June 11th, 2016, a hive of bees arrived at our house!
Our friend Tim is lending us a hive and we’ve sworn to protect it from bears, bugs and mice this summer. We’re hoping it will help pollinate the garden, and there are a lot of plants currently in bloom! Hopefully the timber garden is a great home for them. We’re not close to any agricultural land so they should be safe from spraying. There’s a mix of forest and meadows nearby for them to forage.
Hopefully Panther won’t sit on top of the bee bin like he does the worm bin. So far both cats have investigated and run their tails along the bottom hot wire.
Toby took a beekeeping class in 2012, before we had a garden for bees to pollinate, or even a house. He got to put on the ridiculous suit and tame bees down in Texas while I was in school. Having a hive for the summer will be a great chance for us to work with bees and see if it is a good option for us.
When we moved to McCall we had a friend in Lakefork that had hives and overwintered them there. The cold weather is rough on the bees though, and I think it was tough to keep them thriving. If we have bees permanently we would have to figure out an insulated home for them.
When I got home from work I went out to the garden to hang out with Toby and the bees (and the cats). The bees were thirsty from their trip, so he had a couple of water sources for them. They were buzzing around everywhere in the garden, eyeing the raspberry blossoms and investigating the damp dirt near the broccolini. It gave the entire garden a busy hum. I loved it. Bees can be an expensive hobby, but having them nearby when fruit is setting will really help us out.
Regardless, it’s going to be a good year for the raspberries! Wildflower-raspberry-chive honey, anyone? Sorry, that’s what’s blooming right now!