I’m Baaaaack just in time for the YOU Challenge and Bee’s Knees

The stories are too numerous, the adventures are too complicated. I simply can’t begin to explain where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing since we last visited some months ago.

But, I am here to tell ya that MAY is on its WAY! Together, we celebrate US, ourselves, in May as we enjoy the You Challenge together. It’s a month of YOU, yes- precious YOU. You, the bee’s knees. It’s a time of sharing our daily journeys in a safe and special place. We recognize the beauty around us and share it through photogrpahs of our various spots on earth.

My new favorite mug. For obvious reasons.

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If you are interested in learning more before you join our You Challenge, here is a link to some previous posts about this remarkable YOU time. Hope you’ll join us for the Merry, Merry month of May.

You Challenge Posts

Now, on to the “bees knees” news part of the post!

Keeping bees makes one ridiculous. (A positive, silly kind of ridiculous.)

Like, ever since last Saturday when they arrived, every word that begins with be- has become bee-. BEEyond. BEEautiful. BEEtween. BEE (be).

Did you know that some honeybees have little pockets on their little knees so they can stuff them full of pollen and fly it home to the hive?

Here’s a photo I got earlier today of a bee with her pockets full.

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It’s 11:45pm on Monday.

I was working on this blog post when I heard a buzzing around my head. The buzzing I heard was the sound of a honeybee’s four wings. Ah, it was one of my new bees right here beside me in the gathering room. He must hitchhiked into the house on me or my clothes when I came in from my new “bee yard” right before dark. I’ve heard of having a “bee in your bonnet.” Well, they get tangled and stuck in your hair.

So, this bee buzzing around me. I know it’s a “him” because this bee doesn’t have a stinger. (Only the “hers” have stingers in the honeybee world.) He’s called a “drone” and his only job in his short life is to mate with an unfertilized queen.

I grabbed a flashlight, slipped on my tall boots, and carefully took him back out to his new hive.

That’s the big news on my farm! I’m a beekeeper now!

Last Saturday I brought thousands of new little wards to my raggedy, but happy farm. I love them already.

Look at this cool photo I took today with my phone. A bee in flight and her shadow.

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My Bee Adventure started in mid-February when I saw the ad on a local Facebook page. Local bee “nucs” for sale, ready for pick-up April 3rd. At the time I didn’t even know what a nuc of bees was, but I knew I wanted bees, so I didn’t hesitate a second. I responded, “I’ll take some of your bees,” and hit send. (A nuc is, by the way, a small village of bees that have already accepted a queen.)

It’s been crazy and confusing since then.

As it turns out. Raising bees is a lot like raising children in one aspect: the advice you receive.

One person tells you one thing; the next person tells you another; a book suggests something altogether different; and dang, then the Internet gets involved. You want 77 different answers to 1 question? Ask about how to raise children…or bees.

I began by digging out a spot for my hive. I have no flat land on this farm, so digging was required.

It took me quite a while, but I finally made a spot by the chicken barn, beside the pasture.

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I purchased a wooden box hive for the bees.

Anna-Belle, the cat, loves boxes. (As do all cats.)

 

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Since I know nothing about hives, I had no idea it was defective or a maybe it was a return item. I couldn’t figure the thing out.

I finally learned that it wasn’t me; it was the hive!

I returned it for one that had no issues.

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I painted it, bought a stand, and was ready to go.

Then, at the last minute, I learned that another bee buyer had backed out and another nuc was available. Me, Me, Pick Me! I want it!

As excited as I was about a second hive, this meant a mad scramble to get another hive ready for the bees. I was unable to order and receive another hive stand in time, so I went with Plan B. Plan B is concrete blocks and landscape timbers. Bulky and not as cute, but functional.

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I know what you think. That’s so very unlevel. Our eyes say it isn’t right because of the grade of the land and that fence line. But levels don’t lie. (well, almost level, lol)IMG_0892

Ready for their arrival, early Saturday morning I headed out to bring home my honeybees.

It’s been a warm spring here and flowers and trees were already in bloom. This is great news for a bee community moving to a new home. But. A last-minute issue that arose that was beyond anyone’s control, the weather. A hard freeze happened the night before pick-up.

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This large azalea bush was covered in beautiful, sweet pink blooms before the freeze.

It was 27 degrees when I went to get my bees. I wouldn’t be able to install them into their new hives until it warmed up. And, sadly, all the flowers (with the pollen bees need) had been zapped by the cold. Sigh. Another challenge. The answer is sugar water and bee feeders. For the first time in my life, I purchased a 25-lb bag of sugar.

I am stirring a pot of water and sugar with my left hand and inserting the photos into this post with my right hand. Multi-tasking! (It’s also 12:55am now. Staying up late for that BEE love. I’ve got to get them fed before I leave for work in the morning.)

