The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Welcome, bees!

Bees lingering on package

I'll regale you with all the details (and dozens of photos) of our package installation as this week's lunchtime series, but I can't resist writing about how happy I am to add another 20,000 head of livestock to our farm.  I missed having honeybees in the yard over the winter, and I'll admit that I woke up at dawn on Saturday to check on our new colonies.

Queen cage in new hiveRight after installation, the new bees in the top bar hive were mostly huddled in one corner, with only a few settling onto the queen cage (as you can see in this terrible photo).  An hour later, many more bees had found the queen, and dawn showed nearly every bee in the hive merged together into one mass of insect feet, wings, and backs.

Cluster of honeybees

As the sun came out, so did our bees:

Top bar hive entrance
Entrance feederCinderblock feeder

I opted to feed the top bar bees inside their hive, but an entrance feeder fit into the Warre hive pretty well.  The bees were sucking down the sugar water so fast, I had to send Mark to the store for more Saturday afternoon despite the bees also enjoying leftover canned syrup from their packages.

I'm excited to be trying out two new types of beekeeping this year, and am already loving the observation window in our Easy Hive.  You'll probably be hearing far more about bees than you'd like for the next little while, but at least they're photogenic.  Feel free to just look at the pretty pictures if you get bored.

Our chicken waterer makes care of the backyard flock nearly as easy as raising bees.


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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bring on the bee photos!
Comment by Charity Sun Apr 29 13:21:37 2012
You may wish you hadn't encouraged me by the end of the week. :-)
Comment by anna Sun Apr 29 13:48:06 2012
Love it and can't wait to hear more! As I sat outside today weeding and mulching around our black raspberry canes (that I planted LATE last Fall), wouldn't you know it- I had a lovely little honey bee buzzing around the flowers to keep me company. It made my day:)
Comment by Mama Homesteader Sun Apr 29 17:10:05 2012
Mama Homesteader --- It's so much fun to be visited by wild and cultivated pollinators in the garden! It always makes me smile too.
Comment by anna Mon Apr 30 16:45:14 2012





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