14 May 2011
bees. 'nuff said.
if you caught my post on [tend] this week, you got a sneak peek of my exciting news already, but in case you missed it...probably the most exciting backyard development of the year is the addition of two bee hives. that's right. two. bee. hives. with approximately 20,000 bees or so (at least, that's what i think 6 lbs. of bees adds up to) buzzing around.
it's pretty awesome. it all started a little over a year ago, when i wrote this post. chris, who i only barely knew through molly and the now-fizzled out homesteading blog (in fact, the only time we'd met was at our foray into cheesemaking) responded, offering some assistance. in a nutshell, chris wanted to keep bees but had no space, and i had the space but not the time to learn how to keep bees. a match made in heaven. or something like that. by the time we got it all together last year, it was too late in the season and it didn't work out. but this year, it all came together and i'm a happy landlady to my bee tenants.
chris came over a couple of weeks ago and we set up the hive boxes and about a week and a half ago the bees arrived and chris and her friend joe successfully transferred them into the hive while jared and i watched in awe. to say we're excited about this would be an understatement. our yard isn't that big, so these little ones are practically right out our backdoor and almost every morning we go out and just watch them crawl in and out of the little holes in the front of the hives. we checked on them earlier this week to confirm that both queens were alive (they are!) and we found that they've already begun drawing out the comb (making wax) and collecting pollen. if we look closely as they return to the hive, we can see the yellow/orange spots on their legs, which is the pollen they've collected.
i'm so excited to learn more about this, and feel so lucky to have such a capable teacher/beekeeper to take this on (and i know how grateful chris is for our yard, so i feel like this is such a perfect exchange). i hope you all are ready for a summer full of bee-talk!
and yes, in case any of you are wondering, this is legal in minneapolis. at the moment, it's legal to keep chickens and bees in the city, and i know there are folks working on getting permits available for hoofed animals (particularly goats), which are allowed in st. paul. i recently read that there are currently only 6 permits for beekeeping, which we're one of! (though i have a feeling most city beekeepers don't have permits...)