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BeeTime

  • Posted on May 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I just wanted to write and say thank you so very, very much to David, Sheri and the team at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms (aka www.honeybeesonline.com !!  I’m a 1 year beekeeper who lost my hives at the end of the very hot summer last year… but now I’m back in business and thrilled.

BeeHive

BeeHive in Waiting

I got my first package bees (4 pkgs) last Friday morning here in Arkansas.  I was called by the post office and arrived there by 9am.  As instructed by David, I inspected the packages, and was shocked to see 3 of the packages full of dead bees.  I’m not talking the small number that are normal, I’m talking 3 packages of dead bees.  Before leaving the post office, I got Form #1000 from the postmaster who seemed to not know how to help me.

Still standing at the post office dock, I put in a frantic call to LBHBF and amazingly enough at this time of year reached David Burns!!!  He was awesome, listening to my plight and asking a few questions.  We ended the conversation with David telling me he would send replacement packages this week.  He did ask me to check the queen packages and see if they were okay and to return them to him if they were.

I got home and installed the one living package in the ready hive (they still seem to be doing great, by the way).  Upon checking the other packages, there were only a few living bees walking around.  All three  queens, and their attendants were dead.  I’m really not sure if it was the heat in Arkansas last week or some other cause, but the poor bees were definitely dead.

At 7:30 this morning, I got a call from the post office telling me I had bees there.  I had a business meeting I had to go to, but I got to the post office around 10am.  I was nervous as I waited for the post master to bring out my 3 replacement packages of bees.  When he set them on the dock, I took time to look at them and was amazed and thrilled to see the huge balls of bees hanging from the roof of the packages.  There were even a few ‘hitchhickers’ on the outside of the packages (I’m not sure if they had made the trip from Illinois just ‘hanging on’ or if they joined up somewhere else), but it made me laugh.  I had a net hive cover so I used it for the trip home in the car.

I got home and husband helped me hive the bees.  I don’t have pics now, but I’ll get some put up this weekend.  Anyway – I just wanted to thank David, Sheri and all the Lone Lane Honey Bee Farms team for my awesome bee packages.

Have a great weekend!!

Ellen Crane
Lake Dardanelle, AR

What’s New!!

  • Posted on July 13, 2011 at 5:00 am

For years I’ve been fascinated by honeybees and I truly believe that their pollinating skills (along with their production of honey) are truly inspiring.  There are other pollinators and I applaud them too, but I especially love the honeybee.

I didn’t know too much about  them and didn’t know if I had what it took to be a beekeeper (although I see myself as more of a beecarer than keeper).  I did some research on the internet and there was finally a beginning beekeeping class locally, hosted by the local Extension.  I went to the class and LOVED it!!

My BeeHive

My BeeHive

Back in the spring, I was put in touch with a ‘bee guy’ who rescues swarms and is a bee and wildlife removal specialist.  He has 24 hives at last count and shares the wealth when he retrieves swarms from property, trees, etc.  As I had never even been around bees, he invited me to come play with the bees one day, it was extraordinary and I totally loved it.  I had gotten a ‘bee veil’ and some sturdy bee gloves and off I went.  Hundreds of bees buzzed around us, but I never got stung and I held frames of honey comb and brood, I learned to identify the queen, the workers and the lazy drones. 

I had ordered two hives and they came but I had no bees as it was too late in the season to get any from commercial sources.  Then my ‘bee guy’ called to see if I was still interested in beekeeping.  I said I was and he said he had two swarms that he would place in my hives to give me a start, so husband and I packed up my hives and off we went.  One was a large swarm and the other was ‘smallish’ and we took them home and installed them in the yard. 

Some bee girls

Bee Girls!!

The small swarm didn’t make it (might have been some newb error on my part, or the extraordinary heat of the summer).  Anyway, the larger swarm is doing great and while I probably won’t get honey this year (they need to have plenty of stores to make it through the winter, I hope they will go gangbusters next spring.

Bees and more bees

Bees and more bees

This year, however, is a learning year and I’m enjoying them.  They are collecting pollen (I’m amazed at the different colors of pollen), making honey, etc.  The lovely queen is laying eggs, which turn into larva and uncapped brood, which become ‘capped brood’ which become baby bees that chew their way out of the capping to begin their work.  They will in turn become nurse bees, janitor  bees, builder bees, guard bees and forager bees… whatever the hive needs.

Yes, I’ve been stung a time or too (I was careless more than anything) and it hasn’t been bad.  Husband and SontheYounger sometimes join me to inspect the hives (ever couple of weeks or so). 

I’m looking forward to continuing to learn about bees and beecare.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have a great week… Hugs, Ellen