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Setting up our Bee Hive

April 10th, 2009

Yesterday afternoon we moved the ladies outside (for those of you that didn’t visit yesterday, read about the ladies here). We carried the hive outside when it was warm and set up in the spot we picked at the back of our property.
We chose this location because we are surrounded by woods and this is the least likely spot for our bees to bother any neighbors.
I tell you what, this bee suit cracks me up every time I see it. It kind of looks like a space man landed in the back yard.
The ladies were much more active today since it was warmer. You can see them all clustering around the opening where we had the feeding jar (we removed the jar for this photo).
We set the hive up just like it was in the garage. Tomorrow morning when it’s still chilly we’ll take off the bottom box and remove the original cage that they came in. We removed the covering from the door and replaced it with a smaller one, allowing them access to the outside, but not opening it up too much so predators don’t get in.
The ladies sure were happy to get out and stretch their wings.
They were all taking their orientation flights. Bees take short trips that get progressively longer to orient themselves to the position of their new hive. I was out working later and some of the ladies were getting quite brave in their trips out, they were buzzing by me in the front yard.

So does our experience convince anyone else to try keeping bees?

16 Comments to “Setting up our Bee Hive”
  1. Mangochild on April 10, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Interesting how the bees respond to the changes in weather, that is something I’d not known before. As for keeping bees, I don’t think I’m ready for that! But I’m looking forward to following your progress…. question: how do you “winterize” the bees? Do they go back in a cool place like a garage? Or are they ok in the cold?

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Learning in the Local Zone: Microscopy and Drawing

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  2. ChristyACB on April 10, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Thanks for answering my earlier question about the queen. Certainly makes sense now. And since you are getting a new queen, what will happen to the old one?

    Did you figure out a name yet?

    ChristyACB’s last blog post.. Rooms We Wished We Had

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  3. Martin on April 10, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Looks like you had fun! Your girls look good and healthy. It’s also nice that you have so much space on your own property.

    I’ll get those organic feeding recipes up on my site this weekend for ya.

    Martin’s last blog post.. Spring stimulant? No kidding!

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  4. Dan on April 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

    This is so cool. You should have perfect pollination now. So you’re in the city?

    Dan’s last blog post.. Garden Mish Mash Post

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    • Susy on April 10, 2009 at 11:11 am

      Well, we’re kind of in the country, but we live in a little lake community. So our property owners association owns the land that surround the entire community to ensure privacy. So we have about 20-30 acres of wooded land behind our house that can never be built on. It’s kind of weird set up because we have city water & sewer, but it’s like we live in the country. We also really like that our Homeowner’s Association doesn’t have a lot of rules. They have square footage rules (but it’s like 1000 minimum) and they have no rules against keeping chickens, bees, or anything like that. They can fine you if your lot is too “messy” but usually they leave you alone unless your neighbors complain. We really love it here.

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  5. Kelly on April 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I am so jealous of your bees! I would so love to have some if it wasn’t illegal to do it within my town’s city limits. I have been toying with the idea of mason bees though – a lot less obvious since they’re little houses can look like bird houses. No honey, but I’m always a fan of just helping the pollinators out!

    Kelly’s last blog post.. Violets, Lily of the Valley, and Blackcurrants – Oh My!

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  6. Bridgett on April 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Your experience is definitely sparking an interest around here! You mentioned placing them in a particular spot so that they wouldn’t bother your neighbors. If we were to keep bees, would our neighbors notice (other than seeing the hive boxes)?

    Reply to Bridgett's comment

    • Susy on April 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm

      They probably won’t, but if the neighbors know you keep bees they often will blame you whenever anyone gets stung. Most people don’t understand that honey bees are not aggressive, so they automatically assume that they’re like yellow jackets.

      We also put them in the back because you’re supposed to put them away from any high traffic area in your yard, since we have a fairly small lot and I garden on most of it, this was the only low traffic area in our gardens.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Cynthia on April 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    grats on the bees! I’ve been seriously looking at ‘hiding’ a hive on our property as well, it would be easy enough to hide it amongst the avocado trees since we’re on a hill – but for liability I wouldnt be telling the neighbors about it. Luckily theres a guy locally who runs the Los Angeles Backwards Beekeepers club who collects feral hives, saves them from an exterminator death and sets them up in new homes. Right now I’m on an “interest list” in case an availible hive his club doesnt want comes up- but at the moment bees are becoming so popular their groupis growing every month and theres more demand for hives then supply. Bummer since I’d love some bees but wonderful that people are really catching on to the idea.

    Please keep us up to date on your learning experience with your hive!

    Cynthia’s last blog post.. New Issue of Mother Earth News is in!

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  8. kristin on April 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I’m happy enough just reading about them. I have no desire to take care of bees. There are lots of places around here that keep bees and sell their honey, so honey falls into the category of things I am more than happy to just buy and leave the work of gathering to someone else.

    kristin’s last blog post.. Sweetness and Light

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  9. N. on April 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Saw this website and wasn’t sure if you had seen it.

    N.’s last blog post.. Homemade Beef Jerky

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    • Susy on April 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out, I’m always happy to find new & exciting blogs.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Claire on April 10, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Yes, completely! I would adore to keep Bee’s – especially considering the problem with them dying wholesale here in the UK, it would be nice to do our bit. But we live in a city at the moment, so it’s just not practical, but I reckon within a few years we shall try our hand at this.

    Claire’s last blog post.. Jetfire

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  11. Teri on April 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    uh, no. I love honey, I love bees…..but, no:)

    Teri’s last blog post.. 100/365

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  12. Avis W. on April 11, 2009 at 4:40 am

    What an excellent garden adventure… I look forward to reading more about it. I get a few bees buzzing by my balcony garden each summer. Cheers and Happy blogging!

    Avis W.’s last blog post.. It’s showtime: pellets and seeds today, tomatoes tomorrow

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  13. inadvertent farmer on April 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Great post…love the space man comparison, perfect! Kim

    inadvertent farmer’s last blog post.. On a Lighter Note…

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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