Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Backyard Beehive

Just two short weeks ago the Williamson County Bee Keepers Association brought in the bulk bee packages that members were able to order through the club. I had ordered two packages which were two three pound packages of bees with a queen included in her own cage in each package. I installed one package of bees in a hive in my mom’s backyard to pollinate her garden and the other in my backyard so that I could test out an all natural system of keeping bees while keeping a close eye on them. This package of bees will be kept without chemicals and on foundationless frames. They will only be fed pure cane sugar and then only to start the hive or in severe drought. Honey will only be taken from this hive if there is a surplus and at no other time.

I installed the bee package, which was basically just shaking the bees out of the box into the hive and pulling the plastic cap off the queen cage. I did dig about half of the candy plug out of the end of the queen cage so it would not take so long to set her free. I then placed one sugar praline and one feeder of 1 to 1 sugar water in the top box to provide feed and wax building stimulus for the new bees. In three days I checked to see if the queen was released and she had been released. The bees had built a two part comb attached to the inner lid where I had removed the frames to put the feeder in the top box. I removed the feeder and cut the comb from the top lid. I then put it in a frame holding it in place with rubber bands. I went to check on them today which is day thirteen since they were placed in the hive and was amazed at what they have accomplished in just under two weeks. The following pictures show the magic of what bees do in constructing comb. Remember there was no foundation in the frames and all the comb was built by the bees in just thirteen days. I am very excited about this foundationless system and think it will work well with the natural style of bee keeping. Think about becoming a bee keeper yourself and do something for the world we all live in, Wild Ed

I want to give a Special Thanks to my friend Chris Smith for helping me through my first hive inspection a few short months ago and to Chris, Gary, Jimmy and all the other members of WCABA for the advice and classroom training along the way.  Ed

Feel free to click on Comments below and leave a comment or read the comments of others. Thanks, Ed


Anonymous said...

Good start Ed, and a good blog. Dean

Chris Miller said...


Are you still keeping them? How are they doing now? I wonder how hard this is because we thought about keeping bees too when we move down.

Chris Miller - One Family's Journey To Finding True Happiness

Wild Ed said...

Chris I have three hives and find them very worthwhile. They will also polinate your garden and area plants. They honey is wonderful and I use the beeswax in all sorts of things. Ed