I hurried and ordered bee feeders on Wednesday when I saw the weather forecast. I paid almost $30 for fast shipping. Guess when our good ole delivery service delivered it? This afternoon. Yes, that’s right. Monday. Day 5 after the order. (What in the world is going on with ALL of the delivery services. They’re all getting worse and worse.)

I made do with putting sugar water in poultry waterers until the bee feeders arrived today.

When the winds died down and the weather warmed up during the late afternoon on Saturday, I was able to install the bees from their nucs into the new hives.

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Oh, yes indeedy, I could list all the many inconveniences, misinformation, surprises, and missteps in this process so far, but why?

The bees are home and now I’ve got feeders.

I set up some chairs in the bee yard on Easter Sunday.

I like sitting close to the hives and listen to the humming and buzzing.

I like to watch the activity of the bees.

They tolerate me thus far. Either they feel the love or maybe I smell good.

We’ll see if I need to scoot my chair away from the hives when they start making honey.

But, yeah.

All is right with the world. Let’s just keep telling ourselves that. Sometimes it’s easy to believe…

BEE healthy. BEE sweet. BEE you. Just BEE.

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Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl done moved to the Country

Leave a comment 38 Comments

  1. Carol D says:

    Glad you’re back. I was about to send the posse out for you!
    Three or four years ago my brother gave his wife a hive set-up for Christmas and it has been quite the learning curve. This past Christmas, my sister in law gave me a tiny jar of honey and called it her $200 jar. I told her I understand because I’ve grown a few $50 tomatoes.
    Looking forward to May!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Hi Carol! Glad to hear from you! Yep, I’ve already figured that out! Same with my eggs. They should be golden eggs!

  2. Ramona Puckett says:

    I’m so happy you’re back to having more adventures! I’ve missed reading your posts and now you’re a beekeeper! Congratulations!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Hi Ramona!
      Like my Daddy says when I tell him I’ve been missing him, “It’s good to be missed.”
      Thanks for hanging in with me! Can’t wait to learn more about these little bees. :)

  3. Cheryl Bryson says:

    Thanks for this “bee-utiful post…Hope
    You give frequent updates on your new “kids”
    So that those of us who can’t have bees (HOA)
    Can live vicariously thru you…I do work hard to
    Maintain a “bird, bee and butterfly” sanctuary in my back yard—and I get to enjoy the “buzz” of activities
    That results…Could not help but think back
    To my very first MJ Farms issue—all about bees—
    Got me started thinking about helping the cause…
    Take care and enjoy every bit of Spring

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      That’s a “bee-utiful” comment, Cheryl. It’s such a joy and inspiration to hear that MJF’s magazines helped fertilize your idea of a bird, bee, and butterfly garden. I know it’s fantastic.
      And, you know I will give frequent updates. Y’all are in this with me!
      Thanks for stopping by! Rebekah

  4. Diane Van Horn says:

    Nice to hear from you! Some have been worried but I knew you were just “busy as a bee”! Real bummer that the frost took all the blossoms. Looking forward to the You Challenge this year. I will be in the Hudson Valley of NY visiting my daughter for part of the month of May so my You Challenge will be from two locals. Until then, bee good!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Diane, My Kindred Spirit! I’ve missed you.
      I look forward to catching up in May. Can I count on you again this year to co-lead??
      A visit with your daughter and Hudson Valley sound awesome.
      BTW, I don’t now much about BEEing good, but I’ll try harder.
      Love, Rebekah

  5. Linda Hulbert says:

    So glad to hear from you!!! Been missing your posts!! I’m always so motivated by everything you are doing on your farm !!!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      You’re so sweet, Linda. Thank you for your kind words. I miss you all when life gets too full to post too.
      I motivate you? Music to my ears.
      But truth is that you all motivate me more than I ever could YOU.
      I appreciate you BEEing here and stopping by to say hi. :)
      Rebekah

  6. Marge Turner says:

    Hi!
    I’m new to this so bear with me. We were beekeepers for 10 years and have given it up as it is so hard to keep them through the winter in our climate. We have many beekeepers in our neighborhood (they send their bees away in the winter) so I’m hoping that there will be plenty of pollinators around our place this summer. We plant lots of pollinator goodies so the ‘Welcome’ sign will be out!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      You did great, Marge!
      I hear a lot of bad BEE news during winters. I’m in GA, so if things don’t go well I will be problem–rather than the weather.

      10 years?! That’s a LONG time.
      Do you have any advice for a new beekeeper?

      I need to work on planting some pollinator goodies on my farm this year. :)

      Take care,
      Rebekah

  7. Judy says:

    What a wonderful journey! So excited for more bee stories. They are amazing creatures and I applaud you for becoming a bee mom!! Thanks for the enjoyable post and fantastic photos! Bee well!❤

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Thanks for your visit, Judy.
      I have never studied bee behavior and culture before. Already I’m blown away with what I have learned already about them.
      I’m in awe–
      We’ll see how it goes…..but you know that I’ll share the BEE adventures.
      BEE well,
      Rebekah

  8. Denise says:

    I’ve missed you too! I love your posts & everything new you have tried over the years has been so much fun to read along with you! Enjoy your bees. I can’t wait to see your first jar of honey!

