It’s Spring and we’ve been busy doing the obvious springtime things: tilling; amending; spreading compost; mulching; planting; getting bees.
Getting bees? Yes! Mark has been a busy bee himself and totally obsessed with bees and, to be honest, bigfoot. Bigfoot is not, however, relevant to this post. The bees are.
The first hive was filled from bees ordered from a North Carolina apiary where they reputedly do not yet have Africanized bees. Africanized bees are hotly defended on many of the Bee Lists and more power to you if you like them. We live in a suburban neighborhood and have lots of small children around. We like docile, sweet bees, thank you very much.
This is hive #1 of docile, sweet, Italian bees. Being of supposed Italian blood, I must admit that I’m fond of having these bees. Over the weekend Mark’s mentor called and handed him a swarm. We now have hive #2. I don’t know if these are Italian bees or not but I can walk right up to the hive without any threat from them so they’ve passed my test.
Soon we should have hive #3, as Mark is doing a trap out on a feral colony living in a tree in a neighbor’s yard. I’m looking forward to having honey from our own hives for my potions and teas. These are our bees and the way I figure it is that this works like most other things around here, Mark is on the front end building and setting up. I’m on the back end, jarring the honey, using it, maybe even selling a little bit if I can get him to move out of my potential VDACS-certified kitchen.