The last day of April 20,000 honey bees arrived by mail. I had received a phone call a few weeks earlier from a friend getting rid of old bee hive wooden ware and equipment. The next thing I know we are ordering honey bees for starting two colonies at our small "half-way" homestead. This is our most recent project on our journey of The Big Good. The idea is to eventually have honey to use and share as gifts, but also to do our part in furthering the numbers of pollinators.
The bees arrive in small cages and you actually dump the bees right into the hive with the queen. They really like the new home and space. We must feed them sugar syrup the first few weeks until they establish their hives. We didn't get the feeder set up correctly the first time, and so we had to make changes the next day. Unfortunately we lost about 200 bees, but we chalk it up to a learning experience. Beth was valiant in her first bee keeping experience and was stung by a bee. She is initiated. Brent somehow has escaped being stung so far.