“That which is not good for the bee-hive, cannot be good for the bees.”
– Marcus Aurelius
The Beginning of Beekeeping Essentials
Our beekeeping adventure took a pragmatic turn with the crucial task of gathering supplies. You can’t welcome bees without their home. Our checklist included the essentials: unassembled boxes, frames, foundation, feeders, a smoker, hive tools, and bee jackets. Fortunately, we discovered Beez Needz in Sophia, NC – a haven for budding beekeepers. Their staff wasn’t just knowledgeable; they were passionate guides in our equipment quest. And let’s not forget their gift shop – a treasure trove we plan to revisit for some bee-themed delights.
The Assembly Adventure
With our trunk brimming with supplies, the next phase was assembly – a puzzle of wooden pieces awaiting transformation into a bee sanctuary. I took the unassembled jigsaw to Stan’s workshop, eschewing YouTube tutorials for his experienced hands. Guided by his expertise, hours were spent in a symphony of gluing, nailing, and screwing. The result? Nine boxes and 90 frames, ready for their buzzing inhabitants. But in this process, a unique touch emerged – one box bore a side attached inside out, missing the carved groove. A quick fix? A cabinet handle, transforming a mistake into a charming feature.
The Waiting Game and Continued Learning
With the equipment assembled, we faced an anticipatory pause – it was only November, and our bees wouldn’t arrive until April. This interim became a period of deep learning. We immersed ourselves in beekeeping literature, from beginner guides to the more nuanced “Beekeeping for Dummies.” The classes continued, now interlaced with hands-on winter care sessions with Stan. It wasn’t just about building hives; it was about growing comfort and connection with our future apiary residents. One fascinating aspect was learning about winter feeding techniques like Mountain Camp feeding, where beekeepers place a layer of granulated sugar atop the hive frames to sustain the bees through the cold months. This method, like many in beekeeping, is a blend of science and age-old wisdom, ensuring our little girls stay nourished until spring.