Starting something completely new and out of your ordinary is a big, oft times scary, step. It’s easy to forget that though when others venture to do things you’ve come to know as second nature. But new things are awkward, slow, and abounding with mistakes. Every time I start something new it’s a good reminder to show grace to others that are starting something new because feelings are often tender and insecure when starting on a new road.
We are there right now with the honey bee. We don’t have tender feelings over them, but we do feel a bit over our heads. There is so much we don’t know. Our honey bee hive is a couple of months old for us, and there are so many unknowns and so many things to figure out and so many more things to connect together to understand the long term care of the hive versus just the day to day …
Paul has talked for ages of getting a honey bee hive for us to care for. Several of our friends have done it and it has been fun to watch them and their enjoyment of this hobby … I finally jumped the gun and for Paul’s birthday this year bought him the accessory kit for the honey bee hive and told him come Spring, when they were ready to purchase, we would buy a honey bee hive. I’m not sure that he was overly thrilled with me for just getting it done …. but I also know we wouldn’t have bees right now because he would eternally be researching their care. But they’re kinda like kids – nothing can fully prepare you apart from full emersion, and then it’s sink or swim.
I bought him this beekeeper tool kit and told him we would figure out what to do about the bees come Spring. Come Spring, a friend was picking up her bees and picked up a hive for us, too. Paul and another friend picked it up from her house and settled it in the far end of a field on our property. Once we had it we realized we needed to purchase a super (a second box for them to build honey in) and a Queen Excluder (to keep the queen out of it!).
I love looking at the bees (from a safe distance!) About a week after these pictures were taken we harvested our first batch of honey (scroll down for more on that!)
We harvested the first of our honey from the bees, which was a huge learning process! Next time we will be far better prepared. We will also do a better job documenting the process! I have two videos to share – the first is of Paul at the beehive and second of him scraping the honey and the boys enthusiastic responses!
We ended up with about 28lbs of honey and 4 lbs of bees wax from our one super. The boys approached us with a business plan – they want to use some of their joint savings to buy a second beehive and then sell the honey from their bees. They’re becoming quite the little business men. We compromised on their idea and for now are just going to have them purchase a second super to put on our hive – less risk on their part at this time. But be on the watch! Honey from their yet to be named business may be marketed to you in the near-ish future!We jarred the honey and I had fun trying some honey infusions – we will open them in a few weeks and see how they worked and if they worked I will share the quantities – for now, here are some beautiful pictures of the golden honey: