers.
It seems that beekeeping is as much of an art as it is a science, so it's important to have someone that can give you hands on guidance, advice, and analysis.
My interest in beekeeping was sparked around this time last year when a buzzing box of bees arrived at the Skagway, Alaska airport. I was mesmerized by the fact that you could mail order bees - and had never truly considered rasing them as a hobby or otherwise.
Soon after, I immersed myself in learning all I could about beekeeping - enthusiastically talking the Biology Teacher's ear off and giggling with excitement the whole Spring 2019 through.
I am SO thrilled that I am going to be able to partake in keeping bees this summer.
I'm also thrilled that Steve's bees have made it through the winter.
As you may be aware, honey bees have been struggling as a species. Pesticides, climate change, invasive pests, and sheer mystery have been killing off droves and droves of what once appeared to be healthy hives.
So it's fantastic to hear that his bees made it through the roughest part of the year for honey bees - the cold, dark winter. This means more bees for nature, Steve, and me!
My bees will be split from his personal hives and moved to Foxs Garden in the next 30 days or so.
I got an email just a day ago from Steve, as excited as ever. "I have two sets with your name on them," he said.
His hives had done so well over the winter they exploded into not just one swarm, but two.
"God's bees," he wrote. "They certainly aren't mine anymore."
In the photo below, you can see Steve's two swarms clustered on the pine trees.
Swarms happen when the bee population within the hive expands to a point that's larger than what that hive can handle/another queen is born. The bees will split into separate colonies and swarm somewhere outside of the original hive while they decide where to move and set up the new colony.
Hurrah Hurray Hurrah!
It's bee season!
And with that beeing said (haha) - I've started putting my hive boxes together.
Gotta get the homes ready for our newest friends.