Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The new buzz at the homestead.....

 Bees at the homestead! 

Sometime last year we got to chatting to one of the ladies who comes to hear us play music and eventually the conversation turned to gardens, food, and self reliance.  We found out that her husband kept bees and was looking for other places to put hives not far from their house.  We told her that he was more than welcome to come and look at our place to see if it would be suitable and the conversation was left at that.

Later in the year, we had a cookout and jam session here at the homestead and this couple came to join us in the festivities.  Her husband took a stroll around the meadow and told us we had a good spot for some hives and that if we wanted some honey and such, he could install them in the Spring.
"What would we have to do?", we asked, "we know nil about beekeeping."
"Nothing", he replied.  "I take care of them, you just let me use your land.  In return, you get honey".

Now how could you refuse such an offer as this!  Really, all we have to do is keep the grass cut around the hives.  That's it.  No brainer...

So, a  few weeks ago,this gentleman,  the President of the Carroll County Beekeepers called and told us he was coming over to build a place for the hives so he could get the ball rolling and get the actual hives here in time for the locust bloom.  A few days later, he and another member installed the hives.

He's been back a few times to do some maintenance on the hives and has also added a "super" (not sure what it's called), re-queened one hive, and brought someone interested in bees to come and see the set-up.

Since then, hubsters has gone back into the meadow with him a couple of times, even got "suited up" to open the hives. Consequently, he's caught bee fever and will be taking a class from the Association in the fall.

The next task, I've been told, is to "suit me up" and get me back there.
I think if you have to get suited up for something it sounds dangerous.
I've mellowed in my old age - dangerous doesn't sound appealing to me.
Or maybe I'm just a wimp at heart......


  1. Oh you lucky things. I would love to keep bees. Fresh honey - yum!

    I remember seeing a TV programme where this chap kept bees and he would tend to the hives without any form of protection! All he would do is puff some smoke into the hive to keep them placid and they would allow him to remove the honey. Incredible!

    However, I'm no way advocating that - getting 'suited up' sounds much more sensible!


  2. Congratulations!
    I'd let someone use our land, but not go near them myself. Only been stung once, but it did swell some; so after the poison ivy, I'd be real leery. ;)

  3. Toni, kudos to you for letting someone use your land for such a good thing!! I would make that same offer too because I just don't think there are enough bees around, and giving them a place not only helps them, but 'us' too! I've been thinking of putting up bat houses too....

  4. You'd be surprised at how well the bee suit keeps you protected. I find that if I wear the gloves under the jacket, my wrists are not exposed at all. And my gloves fit my fingers pretty well, so they aren't as clumsy as my work gloves.

    But a small glass of wine before suiting up helps me brave the whole thing- I admit it.

  5. I am so happy for you! Getting bees was one of my goals for 2011, but I have been so very busy, and now it's June. I've been wanting to join a local beekeeping club, but just haven't made the time. It's perfect for someone else to take care of the bees, you just provide the space and get honey. How great is that? Plus you learn from them. Great arrangement!

    Keep us posted on the bees - you can help motivate me to set my priorities!


  6. Becky's Barnyard in having trouble posting on some blogs. Anyway I am still enjoying it.

  7. Congratulations Toni! Great arrangement, how wonderful to get your own honey. I'd love to hear more about the bees later, please keep us posted :)