Monday, April 18, 2016

Hunny McBuffy Pants and The Thriving Empire of Butter Flutter Pop (or Hobo Bobo)

Mike decided he wanted to keep bees.  Our HOA won't allow bees so Mike talked to our friends who own land and mentioned he wanted some bees.  They said they wanted bees too so we decided to split the cost and all learn together!  I honestly don't care much about bees and would never had done this on my own but I really like to support Mike's hobbies and think having bees will be a good learning experience for all of us.  Plus, I really like our friends and look forward to spending time with them learning about bees.  Mike and Will started attending the Bee Keepers Association (yes, there is such a thing).  They recruited Eli and Isaac to attend the last one and they all came home excited about our bees coming.  We have met together a couple of times to practice using the smoker, find the perfect spot on the land for our bees, and get the hives ready for our Nucs.  

This past week was so busy for me and I was really focused on getting everything done for Eli's baptism and family coming into town.  I had three doctors appointments on top of all of the other things to accomplish and by Wed. I was starting to feel like I might actually get everything done.  Late that night we got a phone call from the guy selling us the nucs to tell us that our bees would be there at 7:00 AM Friday morning.  I was really stressing out at that point.  Our hives were not finished and we had a major deadline.  Cally was equally as stressed and busy and the men were at work.  After getting our day of homeschool done, some cleaning, and groceries, the kids and I headed to Cally's house to finish the hives.  Neither of us had any idea what we were doing but eventually we figured it out.  Cally headed to a soccer game with her kids while I headed back home with my kids for dinner.  After dinner we went back to Cally's house to finish the hives while she was at the soccer game.  Kay came over after feeding the missionaries and Conan came back from doing his bishop duties at church.  We went to our designated spot, decided it wasn't a good enough spot and chose a new one, and then proceeded to set up the hives.  It was late when we got home but we were ready for our nucs the following morning. 

I'm not going to lie, there was some grumbling on my part when we realized that all this bee stuff was being flung on us and I had so much to get done without having to deal with bees.  But, it got done. 

Mike and Conan headed to pick up the bees while Cally got her kids off to school and while I got the kids up and fed.  I had time to mix up the sugar cookie dough for the baptism and then we piled in the van and headed to the farm.  Kay had gotten up early that morning as well to make our syrup for the bees and was waiting in full bee garb when we got there.  It was pretty cute to see her waiting there covered head to toe in white with her hands folded on her lap in the middle of a field.  

Mike, Cally, and Conan met us there and we got our hives set up.  Cally and I mostly just stood back because we didn't have any bee clothing on but eventually we decided that we had smoked the bees enough that they were pretty docile and we could get near without getting stung.  All of us got a chance to transfer a frame to the hive.  It really was fascinating to see the thousands of bees.  No one got stung and all the kids got a chance to get close and watch.  

Kay went and checked on the bees throughout the day and reported that they seemed to have settled into their new homes just fine and had already discovered a water source.  We had provided a water source for them by the hives but they had decided they enjoyed the water hose at the garden better.  I guess they will do what they want...

We went to check on them when our family came in town later on Saturday evening and it appeared that one hive was definitely more busy than the other.  When we transferred the frames it looked like the frames in that nuc were not as healthy as the other one so we are guessing it is not doing well.

The other hive was active and busy.  

Cally and her kids named the hives.  The healthy hive is Hunny McBuffy Pants and Hobo Bobo is the less active hive.  I told Cally that they were on strike because they didn't like their hive name so she renamed it The Thriving Empire of Butter Flutter Pop.  I'm sure with a name like that they will be active and happy in no time!  Cally will hopefully paint something on the side of each hive soon.

We are only supposed to open the hives once a week to check on the bees so we have all been watching the bees fly in and out as of now and I think we are all excited to go over on Friday or Saturday and get our first peek inside.  Hopefully The Thriving Empire of Butter Flutter Pop is doing just fine but if not, we have some adjusting of frames to do and some other experiments to make the hive healthy.  

I'm super excited about the kids learning about bees.  

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