Bee Day Part 1 2019: Installing our New Italian Package

bee day
The day we've been waiting for has arrived. It's Bee Day, when we travel to Hudson NH to pick up the first of two bee packages we've ordered. The second arrives in about three weeks, but today we're all about the Italians. We ordered through a local bee yard, B-Line Apiaries, and when the girls get out of school, we'll be heading down. It's about an hour each way, so it's a road trip, of sorts.

Today will be all about getting the last details done for the hive, including checking the frames, prepping the feeders and generally making sure everything is in place. To be honest, we're a little nervous, but we've done our research and have found some mentors so we have nothing to really worry about. It's just this is our first time, and don't want to mess it up.

Preparing to Install Bees

bee day
From everything we've learned, the bee installing process assort of rough. The package is opened, we take out the queen cage and hang that, then remove a couple of frames and shake the rest of the bees into the hive. We figure we will lose a few in the transition, but when you have three pounds of bees, you can't be gently nudging them along to make their own decisions. 

Once the bees are in, we'll block the exit for a day to get them acclimated with their scent markers and feed with the 1:1 sugar solution we've prepared. The bee yard is also our soon-to-be installed postage stamp orchard, and a fence is going up tomorrow. We've found a hook up for landscaping planks, and those should be delivered either today or tomorrow as well. There's a lot going on.

Our Bee Education

A great deal of our bee education has come from Vino Farms Youtube channel (which we've shared a sample vid below). After three years, he has videoed and shared his daily learning process and really does it well. We've had advice and mentoring from a few locals, including our dog groomer who has a pollination service on the side. We belong to a couple FB pages, and tend to get talking bees and chickens at our local diner. It is there, perhaps, where we learn the most.

The plan is to move smoothly through today's pick up and installation, then share that with you all tomorrow. 

We love sharing our homesteading lives with you all, and really enjoy hearing your input. Has your Bee Day arrived yet? Have you ever installed a new package of bees in a hive. We'd love to hear you stories, so please join the conversation below. And as always, don't forget to subscribe!


Liz said…
I am hoping to get bees next year! Thank you for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop, we are featuring you this week! :)
WT Abernathy said…
The bees are wonderful:) The kids love them, they're already out doing their 'bee-thing' with what we have looking, and it's cute to see them coming back with puffy pollen legs-
Thank you for the feature:) That's fantastic!
Cheryl said…
I've wanted to get bees for years. I think I'm a bit nervous about mucking it up. Interested to see how you get on. #GoingGreen
WT Abernathy said…
Hi Cheryl:)
We were the same way- wanted them for years. When we finally made landfall on our forever homestead, the bees were a priority. We learned everything we could and took the jump. As its our first season, every day is a new lesson-
Cheers for stopping in!
Good luck - I'd love bees and I have a friend who has a hive so I will be learning from her before hopefully one day getting my own. Thank you for adding this post to #GoingGreen and off to read Part 2 now! 💚
WT Abernathy said…
We had always wanted bees, and when we moved out to our forever homestead, bees were a top priority along with setting up the garden. We are loving them, and it's a pretty sure bet you will feel the same when you get yours:)
Anonymous said…
We will have to keep up with your bees. We love them, sadly we can't keep them ourselves but I am always keen to learn and support about them.

Sorry this #goinggreen comment is so late.
WT Abernathy said…
We are enjoying the heck out of the, and hope to be good bee-parents and help them survive our NH winters:)