Tuesday, July 17, 2007
This is a picture of me with my girls in late May. As you can see I am quite happy. And I can assure you that I am much happier than the bees. Their journey began as a swarm. Cindy Bee, the Georgia Beekeeper of the year, rescued them and was kind enough to give them a new home. In my deep boxes. After they had settled down a bit, Cindy called to tell me it was time to pick up my bees. Like most new beekeepers, I was excited and nervous. Very nervous. I had read about bees and talked to beekeepers about bees, but was still unsure what to expect. I met Cindy at her place after work, but it was still too early to transport the bees. So a plate of great Mexican food and a bee sting later it was time to begin. (Like a morom, I mentioned to Cindy that I hoped to get stung soon, just to get it "over" with. Well, she asked if I wanted to get stung on purpose in order to get it "over" with. What do you say to a generous woman surnamed BEE?....btw, the sting didn't hurt nearly as bad as I imagined it would). Anyhow, after stuffing the entrance with foam and securing the hives I was off.
As you can see, I'm not alone. Linda, a very kind and helpful Atlanta beekeeper met me at the site and helped me carry and place the hives. Without Linda's help and words of encouragement I probably would have wet my pants. I was super excited and nervous at this point. And as you can see, she took some pictures of the event as well. After removing the foam and feeding them (just to help them settle down), I watched them for a few minutes. I was, am still am, so grateful that I have finally been given the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful experience. The hives are names Nienhaus (on the left) and Abernathy (on the right). They are located just a few minutes from my house on an organic garden. I found Rashid Nuri after a few calls to my county extension office. Without the generosity of Cindy, Linda, Rashid, my neighbor and awesome friend Grendel and my partner Bryan, I doubt that I would have been able to step up and finally persue my little dream of keeping bees.
This summer has been a whirlwind. And alot of learning and worrying about bees has occurred since. Much of which I will journal here. My next step is to begin the process of getting more hives for my backyard (after seeing that bees aren't aggressive, and actually somewhat docile when they aren't being aggrevated Bryan has agreed to let me have hives out back). Hopefully, I will be more sure and worry less about the process. But I doubt it.
However, first I have to prepare my honey for the annual honey contest in September. Despite my late start, I was lucky enough to harvest about 40 lbs. of honey my first season. But as fantastic as harvesting the honey was, it truly is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the enjoyment I've had in keeping bees these short couple of months.