until I got the phone call. It was yesterday, around 5:20 in the afternoon, I was in my flannels – really comfy, the table was set for dinner and my ingredients were out ready to go. It had been a lovely day – a bit windy, and I was satisfied with the outdoor work I had done in the yard.
The call was from Tom, the owner of the bee supply store where I get, of course, my supplies, much needed advice and information, and a friendly atmosphere.
“Hi Jules, what are you doing right now?” “Watching the health press conference.” “Good, so you’re available, come get your bees.” “What? I was supposed to pick them up on Sunday!” “The weather is going to turn and I’ve got some now. Today is a good day to install them, so come get them.” “OK, I’m leaving now.” He was doing me a favor.
Oh brother, my evening turned upside-down. I rally my spirits, and head for Tom’s. I’m thinking to myself, “thank God I prepared my hives and got my supplies ready for install.” The fact is, I was ready, just not mentally prepared on such short notice. Certainly no pictures will be taken, no video; it was getting late — by the time I made it home with my humming friends in the back, it was 6. I prepped my supplies and put them into the back of my John Deere Gator (thank you, hubby, for buying that for me!), along with the two colonies, put my bee suit on and headed for the bee yard. By the way…I had ordered (2) 3-lb packages, which is about 10,000 honey bees each, but these colonies were monstrously large! More than three pounds! Tom even remarked at their size. So, I was easily installing about 27,000 – 29,000 bees — total. (Featured image shows two-pound packages from a 2016 install.)
The installs actually went well. I had one hiccup, but no worries. Hiving bees at dusk is a good time to do it because it is a little cooler and their want to fly all over the place is lessened. It took about 40 minutes.
I came inside and instead of cooking my meal, I put it away for this evening, and asked my husband to make me a drink!
Lesson: Always be prepared for the unexpected!
Pandemic: Our Governor just extended our stay-at-home order until May 4th; my youngest son in New York cannot get groceries — delivery is taking a week, if they’ll even take your order. I’m sending him boxes of food. Please, people, obey the rules. Let’s get this over with. It is a short term sacrifice for the health of everyone.
#beekeeping #beekeepinginmn #midwestbeekeeping #backyardbeekeepers #hobbybeekeeping #nature #pollinators