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Welcome To The Hive

My alarm rang early that first Saturday morning in May 2020.

I poured myself a cup of ambition (Dolly) and headed out the door to my parent's house. I arrived to my dad sitting on the front porch, coffee in hand and ready to seize the day. We have been excited for a while about getting the bees. I bought them in January.

I have wanted bees for a few years now.

My father always liked the idea, but lack the time and partner in crime. Well, now that my babies are bigger and he is retired.

It is the perfect storm.

We left for To Be Or Not To Bee to pick up my NUC (small colony of bees) by 8am

Since we are in the middle of a full blown pandemic, the pick up was a little awkward.

Not that putting 5 lbs of live bees in the back of your vehicle is awkward.....hahaha

My dad pulled in line with the other vehicles in waiting. The energy in the air is palatable.

There is roughly a 25' trailer FULL of NUCs.

So there are few thousand bees flying around.

We slowly made our way to the first person in a beekeeper suit.

He checked my name off and they went to retrieve my NUC.

I hopped out to open the hatch on the truck topper so the man could put in the bees. I had just then realized we were going to drive an hour with live bees in the back! But, the pickup was as easy as getting lunch at McDonald's and we were on our way.

We drove home and tucked the bees in to the cool, dark shop at my parents house.

I had already made a mixture of sugar water and put it in a spray bottle.

I sprayed down the NUC and let them relax and cool down for an hour.

Bees with full bellies are happy bees. Dad and I went out to their field and arranged big cinder blocks as the base for our hive.

Then we put on the solid state baseboard and one 10 frame deep box.

The NUC comes with 5 frames of bees, including babies and a Queen. We armed ourselves in what we had for beekeeping equipment.

The order for my equipment had not come in yet, due to the mail delays.

I did get bee veils from Tractor Supply though.

I really didn't want to get stung right away.

You want to install your NUC while it is warm and sunny out. I picked up the NUC and started walking out to the hive.

I sprayed the bees down again with sugar water.

Then gave them a quick jar.

Nocking all of the bees to the bottom of the NUC box. You do not want to brush the bees.

It will brush their legs off. Trust me, just shake them down to the bottom.

I opened the NUC box and went for my first frame.

Slowly adding each frame into my hive body.

After all of the frames were moved in to the hive, I picked up the NUC box and

dumped any remaining bees in to the hive. I then brushed any extra bees off of the top of the box.

I put the inner cover on and then the top cover. We left the empty NUC box outside of the hive.

Incase there were any stragglers.

We took it to recycling that evening after all of the bees were gone.

All in all it went smooth. I hope our bees like their new home!

No one got stung either!

Bonus Points! The last image is of the hive once I received the top feeder.

I placed the remaining empty frames in the next day as well.

Bringing the hive to the standard 10 frame.

My daughter also set up a bee bath for them out front. Happy Spring time!

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