We have officially been beekeepers for 14 days! That sounds pretty awesome. So exactly when do we get to lose the title of newbies? 10 years? oh…. I am realizing there are a lot of similarities between new beekeepers and new parents. Before the bees arrived we daydreamed about being the perfect beekeepers. We were going to do everything naturally and perfect and we were going to be the best beekeepers ever. We took tons of classes and filled our brains with all the knowledge we needed. We talked to experienced beekeepers and we knew exactly what to do and what not to do. We even started having opinions regarding other beekeepers methods and arrogantly thought to ourselves we were going to do it better. We knew better. We have BOOK SMARTS! Experience is no match for BOOK SMARTS! Fight it all you want, it happens to the best of us. We read and studied until our brains popped. Then real life kicks you in the butt and takes you down a few notches.
We, as the perfect beekeepers, were not going to feed our bees. They would need to fend for themselves as nature had intended. We would be strong, our bees would be strong, we are the smartest. First thing we did when we got those bees in there permanent home was fill that feeder to the top with sugar water. EAT EAT EAT MY SWEET BABY BEES! WE LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!! We cracked pretty quick on that one. Just like when I said I wasn’t going to let the TV raise my kids. Ya… The kids kiss the TV goodnight and call it mamma. If you have watched the video of us moving the bees from the temporary box to the new home, you can see I have about 30 pounds of protective gear on. I was cooking in that outfit and just two degrees away from face planting in the dirt. I was safe though from getting stung by those vicious bees that were buzzing around peacefully, minding their own business, not thinking about stinging me. Two days later, when we had to open the lid to check the feeder, my only protection was sunglasses. Don’t get me wrong though, I haven’t matured enough not to wear the hat and veil this Friday when we open the box and pull out the frames to check on the bees progress. I’m no where near that level yet. I am getting better, but even with the knowledge that I am being a newbie spaz, does not stop me from being one.
The fact is, we were extremely grateful to everyone who answered all our questions and also joined in on our excitement over becoming beekeepers. The support we have received from the beekeeping community has been incredible, and because of that I feel confidant that changes to plans are inevitable, completely okay, and happen pretty much immediately. We listened to them and because of that we were able to handle two issues that arose within only two days of having the bees. The first was ants because of the sugar water. This was easily and quickly remedied by surrounding the feet of the stand with cinnamon. The second, and much more serious issue, was the arrival of robber bees. We were able to identify them easily by their behavior (trying to get in the back door, and not the front door) and quickly narrowed the entrance to the front door, giving the guard bees a much smaller area to protect.
These first two weeks have been eventful and exciting and I can say with the up most confidence that this was a great adventure for me and Rachael to begin. I do worry about her sometimes though. She checks on those bees just about every free chance she gets. I would bet money she can identify each bee and has named them. She is a very attentive bee-mamma. I hope she remembers to eat.