  9. Laura says:

    BEEKEEPING! What a great experience! You will only get more attached as time goes by.

    MAY the force BEE with YOU!!

    Former beekeeper and forever bee fan,
    laura

  10. Rebecca says:

    Glad you’re back! The bee pictures are incredible. Your bee hive experience sounds a little like mine. All sorts of mishaps to begin with. But it’s totally worth it! I love having bees and they”re so relaxing to watch.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      That makes me feel better with all my missteps so far, Rebecca. It’s quite a learning curve. I’m going to another bee class this weekend! Thanks for the visit. Rebekah

  11. Kathy Marx says:

    How wonderful!! I love the BEE news!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Hi Kathy!
      Oh yeah, more BEE news will be coming soon. I’m very excited.
      Thanks for you visit! Take care, Rebekah

  12. Elaine Cardell says:

    Happy to see the post! Was thinking about you and wondering. Lots of work to get started, but the payoff is yummy. They really need to develop a taste for all this tree pollen we are having. Look forward to your bee adventure.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Hi Elaine! I’m learning that it is a lot of work at first and a lot of expense. :)
      My black cat is yellow right now from the pollen. lol

  13. Brenda says:

    Rebekah
    So glad to hear from you and what an adventure with the bees. So cool.
    Looking forward to the YOU Challenge and connecting with the group.
    Enjoy the bees. My favorite is the good ol wax full of honey. Memories from childhood.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Hi Brenda! How are you? It’s been an adventure so far. That was always my favorite honey–the jars with the comb in it! Been quite awhile since I’ve been able to get my hands on some of that! See you soon at the You Challenge! Love, Rebekah

  14. Bonnie says:

    Hello, Rebekah,
    So happy to see your story and glad you are so happy with your Bees. We surely missed you but see you have been busy and staying up late to get
    It all done. Looking forward to the challenge.
    Happy May!!!!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      HI Bonnie! I missed being here with all of you. This MJF corner of the world is one of the few plesant, nice, lovely spots left online. I am def a night owl. I have always been; but lately, oh lawsie…
      I’m glad you’ll be a part of the Challenge. See you then!
      Rebekah

  15. Lauri Neumann-Grable says:

    welcome to the wonderful world of bees. We have 2 hives that are about 4 years old. My son is the actual bee-keeper. I had the garden for bees so it is a joint affair. I just love ‘the girls”. Even if you don’t get honey right away it is still delightful to care for these little creatures. My neighbors love having them as many of them are vegetable gardeners. They share their produce with me as a thank you for housing ‘The Pollinators”.
    Enjoy!
    xxoo Lauri

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Lauri, I’m excited to read your comment. Thank you for taking time to share. It’s easy to get intimidated by the whole BEE thing.
      I love hearing that your two hives are alive and well at 4 years old. With all the reading I’ve done about all the possible issues with bees, that’s quite a success! Yay, your son; he’s doing great!

  16. I couldn’t BE happier that you’re back. You’ve been missed. Knowing how creative you are and what a gutsy lady you are as well, I have no doubt that you will BE very successful with your BEautiful Bees! Good Luck.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Barbara, I’m so happy to hear from you! I hope you are doing well. You put the biggest smile on my face–“gutsy”–can I tell you how much I love that! I wanna be that. Take care, Rebekah

  17. Mary says:

    You sound almost serene when telling about sitting nearby and watching and listening to them just like a “Mama Bee” would do if these were her newborn babies. You GO girl, and love us some bees!…
    From Mary Rauch in Ohio

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Hello, My Friend, Mary, Mary, Never Contrary. I’m going to need to learn how to not get so attached to the bees…but currently, I am. They swirl all around me when I’m out there. They land on me and it tickles. Once they discover I’m not food, they fly on. Never a dull moment on the farm! Love, Rebekah

  18. Becca Wetzel says:

    Congrats on the new bees!

  19. Bernadine Graham says:

    Oh, so glad you’re back – have missed you! OK, in addition to bee keeping, are you working in law again? And how is your sweet daughter? Inquiring minds….

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Hi Bernadine, I missed being here with all my precious friends. Life is full! My sweet daughter turned 20 the other day. Don’t ask me how that happened. She’s off at university. (Thanks for asking!) I’m as busy as ever with work/work – it’s my M.O. (Thanks for asking!) It’s after midnight, so have to hit the hay soon. I hope you and yours are well! Rebekah

  20. Betsy says:

    This makes me smile. We live in Ohio and my husband has been a beekeeper most of his life(his dad, uncle and grandpa were also beekeepers) we keep between 60 and 80 hives these days but it’s still his favorite thing to do, working bees. If you have a local bee club they can be a great source of support and information hope it goes well for you, they’re worth it!

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